The Parisian guide of Anouk and Louis Solanet
Although Anouk Solanet was born in the Netherlands, you’d be forgiven for thinking she’s Parisian. Living in France since 2007, she is the epitome of French girl chic: long, messy hair, impeccable style, the ability to raise a family somehow. and running a business seems like child’s play. Since 2020, Anouk and her husband Louis have been working on their own hotel brand, Orso Hôtels, which currently includes eight of the coolest hotels in Paris. Below, check out the couple’s guide to doing Paris like a local.
oh The company – We would like to travel with La Compagnie one day. It’s the perfect way to get to New York. Full flat seats and seasonal French gastronomy on board… soon I hope!
oh The bike – Go from district to district. Anouk still has her blue Dutch bike that she bought the first week after moving to Paris and Louis still has his black Dutch bike that Anouk gave him for his birthday right after they met. To stop, you have to pedal backwards (there is no handbrake) and the bikes have no gears.
oh The Subway – There is a French expression that says: metro, work, sleep. Almost all Parisians use the metro because it is the fastest way to get around Paris.
oh road trip – Although not exactly in Paris, Louis likes to discover regions or countries by car with our three children in tow (Anouk tends to show less enthusiasm for the idea but always ends up being excited by the trip!) It’s a great way to see a lot in a short amount of time. The next should take us to a part of Normandy that we do not know very well: the landing beaches and its surroundings, such as Jersey, the Cotentin, good food, old castles, etc.
oh The nineth – Developed during the Belle Epoque era of the 1900s when the city was booming, the fantastic atmosphere is still there, you will never be bored. Our own Hotel Rochechouart with its roof terrace (360 degree view) is a must!
oh The seventh – Beautiful classic district, not very far from the Wallace hotel, which is technically located in the 15th but adjoining the 7th, so much so that you can see the Eiffel Tower from the hotel!
oh The fifth — We lived together in this neighborhood at the beginning of our relationship. It is close to the Luxembourg Gardens. A more beautiful park does not exist. The Hôtel Léopold is very close and in the lower part of the 5th arrondissement we are going to open the Hôtel Orphée this year. We now live on the west side and Louis sometimes drives through Paris on Saturday mornings just to buy special vegetables from a farmer at the local Port-Royal market.
oh The tenth – The district brings the city back to life with its craftsmen and hidden corners.
oh Restaurant Rochechouart – Sure! The place hasn’t been open long, but we already consider it an institution because of its French character, thanks in part to the iconic Art Deco vibe of the 1920s. It attracts locals and visitors alike, for classics like Leek Vinaigrette and Roasted Pork Belly and a dessert menu that speaks for itself – a “floating island” so decadent and delicious, it secretly serves 4 people, and a “pancake cake” so secret, the recipe comes from a longtime friend on Louis’ side of the family. We are also planning to open a “dancing bar” under the restaurant, Le Mikado, so that after dinner you can stick around for a cocktail and show off your dance moves. Also soon, an oyster bar right next door, Citron et Huitres.
oh Hidden – Owned by our Italian friends Gianpoalo Polverino and Lorenza Lenzi. A hidden place with excellent seafood and Mediterranean cocktails. Also next door you have Amagat serving Catalan cuisine while Gianpaolo divides his time between Paris and Ibiza.
oh Coffee Companion – Owned by our friend Charles Compagnon and designed by his wife Gesa Hansen, with whom we worked on the Hôtel Ami in the 15th. The food is fresh and you can’t leave without trying the caramel pie or the rice pudding. Charles is a jack of all trades; he produces his own wine, grinds his own coffee beans and works to make his own chocolate. He is also behind two other Parisian hot spots, Le Richer and Faubourg-Saint-Denis.
oh The Gourmet of Ternes – Because it’s so French. The boss is grumpy and still thinks he’s a modern day Casanova as you might expect, but the food is excellent (beef tenderloin, rum baba,…), it’s a vibrant place that really makes you embrace Paris, and it’s near our Hotel Doisy in the 17th.
oh Nose – Boutique of our friend Nicolas Cloutier with niche perfumes and skincare products. They don’t (yet!) sell Colomba, our own line of products, but that aside, visitors to the 2nd arrondissement should stop by for a cool scent experience.
oh Decorative Arts Museum – This looks a bit like a one-stop shop; the museum is very well located next to the Louvre. The rotating exhibitions are great and they have a very nice shop where you can stop after visiting an exhibition and before going to lunch at Loulou, which is a very cool destination imagined by Joseph Dirand. The restaurant has a beautiful terrace set up in the Tuileries garden in summer.
oh G.Detou and The Gourmet Bookstoreand — Also located in the 2nd, they offer all kinds of fine foods and provisions, from raw products to complete preparations. As someone who really enjoys being in the kitchen, La Librairie Gourmande is a place where Louis likes to spend time finding new cookbooks and their selection is second to none.
oh As well – Workshop meets curiosity shop meets gallery, this place is a veritable gold mine for vintage finds and unique pieces. It is a short walk from the Cabane hotel, which has been furnished only with vintage pieces.
oh Garnier opera – One of the most beautiful places in Paris, both inside and out. We like to go there and watch the ballet. It is magic.
oh Louis Vuitton Foundation – The architecture of the building designed by Franck Gehry is amazing. The Foundation is committed to making art and culture accessible to all and hosts temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. They have a shuttle service to Charles de Gaulle a short walk from Hotel Doisy!
oh Paris Philharmonic — This concert hall in La Villette, hosted by the architect Jean Nouvel, is one of the best. The area is also home to many excellent restaurants, on the other side of the Buttes Chaumont.
oh Simple but still amazing — Walking endlessly in Paris early in the morning or in the evening. It’s always a pleasure, even for us after living here for so long. Seeing the sun rise over the Champs Elysées or from the top of Montmartre never ceases to amaze us.
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