Few cities do café culture quite like Paris. There’s a reason, after all, that rows of wicker bistro chairs accompanied by round tables have become one of the most defining images of the capital. Not to mention that those spots are where some of the world’s most respected writers – the likes of Hemingway, Joyce, Wilde and De Beauvier – flocked to in search of inspiration.
The new Paul Smith café in Printemps department store – which has now officially opened its doors – was conceived to capture that spirit. Offering a place for relaxation, work, catch ups, dining or simply just a quick pit stop, the café is a colourful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
As you’d expect from anything Paul turns his hand to, there’s hardly a detail that hasn’t been meticulously considered in designing the space, the starting point of which was Brutalist architecture and mid-century domestic interiors, especially those of Ray Eames and Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi.
Set against a colour palette that references the Paul Smith Signature Stripe, inside you’ll find a selection of custom and vintage furniture that reads like a whistle stop tour of design’s greatest decades: Carlo Ratti Italian dining chairs from the 1950s, Frantisek Jirak for Tatra lounge chairs from the 1960s and Bauman Halfa French chairs from the 1970s. Outside on the terrace, you can also find shade under the custom Signature Stripe parasols which sit alongside artisanal Maison Louis Drucker dining chairs – yes, those iconic Parisian rattan café chairs.
Much like Paul Smith shops, there’s also a curated selection of original artworks and prints: a large-scale abstract oil painting by an unnamed artist provides a vivid focal point, while smaller pieces, namely Ivan Moscovich’s ‘Harmonograms’ from the 1960s and two works by London-based painter Joe Gamble, add pops of colour.
Paul’s trademark sense of humour and wit shines through in specially commissioned illustrations by artist and friend of the brand Alec Doherty, who has created a whimsical series of vignettes which grace the crockery, tabletops and menus.
The menu, conceived with Café Vert, is filled with quintessentially British twists on dishes alongside traditionally Parisian fare, patisserie, and drinks. You’ll be able to order up smaller dishes like eggs and soldiers or toast with marmalade as well as dig in to larger meals like ‘Paul’s picnic plate’ (a spin on the French dish assiette anglaise) and a modern take on fish and chips. Or, if you need a pick-me-up while shopping, there’s always the ‘Tea Time’ afternoon tea.
And if you’re after a keepsake of your visit, you’ll also be able to pick up a special selection of trinkets and objets, some available exclusively at the café. If you’re in the neighbourhood, we hope you’ll pop in soon.
Shop The Café
Events & Exhibitions
Picasso Celebration: The Collection In A New Light!
Go behind the scenes and learn more about the colourful, immersive new exhibition at the Musée Picasso Paris curated by Cécile Debray and Joanne Snrech under the artistic direction of Paul himself.
Sign Up For Updates
Words: Molly Isabella Smith