You can expect a very different, extremely extraordinary retail experience when you visit Assouline in Piccadilly, London. Baroque Access finds out all about it
Iconic French publishing house Assouline Books was founded 22 years ago in France by Prosper and Martine Assouline. The firm is famous for the luxuriously bound limited edition books that it publishes and produces. A visit to one of its 25 stores around the world, which includes one in NYC as well as its first, which is in Paris, not to mention others in London, Venice, Geneva and Istanbul, all offer stunning displays of these magnificent tomes, their pages filled with information on the world of fine taste, including design, travel and fashion. Interestingly enough, Assouline is now being acclaimed for the seven books it produced this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of French design house Dior.
A visit to Assouline’s flagship store in London shows that this refined and renowned publishing house represents fine living in more ways than just books. Assouline epitomizes the ultimate stylish lifestyle, and this philosophy is evident in the Picaddilly iteration of Maison Assouline, the firm’s flagship store. For starters, it’s located in a Grade Two listed building, an old banking hall that was designed in 1922 by famous architect Sir Edward Luytens.
The store is not ‘just’ a book store, it’s a treasure trove full of curiosities that reflects the Assoulines’ passion for beautiful objects and their knowledge of these very objects. Each book is a collector’s delight, some so beautiful that they defy description. But there’s more… one-of-a-kind antiques that have been picked up all over the world by Prosper Assouline in markets and auctions, including magnificent special edition Goyard travel trunks, scented candles and everything in between.
A highlight of a visit here is the Swans Bar, which is tucked away in a corner of the store, a discreet, genteel reminder of days gone by. Customers enjoy champagne in traditional coupes, not flutes, evoking a scene from The Great Gatsby, and the menu offers nostalgic, glamorous dishes such as smoked salmon and Fillet Tolstoy, a prime cut of beef served to the Tsars in their heyday.
Word has it that the Swans Bar can create quite exotic and innovative tidbits, such as the Barbie macarons that they made, a creative collaboration with Ladurée to celebrate the launch of a series of books on this iconic doll. The coffee served is from a third-generation British coffee merchant called H.R. Higgins, that is one of the Royal Family’s favoured institutions. And the tea, is of course, of the highest quality, as befits an English establishment of such refined taste.
Swans Bar at Maison Assouline offers an exquisite selection of French platters, artisanal teas, wine, champagne and cocktails. And the store itself offers every possible refined purchase imaginable to recreate that halcyon life, including teaspoons and teacups, furniture – and, of course, the beautiful books.
Assouline calls itself a cabinet of curiosities, and the merchandise is just that – curious and delightful masterpieces that evoke an enviable lifestyle.
If you are visiting London soon and would like more information on this glorious store, let Baroque Access assist. Contact us now, email@example.com and we will provide you with anything you need to know about Maison Assouline in London. If you need travel assistance for your next London trip, our sister company, Baroque Travel, will be happy to assist. Contact them now, firstname.lastname@example.org.