Fauchon has come a long way in the past decades, going from a one-off, upscale gourmet shop for the Paris bourgeoisie, to a specialty food company with shops around the globe. The over-a-century-old Fauchon name is expanding its brand into the luxury hotel business and opened its first hotel in late 2018, Fauchon L’Hotel Paris. It has plans in the works to open an additional 20 hotels internationally.
We visited the hotel and had lunch at the Grand Café Fauchon earlier this month and liked the experience.
Situated on Place Madeleine across from the original shop in the well-heeled 8th arrondissement, Fauchon L’Hotel Paris has converted a former classic Hausmmannian building from the late 1800's into 54 rooms designed to feel like small apartments rather than hotel rooms.
The amiable Food and Beverage Director Tim Abenhaim was happy to give us a tour. He had great enthusiasm for the hotel and treated us like he was sharing his home with his friends.
We were shown a deluxe room decorated in the signature Fauchon colors of black, white and fuchsia. The king-size bed with white Porthault sheets took up most of the room, but Tim explained that luxury and comfort was more important to guests than the size of the rooms. The opulent bathroom suite of Champagne-colored marble was larger than the room.
One of the amenities that sets Fauchon L’Hotel Paris apart from other luxury hotels of its caliber is the property's pride and joy, The Gourmet Bar. Designed by Sacha Lakic and manufactured by Roche-Bobois, the Gourmet Bar is a custom pink armoire in the Art Deco style. Once the doors are opened, guests can feast on a dozen or so of Fauchon’s best selling delicacies, hand chosen by Tim Abenhaim, plus a full selection of soft drinks, wine, Champagne and spirits. Products include biscuits, foie gras, Madeleines, salted butter caramels, butter cookies, fruit paste candies and chocolate truffles; on a side table is an offering of Fauchon teas and a selection of macarons. The hotel can also customize the selection ahead of time for a client’s dietary needs and restrictions. We appreciated that the Gourmet Bar was complimentary (with the exception of the drinks), as opposed to hotels that overcharge for their mini-bar products.
We dined at Grand Café Fauchon for lunch on the attractive terrace facing the grand boulevard Malesherbes and the large-scale Madeleine church with its Roman columns. The terrace, with typical French café chairs, was covered with fuchsia awnings to give shade, casting a pick hue.
The menu is cleverly divided into four categories, giving diners a varied choice: Vegetables, The Sea, The Land, and Sweets. Since it was a warm summer day, we chose the chilled tomato soup with honey and topped with summer vegetables. The touch of honey gave the soup an unusual taste that worked well, and the crunchy vegetables gave it substance. For our main, a salad of chunks of foie gras mixed with frisee lettuce and fresh figs was a wonderful mélange of the hearty and the healthy. A few minutes after we finished our satisfying lunch, the waitperson approached with the overwhelming dessert tray. We narrowed down an array of fruity summer specialties to two desserts. An architecturally shaped concoction of what looked like thinly fanned out apples turned out to be an airy sponge cake surprisingly made of quinoa, with a hint of Granny Smith apple.
Fauchon L’Hotel Paris and Grand Cafe Fauchon
11 Place de la Madeleine, 75008/ 4 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008