My Paris: By hotel entrepreneur Emmanuel Sauvage
Words by Rob Chilton
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The hotel owner and Paris resident reveals his favourite haunts in the City of Lights
Emmanuel Sauvage has lived in Paris for more than 20 years, carefully crafting his bohemian hotel and restaurant company Evok Hotels Collection. He lives not far from one of his properties, Brach, a stunning boutique hotel designed by Philippe Starck and influenced by the Dada, Bauhaus and Surrealist art movements. On a recent visit to Dubai, Sauvage told EDGAR how a real Parisian lives and began with the all-important topic of which neighbourhood he calls home.
Where I live
I moved to Paris aged 20 and I’ve lived in the 16, 17 and 18 arrondissements. Each district is a different town with a different lifestyle. The 17th arrondissement is chic and bohemian – we call it ‘bobo’ in French. Here you’ll find arty people and hipsters, but there is money there too. Now I live in the 16th arrondissement, near Brach. It’s safe and people say hello in the street. I like to be close to work because I don’t want to take the metro for 45 minutes. I like to walk and I use my scooter, but you have to concentrate when you ride a scooter in Paris, it can be dangerous.
Where I go for culture
Everyone thinks people who live in Paris must go to museums all the time, but we don’t, sorry! However, I’d recommend the Yves Saint Laurent museum – it’s small but very good. For Parisians, Saint Laurent is an important man, we feel proud of him.
Where I go to clear my head
I like to walk and relax in the Palais Royale. It’s in the centre of Paris but there’s no noise and it’s never crowded. The atmosphere is calm and it’s a great place to think.
Where I go shopping
I like going to BHV department store in the Marais because it corresponds to Parisian life with low and high prices. Shopping around the world is very similar today with all the same international brands everywhere but in the Marais you can find different, independent brands.
The landmark I love
I can see the Eiffel Tower from my apartment and it gets me every time. Of course, it’s normal for Parisians to see it every day but it’s still very special and important for us. And when it lights up at night, it’s spectacular.
Where I go to drink coffee
I drink five coffees a day! But I’d say Parisians don’t have a special, favourite café because there is good coffee everywhere. Each area has many good cafés serving approximately the same coffee. Café de Flore is famous but it’s too touristy and expensive.
Where I go for pastries
Café Pouchkin is quite new and trendy, and is styled in the 18th century. Sébastien Gaudard Pâtissier in the 9th arrondissement is also very good for pastries.
Where I go for dinner
At the Brach the cuisine is Mediterranean, French, Spanish, Italian and Moroccan. I’d say the hummus is very special; it’s made with spices, cream and lemon caviar and has the texture of a mousse – our Lebanese guests love it.
Where I go to watch sport
I go to watch Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes. The last time I went to a match, I was sitting in Neymar’s box. I don’t know Neymar but my friend has a contact with him. The stadium is really good and is in the centre of the city. I also really like watching the French Open tennis at Roland Garros because it’s in the city but you feel like you’re in the countryside. In my opinion it’s the best event of the year in Paris for people and atmosphere, everyone meets there – it’s more than just tennis.
Where I go to party
Roxie, Froufrou, and Le Piaf are all in the same area and have a similar concept. They’re always full and are perfect for groups of six or eight people who want live music, dinner and dancing.
Where I go to see a show
UArena in the La Defence area is a new place for music, shows, big concerts and football. I recently watched the legends match of the 1998 World Cup here.
Where I go to work
Brach is a five-star luxury hotel but it’s cool. For example, the staff wear Le Coq Sportif clothing. It’s an energetic hotel and always has a nice mixture of tourists and Parisians in the lobby.
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