Tuesday, February 28, 2017

L 'AMBROISIE PLACE DES VOSGES A 3 stars life by Nathalie Molho Paris real estate expert

L'Ambroisie restaurant 9, Place des Vosges
L'Ambroisie restaurant 9, Place des Vosges


Parisian mainstay of French haute cuisine, L'Ambroisie restaurant - three stars in Guide Michelin - lies in the heart of the Marais, Paris  historical district, at 9 Place des Vosges. The cuisine of Bernard Pacaud is a must : classical, sophisticated and seasonal, composing  "an ode to exceptional products".
This legendary address is offering a unique dining experience 

Tell us the origin of the project? The training of Chef Bernard Pacaud and the beginning together: how did it take place?
Bernard Pacaud, trained by Eugénie Brazier in LYON, famous three stars restaurant : "la mère Brazier"  (when only 7 three stars restaurants could be found in France at that time), evolved very quickly through two other restaurants, then as Chef of the Vivarois (also Michelin starred) where we met while I was a manager intern.  I wanted to support him in his project to create his own restaurant and this is how the first  l’Ambroisie  (I found the name) was created.

How was it that you thought of opening the restaurant l’Ambroisie PLACE DES  VOSGES as it already existed for five years (from 1981 to 1986) at another address: quai des Tournelles ?
Michelin starred after 10 months , ( 2 stars  a year after) we had to find a larger place. We had a friend who was a  decorator and who told us about this address Place des Vosges.  We hesitated for a short while but we went for a visit and fell in love at first sight ! A real Coup de Coeur  !we  knew we had found the place  !

What did the Place des Vosges look like at that time ?
The mansions around the Square had not been completely restored yet and  it was a real challenge! Besides  the rooms of the restaurant have also been completely renovated

Was the decoration of the restaurant entirely created?
The decorator Graf worked on these rooms of exceptional proportions. He tore everything down and worked on the codes of the 17th century : at the beginning there were only the first room and a winter garden
Twenty years ago, we were lucky enough to be able to expand: the work lasted 6 months, we highlighted the original floor; Laid out wooden moldings of Mansart, with the help of the architect GRAF and showed the harmonious proportions of the former property of  Duke de CHAULNES (1676-1744), dating from the 17th century

What are your emblematic dishes ?
Customers come for classic dishes that are light and a la carte all year round, such as bass with caviar, light chocolate pie, scampi puff pastry, or truffle puff pastry, the menu evolving with the seasons!

Are you tasting the chef creations ?
Of course ! This is a must! I like to feel the seasons going by according to the products arriving in the kitchen: white truffle, asparagus, morels, black truffles ... Suppliers come to us with exclusive selections for l’ Ambroisie

 The service stands out for excellence like the carte menu, how do you recruit the best ones?
First of all it is a real team, composed of twelve people. Their best quality, in fact is to be kind with 
customers : this is what we ask them. As a matter of fact two of them have been here for thirty years, 
One for fifteen years: loyalty is fundamental for a team!

Are the recipes written, referenced?
No, but we have listed some of them through two recipe books that will be re-edited: one L'AMBROISIE and the other about  health and gastronomy  (the impact of our consumption on our arteries), written  with  the help of Professor FABIANI to limit cholesterol: recipes based on olive oil and grape seed oil
L'Ambroisie restaurant 9, Place des Vosges

What underlies the motivation, the passion of Bernard Pacaud?
Sincerity, honesty, good craftsmanship: being intransigent about sourcing ,products, quality, regularity,  there is also some pleasure  in this daily requirement!

He is said to be an extraordinary team leader: how do you relax when you have to deal with this  level of excellence ?
One must work about his character , but yes he rarely gets angry! He is rather of equal temper! It is perhaps his passion for the martial arts (black belt of karate) that gives him that inner strength! Or the joys of pétanque to escape the stress!

How is his perfectionism expressed?
Bernard Pacaud takes care of every detail such as  the floral arrangements, perfectionism is pushed to the extreme: through the products he chooses himself (each supplier comes to propose his products to the Chef) through the decor that has undergone a recent renovation: LED lights designed for l’Ambrosie in exclusivity, through the menu that allows him to orchestrate subtle, sincere and innovative dishes

What makes you most proud?
To live together our common passion, in order: the path chosen by our children, the success of my husband, the restaurant!
Our son Mathieu is also Michelin starred : two at "History" and one at "Hexagon", and finally crowned Chef at the "Divellec" * at 35 years old (where he co-signs the menu  with his father)! And also Alexia, our daughter who has joined the team 

Tell us about your experience in Corsica last summer, you who are native of the Island of beauty?
Mathieu has achieved an incredible first experience in an amazing resort : he has created an innovative menu melting local products with his contemporary vision at the Domaine of Murtoli in Sartène, which has been so successful that it will be remade each summer !

The American Presidents having dinner at l’ Ambroisie, a new diplomatic tradition?
During the visit of President CLINTON, it was the first time that a president was invited to dine outside the ELYSEE, by President CHIRAC in 1997, a real derogation to the rule
The neighborhood had been looped with maximum protection, the CIA had even invested the kitchens by posting tasters!
The tags of PLACE DES VOSGES had been removed! The dinner had been orchestrated in extreme confidentiality
For president OBAMA and president HOLLAND: we were used to  it ! We also had helicopters that rotated over the area and the entire perimeter secured with a taster also in the kitchen
It was during these two exceptional occasions an extraordinary spotlight, highlighted by all the media in the whole world

Tell us about the MACAO opening?
It is Mathieu’s idea, the opening is planned next July, with the same menu, which represents a real challenge in terms of sourcing and organization

How is your clientele evolving ?
 At the beginning we had 95% of French! Then more and more foreigners who have become regular customers who go down to the palaces or who live in Paris, then VIPs like the actor James Spader (Black List) who quotes the Ambrosia in a film replica: lunch in L 'Ambroisie, the best restaurant in the world, or LOUIS MALLE who demands to be invited to the Ambroisie  as a reward for his participation in a jury!

Excellence is also in the detail  in terms of volume control which allows to  keep high  quality standards demanded by  customers
Yes we  receive a maximum of 38/40 persons, and  have one service at lunch and one service in the evening

When you are off how do you relax?
I love cinema and reading!

Do you live in the Marais?
Yes I am lucky enough  to live in the most beautiful district of Paris!
I like to cross the Hotel de Sully it is extraordinary to feel the weight of past centuries and realize this framework is an exceptional luxury, which allows us to reconcile the Parisian lifestyle  and the desire to innovate incessantly
 In the notion of heritage of monuments or gastronomy I like the idea of ​​continuity and transmission!

Do you feel your entrepreneurial experience as a French success story like a luxury brand : GABRIELLE CHANEL for example?
Yes, exactly as Chanel was wearing  her creations, it is the perspective of sincerity and the quest for perfection, through our couple history, then the history of our family, it is really "lived" in our genes!

Do you have an address to recommend to our readers?
A walk PLACE DES VOSGES, passing by the HOTEL DE SULLY and its bookshop, then the Picasso Museum within the Hotel Salé and the Carnavalet Museum of course! And for shopping : the beautiful addresses like Guerlain or Chanel that have settled in the Marais recently! Le Marais attracts always and again!

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Interview :How Judy, architect, from BRAZIL settled in LE MARAIS, PARIS FRANCE by Nathalie Molho,parisian native Real Estate expert

Where are you from ?

Which was your purpose by settling in Paris ?
I first traveled to Paris for leisure concerning gastronomy and especially cooking lessons called CORDON BLEU
A few years ago,I rented an apartment in le Marais  and I fell in love with this district

I really enjoyed this part of Paris and I decided to purchase an apartment here: it’s so central, so easy to live in : near museums, near Place des Vosges , near the Seine, and what I appreciate most is the village life , it’s like I always lived here  !


How long did it take you to find your apartment?
7, 8 months, it was important to me to find in the MARAIS, I knew exactly what I wanted in terms of area and  budget  

Did you buy with the help of an Agency?
Yes, some brokers showed me some apartment not connected to my criteria, I asked one of my friend who is also architect to help me, and actually we found the perfect one very quickly with the help of an agency called Immobilière Sainte Catherine

Was it complex to follow the renovation works as you were not resident in Paris ?
I found the best team to help me in conception, renovation and follow up : the LO-ST agency *, with the design of Emmanuel Lassalle, fully involved and dedicated in my project !

Before renovation 

After renovation by LO-ST Agency, apartment sold by Immobilière Sainte Catherine
After renovation by LO-ST Agency, apartment sold by Immobilière Sainte Catherine 
Are the real estate law and specifications very different in France and in your country?
In Brazil, notaries don’t do the same work
Besides when you buy in Brazil, you do everything within one month only !
What do you like in Paris that you don’t have in your country?
Everything! But what I appreciate most is to feel secure: here – as a woman- you can be out from morning to evening without any problem !
In Paris, I belong to the city !
In SAO PAULO I belong to my apartment !

What do you like the most in Paris LIFESTYLE?
Here I can run I can bike, I feel the beauty of the city at the same time, distances are smaller, transports are easy and it helps to move from a district to another!
I feel free …
Everything can be easily accessed : theaters, restaurants, bistrots, bars, museums, shops etc…
What is the most different? What surprised you most?
The relationship between people: here they are more « educated » there people are more warm 
PLACE DES VOSGES: culture, monument, gastronomy, shopping !!!!
PLACE DES VOSGES: culture, monument, gastronomy, shopping !!!! 
Is Paris transportation system an advantage for you to move from a quarter to another? 
Walking distance is universal in Paris, I can do whatever I want by foot, it’s the contrary in Sao Paulo !

Among this 5 interest fields which one was the most attractive and drove you to PARIS specifically :Culture/ Museum/ Monuments/ Gastronomy/ Shopping ?
I am an architect but as a fan of french gastronomy, actually it’s obvious that Paris , the City of light combines all these points of interest especially the Marais quarter with its preserved plan decided by André Malraux the culture minister, it was obvious for me to settle in this special quarter where you feel deeply past centuries and the french history 
I could live here during 10 years and I feel I could discover each day something new in the street, in my neighborhood, in the air ….

You appreciate french gastronomy as a hobby ?
I am passionate about French know-how in haute cuisine  which I like to twist with world flavors!

You imagine you could create a bistrot ?
I wish to !I would like to mix this know-how and my vision of world cuisine

What does le MARAIS represents for you ?
I really had a « coup de cœur » for this part of Paris, where many people from BRASIL are living ! 
All my relatives want to come and visit me !!!
Paris is not the most expensive city of the world but the fifth ! ( after: Singapore, London, Hong Kong, New York ) could you tell us compare to Sao Paulo ?
The price in Sao Paulo compare to Paris is three times lower, but Paris is safe investment and a source of satisfactions ! It’s a kind of dream came true, and at the same time a permanent source of new horizons !

Tell us about the parisianers ?
The Parisian are as sunflowers they like the sun and turn to him !
If you are smiling everything goes well !

France is the first European destination for the Brazilians, and among all the tourists of Latin America, Brazil is by far the first emerging market for France. Only in 2014, more than 660 000 Brazilians came in France, among which 463 000 in Paris.

* LO-ST Architect Agency Emmanuel Lassalle & Lylian Ollivier
Photos : David Cousin- Marsy

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=(33) 6 60 69 77 67

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Paris Lifestyle chapter 1 : le Marais, Paris France where to go ? What to do by Nathalie Molho, parisian native real estate expert



Place des Vosges garden 75004 IN SEARCH MY HOMEBLOG
Place des Vosges garden 75004

 The City of light, PARIS has a fantastic lure even for native Parisians who cannot imagine living in another place in the world !
Parisian lifestyle is a mix of historical legacy, cultural event, shopping without limits, a luxury vibration felt more intensively in some quarters, 
gastronomic appeal, endless walks and streets to discover all along the reflect of the sun or moonlight 

That’s why it’s important to know your goal when looking for an apartment in Paris: it may not be the same if you are parents of several young children and looking for the best schools and parks, or if you are looking for a « PIED A TERRE » in order to spend a few weeks in Paris ! 

Hotel de Sully rue st antoine paris 4

Hotel de Sully 

I am French and a Parisian native, and live in the district called: le MARAIS one of the most popular and historical districts of Paris, I would love to tell you more about it !

First, geographically, the MARAIS stretches through 2 districts : the 3RD and the 4TH arrondissements , with sub-districts and whose specific characters reveal diverse personalities !
Historically, it’s fascinating to have in mind that its name is coming from the marshes it was before the XIIth century when first monasteries established in this part of the city and also to remember they were golden age when the kings decided to live in, for instance the PLACE DES VOSGES  ( 75004 ) called in the ancient ages, «  PLACE ROYALE »  which  construction was ordered by king HENRI IV in 1604. You may have  noticed if you have had the pleasure to walk around there,  the mansion of the queen facing the mansion of the king. They are the 2 tallest mansions of the square, all others being of the same height !
Places des Vosges : under the arcades
Places des Vosges : under the arcades

And a part of this heritage when the Marais was not anymore attractive and disdained by the aristocratic families who reached the left bank and the west of Paris attracted by Versailles, where the kings LOUIS XIV, LOUIS XV and LOUIS XVI  decided to live at the end of the XVIIth century till 1789 !
The beautiful mansions became workshops and places where workers use to live and work
Since the 60’s and thanks to the vision of our culture minister ANDRE MALRAUX the Marais district has been protected from destruction, and completely renovated
In the end of XIXth century and beginning of XXth centuty, XVIIth and XVIIIth century  mansions were in danger and struck of unhealthy conditions ( even of insalubrity) and Andre Malraux was willing to save them from destruction, he was passing a law to protect and safeguard their cultural and historical heritage .
The Marais, thus became the first ever protected district of France
And this law is often evocated by notaries when deeds concern properties located in this part of PARIS as : the preservation plan of the Marais quarter.
Virtually all the Marais buildings are protected as HISTORICAL MONUMENTS and cannot  be altered in any way
Rue Aubriot mansion 75004
Rue Aubriot mansion 75004

 Let’s discover the multifaceted character of the two faces of the Marais quarters:

11)    An extremely desirable neighborhood

    Near the SEINE is the 4TH district including the 2 islands: Ile de la Cité, and Ile Saint Louis and different sub-districts with in each one with their own charm and attraction 
Near the mythic Place des Vosges, you will discover the charming Place Sainte Catherine, formerly a covent, and the home of the beautiful mansions, rue St Antoine like the HOTEL DE Sully, owned by the same family till the 50’s, the Hotel des ARCHEVEQUES DE SENS, and you will also discover the BEAUBOURG MUSEUM and square ( built by president Pompidou in 1977, designed  by Renzo Piano )
Beaubourg Museum 75004
Beaubourg Museum 75004
This audacious modern museum building and open area contrast with the environment of the preserved Marais quarter, and attracts many tourists with its cafes and art galleries
Notre-Dame on the Ile de la Cité, the Seine banks on flowers bank ( Quai aux fleurs ) or Bourbon bank, offer spectacular views of historical properties part of the preserved historical quarters of the Marais .

With very limited turnover, family apartments for sale are not numerous.
Different communities live in several sub-districts in the Marais:
For instance near the St PAUL Metro, also called the PLETZL (in Yiddish : « the small place ») , between rue des Rosiers and rue Pavee, is the Jewish quarter with its synagogues and delicious restaurants

Near rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie and rue des Archives, is the « gay » district with its bars, small theaters, bookstores and brand new fashionable shops
Bourgeois, trendy and central at the same time, the 4th district attracts several profiles. Not only a " district museum " in spite of the uncountable monuments, it is a place where local people highly appreciates to live in!
You will notice (in the column “MARKET STATS”) the prices of the Marais district never have never gown down since his popularity rose in the 60’s.

On the right bank of the river Seine, to the north, is the 3rd district called MARAIS and HIGH MARAIS, a central part of Paris with protected monuments as well, some museums and more typical Parisian lifestyle combining village life with food markets, like the Red Children Market ( created in 1628), so-called in reference to children coming from an orphanage wearing red uniforms. This market is located on rue de BRETAGNE, one of the most popular streets in this part of the 3rd quarter, which also boasts cafes, bars, galleries, fashion shops.
 2) Architecture and residential areas
At the end of middle ages, the gentry and aristocratic families chose the Marais to establish their residences, which remained till the baron Haussmann renovated Paris at the end of XIXth century
The Hotel de Clisson, also called Hotel de Soubise ( since the XIVth century) located at the corner of rue des Archives and rue des Francs Bourgeois became the Head Office of The National Archives, and the Hotel de Rohan rue Vieille du Temple, the Hotel de Marle rue Elzevir and many others which are hosting cultural center, associations or museums
Among them, the famous Hotel Sale (built in 1656) a private mansion at 5 rue de Thorigny in 3rd arrondissement, house which in 1974 a year after his death,  became the Picasso Museum. 
Owned by the City of Paris, the building was awarded Historic Monument status on 29 October 1968. 
The  National Picasso Museum was inaugurated in October 1985.


These beautiful mansions, symbols of these past centuries, are inspiring  jewels of the district
Some museums : the Doll Museum, Impasse Berthaud, the Museum of Art and Judaism rue du Temple, the Carnavalet Museum (built in 1560), rue des Francs Bourgeois and  many art galleries and bookstores rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare gather mix of interest of  different people attracted in this district , with high revenue who can afford high square meter prices  

Hype and residential, urban and bourgeois, arty and fashion , this part of the Marais offers a multifaceted face, always attractive and highly 
desirable by native Parisian and foreigners ! To discover as a MUST before buying an apartment in Paris  !
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