AVENUE PARIS
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Travel Story. A plot of meetings and rituals, à Paris

Bronze applique wall lights and white plaster light fittings produce light that invites conversation and the sharing of confidences, in hushed tones, tout bas

Since Costes Group inaugurated L’Avenue restaurant and bar, it has become a favorite place for meeting and socializing, marked by the true spirit of Paris. Located just off the Champs-Elysées in the eighth Arrondissement, the heart of the fashion district in the French capital, it is the carrefour of a narrative of ritual subtleties and meetings, the soul of a liturgy molded according to the various times of day and the changing seasons. Ladies shopping in Avenue Montaigne, the fashion artery cited in the restaurant’s name, meet up here at number forty-one. The buzz at the tables is variegated and international; it is not rare to see film and pop stars dining here like Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Sienna Miller. A mosaic of celebrities and habituées.

There are aficionados who come here to lunch outside even in winter, in the dehors with its cane dining chairs, set into the circular bows of the sandstone Haussmannian building, awash with Paris light. Others drop in for cocktails before dinner. Barman Dani handles the shakers like a true pro undertaking a hypnotic and fast-moving dance routine, a rumba with his hands that would make a magician swoon. The bar on the first floor is a small theatre, framed by the window drapes à la Cocteau. The food is what you would expect at a bistrot de luxe, typically French but reworked with flair. The interior décor is inspired by a degree of classic chic parisien, dated somewhere between the Thirties and Forties, in a soft palette of beiges and earthy shades, tobacco and ivory nuances with touches of black and taupe. It conjures up the taste of Christian Bérard and Emilio Terry, with a vaguely neoclassical aura, masterly skill used to combine chalky geometrical patterns, retro armchairs and sofas, mirrors and stylized art déco bas-relief decoration on the walls.

Bronze applique wall lights and white plaster light fittings produce light that invites conversation and the sharing of confidences, in hushed tones, tout bas. The terrace at L’Avenue is an ideal lookout point for people watching, beyond the box hedges lining the perimeter, to see and be seen. Life in Paris is played out at narrative intervals, encountering Proustian literary quotes and pictorial heights between post-impressionism and Picasso. Up here, in this special observatory on Avenue Montaigne, it’s like playing hide and seek with lots of frames worthy of French cinema from a bygone age. A slideshow taking in Jean Renoir and Truffaut, the 1960s humor of Jacques Tati to the Nouvelle Vague and Luis Buñuel, with Belle de Jour and the corrosive and sophisticated irony of Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie. The secret is all about letting yourself go, welcoming unabashedly what the moment suggests, the entrées that follow and the charm of the invocation.


41 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, France

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