Frankie Unsworth checks out The Beef Club & Le Ballroom du Beef Club, a Parisian steakhouse and cocktail bar with Anglophone aspirations.
May 15th, 2012
Brought to you by the brains behind The Experimental Cocktail Clubs, ’The Beef Club’, which opened early April in Paris’ Les Halles, is breaking the mould in more ways than one.
Created by the group that debuted the low-lit Brooklyn speakeasy look on the Parisian barscape, Experimental Group are known for breaking Parisian conventions and creating wildly successful after dark haunts.
Their most recent opening – and first foray into food – draws its inspiration from the meat eating societies of 18th century Britain. In keeping with the Britannic theme, everything from the t-bone steak to the Longhorn burger served on site is born and bred British, a collaboration between Paris’s ’bohemian boucher’ Le Bourdonnec and Yorkshire farmer Tim Wilson.
But it is not just the produce that challenges hospitality rules in the stubborn city of lights. “The décor is sort of Brooklyn meets London meets … something,” explains Julia Mitton of the Experimental Group.
To create the look for the 60 cover steakhouse, the group called upon their go-to interior designer, Dorothée Meilichzon.
“I have always used a mix of elements and the tricky part is to get the good balance: a good balance in the mix of colours and styles,” says Meilichzon, who employed a playful mix of colours and textures, French antiques and mid century Danish pieces to create a signature look for the steakhouse.
“I use a lot of vintage elements, most of the time from the French culture with some “table bouillotte”, antique fireplaces in marble, Louis XV & Louis XVI, Napoleon III furniture, vintage dressing tables and screens from the 20s… mixed up with lots of textures and wallpaper, most of the time British ones.”
A mix match of lighting fixtures adorns the walls and cut-glass whisky tumblers all combine harmoniously to create an inviting low-lit parlour feel.
“Lights are a good way to bring some modernity, and I always choose materials that will enhance the quality of the light so porcelain, crystal, brass, any materials with a good reflective power. Lighting is very important in my spaces; I dim them as much as possible so I need to have lots of lights, mostly wall lights.”
It is the playfulness in the details, Dorothée’s “scenography” as she calls it, that make her spaces all the more unique and sociable, designed to get people interacting.
“I created huge bars, face to face washbasins in the bathroom, love seats, sofas to share from a table to another.” And for the duration of your visit, you feel quite content to be part of the Club.
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