High-profile, Spanish designer Jaime Hayón has just completed his latest project – the refurbishment of the restaurant, Le Sergent Recruteur, which, living by the slogan ‘live, eat and rest’ and recalling France’s legendary brasseries, has just reopened its doors in the heart of Paris, on the Îsle Saint-Louis.
Hayón’s project aims to respect the history and spirit of one of Paris’s oldest eateries, which has strong roots in the Napoleonic era. To this end, the designer has made use of furniture, lighting and Aubusson tapestries woven by Amsterdam’s Museum of Textiles, jugs and other decorative features, created exclusively for the restaurant’s new decor. Each piece and element here also strives to enhance the cuisine of talented, French chef Antonin Bonnet, who oversees the kitchen of the French capital’s gastronomic mecca.
The restaurant is on two floors, and the decor of its lower-ground floor contrasts with that of the floor above. Its interiors combine a Nordic style with unmistakable Hayón touches, from enormous Venetian mirrors to a multi-armed chandelier from his Copacabana collection for Barcelona-based lighting company Metalarte. Found by the restaurant’s entrance, the bar is decorated in pale colours, has a wooden floor, white walls and a ceiling with original, wooden beams. In the main dining area, tables with pale, laminated wood, redolent of 50s American diners, stand out in particular. Displayed against one pristine white wall are porcelain pieces designed by Hayón. There’s a private dining room in the lower-ground floor, reached by spectacularly lit stairs flanked by glass partitions. With its vaulted ceiling, this floor creates an atmosphere that’s cosy yet also airy, thanks to its white walls and unimposing furniture.
The resulting space is appealingly simple, harmonious and inviting. Its custom-made furniture, stone walls, wooden ceilings painted white, curved contours, forest green upholstery and details picked out in gold make for a snug yet elegant space – and result in a magical atmosphere that fuses this Spanish designer’s flair with the innovative, culinary approach of the restaurant’s highly regarded, French chef.