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The Triumphant Return of the Parisienne Brasserie

Dining in Paris is synonymous with opulence. Rich sauces, decadent surroundings, and serious over-indulgence in just about every aspect of the eating-out experience. Or at least it has been in recent years. This year, however, has seen the resurgence of something quintessentially French and wonderfully nostalgic, but somehow forgotten in-lieu of extravagant luxury: the old-fashioned, characterful (and affordable!) brasserie and the even more relaxed and welcoming bouillon.

Food is kept simple, classic and delicious, with age-old favourites such as steak frites, soupe à l’oignon and raw oysters (now, somehow, made casual dining) topping many a menu. Whilst the ambience is bustling and full of life, much like the city itself. What’s more, you’re likely to be introduced to a wealth of beers, rather than the usual wine offering (the word brasserie is also French for "brewery" after all).

The most legendary Parisian brasseries date back to the beginning of the 20th century. The first bouillon appeared around 1860 providing – as the name implies - bouillons or broths enriched with bits of meat and vegetables for the working class. Today, the elegant baroque décor and antique fixtures and fittings remain in these newly rejuvenated dining rooms, worn and faded with time but only lending to the trendy feel that is drawing in locals and tourists alike.

And it’s not just new brasseries making like the old. Some of Paris’ most opulent and major names in the industry are reinventing themselves to meet the public's demands for this growing trend. According to The Michelin Guide, The Grand Café Capucines has announced "a return to the source, the golden age of the brasserie", reinterpreted by a famous design team, plus a new menu based on seasonal products of quality. A spokesperson for the restaurant has said of the emerging trend, “We realized that Parisians had abandoned the café. One of our goals is to bring them back.”

If you, like those at Grand Café Capucines, hope to embrace this new-found love of one of the things Paris does best, you’ll need tableware to suit. Luckily, we’ve got you covered…

LA NOUVELLE TABLE GLASSWARE

Striking the shape of a traditional 1920s tumbler but with a contemporary, textured twist, 'La Nouvelle' glassware by Merci breathes new life into old-fashioned ways. This mix of history meets modern is exactly what’s needed to create the distinct look of a Parisienne brasserie with a fresh face.

LENS BY CARLO VAN POUCKE

With so much colour, texture and grandeur present in antique décor, opting for plateware that is sleek, chic and simple makes for a glorious contrast. 'Lens' by Carlo Van Poucke provides the undemanding look this style craves, to complement the simple yet exquisite menu options.

FIDDLE VINTAGE SATIN CUTLERY

Vintage cutlery would be a given for a Paris brasserie or bouillon setting, but many dining utensils of the 1900s were made of far lesser quality materials than those used today or worse still, silver, which tarnishes the flavour of food. Luckily, the Fiddle collection by Charingworth has everything you need in a ‘vintage satin’ finish. The best of both worlds.

PURE BY PASCALE NAESSENS

For a dimly lit, romantic establishment, which welcomes the nod towards decay and ruin with the ever-present glamour of Parisienne nostalgia, tables will benefit from dinnerware to match. Pascale Naessens 'Pure' range is crafted to embody warmth, authenticity and pure romance. Pure interaction. A sublime addition to an intimate table.

AUGUST PASSE PARTOUT BY VINCENT VAN DUYSEN

The wooden accessories of the 'August Passe Partout Wood Collection' follows the signature Vincent Van Duysen style: no-nonsense, a tad nostalgic, while at the same time very contemporary, where the past is reflected in many aspects. Exactly what is needed in a current Parisienne-esque brasserie or bouillon! This selection of tray-like plates, bowls and table accessories is a superb fit for outdoor dining.


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