Lenny Kravitz’s perfect weekend in Paris
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“Saturday mornings start with a run in the Bois de Boulogne, near my home in the 16th arrondissement, or a visit to my trainer at L’Usine, a gym near Opéra. I’ll then stroll to the open-air market along Avenue du Président Wilson. I am a green juice, farm-to-table guy, and there’s always an incredible array of organic produce that sets me up for the weekend.
I love furniture and design objects, and wandering the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area gives me creative inspiration. I like Studio 7L, Karl Lagerfeld’s bookstore, which specialises in photography, fashion, design and architecture, and Studio Willy Rizzo, where you’ll find anything from contemporary lacquered tables to vintage fashion photographs. I might end up in the impressionist rooms at the Musée d’Orsay, where I’ll often just sit and relax.
After a morning spent exploring, I’ll go to La Société for a light lunch with friends. It draws a great mix of people – artists, tourists, the fashion crowd – and the space, designed by Christian Liaigre, is very soothing. There are hints of Asia, such as curries and tom yum soup, and the shrimp and avocado salad is excellent. Afterwards I might walk over to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to see an exhibition such as the recent Dior retrospective, or I’ll go to a show at the Grand Palais.
I spend a lot of time in the Marais too, and for café culture I like Le Loir dans la Théière, which translates to “the dormouse in the teapot” from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. I love the laidback vibe; it looks like a place the Beat poets would have loved, and it’s a good stop for a cup of tea or a lentil salad. Alternatively, L’As du Fallafel, where I’ve been going for the past 30 years, serves excellent falafel sandwiches. There’s a line out the door, but it’s worth the wait.
Saturday nights are about dining out, and Pierre Sang in the 11th does amazing French-Asian cuisine. The Korean-born chef was raised by French parents and it shows in his incredibly fresh, creative food; the surprise tasting menus are delicious. He owns three restaurants in the area and literally runs between them. This one is kind of hipster – and just very cool.
I am a huge opera fan – I sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, growing up – and I also love the ballet. Before an evening at the Palais Garnier, I’ll often go to Matsuhisa at the Royal Monceau for its clean, inventive Japanese food.
Nights tend to be late, and the party is at my house: I’ve converted the cellar into a speakeasy. Dance parties might involve Mick Jagger or Naomi Campbell DJing, and at 5am we’ll head to Babylone Bis, an Afro-Caribbean restaurant that’s open all night – something hard to find in Paris. It’s hidden in an alley near Les Halles, and the poulet braisé with plantains, rice and beans and the funky zebra print and pictures of Marvin Gaye make it a fantastic place.
I’ll sleep until 11am, before heading to the Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen to look for midcentury pieces by Joe Colombo, Gabriella Crespi, Verner Panton, Warren Platner and Charles and Ray Eames. Galerie Glustin and Galerie Gam are great for furniture and lighting, and Marché Paul Bert is a favourite for fine pieces such as oil paintings, rare glassware and vintage clothing. I’ll have lunch at the Philippe Starck-designed bistro Ma Cocotte, where the food is really French and the open kitchen adds to the lively scene.
By the afternoon I’m burnt out. Friends and family gather, and we’ll cook. I’m more on the vegan side, but there’s always a roast chicken for the others. Then we’ll sit around my library, spinning 1970s records and talking about the album artwork, and I’ll start to feel recharged for the week ahead.”
Babylone Bis, 34 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 (+331-4233 4835). Galerie Gam, 110 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (+336-0960 1601). Galerie Glustin, 140 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (+336-0872 0034; glustin.net). Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du General Eisenhower, 75008 (+331-4413 1717; grandpalais.fr). L’As du Fallafel, 32-34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 (+331-4887 6360). La Societe, 4 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 (+331-5363 6060; restaurantlasociete.com). Le Loir dans la Theiere, 3 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 (+331-4272 9061; leloirdanslatheiere.com). L’Usine, 8 Rue de la Michodiere, 75002 (+331-4266 3030; usinesportsclub.com). Ma Cocotte, 106 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (+331-4951 7000). Marché aux Puces, marcheauxpuces-saintouen.com. Marché Paul Bert, 85 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen (+331-4011 5319). Marché President Wilson, Avenue du President Wilson, 75116 (+331-4511 7111). Matsuhisa Paris, 37 Avenue Hoche, 75008 (+331-4299 9870; leroyalmonceau.com). Musée des Arts Decoratifs, 107-111 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (+331-4455 5750; madparis.fr). Musée d’Orsay, 62 Rue de Lille, 75343 (+331-4049 4814; musee-orsay.fr). Palais Garnier, 8 Rue Scribe, 75009 (operadeparis.fr). Pierre Sang, 55 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 (+339-6731 9680; pierresang.com). Studio 7L, 7 Rue de Lille, 75007 (+331-4292 0358; librairie7l.com). Studio Willy Rizzo, 12 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 (+331-4286 0731; willyrizzo.com)
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