The Edit

Rémi Tessier & Jean Imbert Au Plaza Athénée

Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Exceptional quality and imperceptible detail are the cornerstones of Rémi Tessier’s design philosophy. Peaceful elegance is always his aim, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at our newly launched Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée restaurant.

Meet Rémi Tessier

Through my design agency, I work on diverse projects including designing large yachts, private planes and residences for clients around the world. I started out as an artisan cabinetmaker, which taught me a real appreciation for craftsmanship. Creating new spaces that have the power to delight makes my work very rewarding. By capturing the soul of a place, I know a great experience will follow.

Tell us about working on the restaurant with Jean

Meeting Jean Imbert to discuss this exciting project was a wonderful experience because we both knew exactly what we wanted to convey. The idea was to give a sense of going back to the age of royalty, when gastronomy took centre stage. We also wanted to keep the restaurant’s timeless feel and add fresh elements of modernity. Everything you can see has been tailor-made for the restaurant, from the bespoke tables and chairs to the ornate carpet and elegant tableware.

Tell us about the artisans you worked with

Everyone who took part in the project is a true expert in their field. For example, Atelier Mériguet worked painstakingly to apply all 20,000 sheets of gold leaf to the ceiling, walls, columns and table legs. Maison Baguès restored the huge chandeliers, cleaning each individual crystal. We chose Christofle for the tableware displayed in the hidden bakery, and the glasses are all by Baccarat. This acute attention to detail has enabled us to create a grandiose effect.

What’s the importance of the gold embellishments?

Gold instantly brings light and warmth into any room. The use of gold was inspired by the hotel’s guestbook known as the ‘livre d’or’, meaning golden book. The famous signatures it contains, including those of Marlene Dietrich, Yves Saint Laurent and Jackie Kennedy, are recreated on the walls of the restaurant. There’s also space for future guests to leave their mark.

What’s the history of the Royal Table?

A signature feature for Jean Imbert is to have a large dining table, a focal point where plenty of people can get together. When we commissioned our vision for a grand Royal Table, crafted from exquisite antique Breccia marble, stretching out over 12m/39ft, I knew it would provide the perfect centerpiece. Look carefully at the legs and you’ll see each one depicts a Greek caryatid.

I like to create unique projects for special personalities.

How did you combine classicism and modernity?

We take our work seriously but we try not to take our ourselves too seriously, which is why the restaurant is full of humorous details. A great example of this are the different plates laid out on the Royal Table. Each one is decorated with a different face – one winks, one sticks out her tongue and another puffs out her cheeks. It’s something designed to make you smile.

How important was it to get the lighting right?

Carefully considered lighting is essential to create the right atmosphere. We renovated the spectacular chandeliers then added further micro spotlights with various lighting modes, offering diners a different experience throughout the day. ‘Plaza red’ table lamps on the smaller tables also enrich the atmosphere.

Quite simply a celebration of great food and drink. Check availability for Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée and book a table online.