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Pa­ris is going wild for the tro­pi­cal vin­ta­ge look. The young, up-and-co­ming de­co­ra­tors Hu­go To­ro and Ma­xi­me Liau­tard are bla­zing the jun­gle trail for this trend that blends sty­li­sh 1950s retro wi­th a tee­ming rain forest of bright colours and fo­lia­ge. Klay Saint Sau­veur, a brand new re­stau­rant near the Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou mu­seum is the duo’s fir­st ma­jor pro­ject. The de­cor gra­ce­ful­ly mi­xes the colours of Miami’s art de­co di­strict and Florida’s tro­pi­cal mar­shlands wi­th the feel of Old En­gland of cer­tain We­st Coa­st coun­try clubs. The ow­ners Ar­thur and Franck-Elie Ben­za­quen im­me­dia­te­ly li­ked the idea. The brothers, who al­so own the ad­ja­cent ex­clu­si­ve spor­ting club Klay, ga­ve the de­si­gners car­te blan­che. «The in­cre­di­ble at­mo­sphe­re that they pro­po­sed won us over», Ar­thur Ben­za­quen said. Hen­ce, To­ro and Liau­tard we­re set free to de­si­gn near­ly eve­ry­thing: fur­ni­tu­re, car­pe­ts, lamps, staff uni­forms and even the me­nu’s gra­phics. «The only fur­ni­shings that they didn’t crea­te we­re the Hans J. We­gner chairs and the Ver­ner Pan­ton Pan­thel­la lamps, bo­th de­si­gn classics». The re­st of the spa­ce bursts wi­th ideas and crea­ti­ve so­lu­tions. Ma­ny are wor­th co­py­ing even for the ho­me, be­gin­ning wi­th walls painted a ma­la­chi­te green that con­tra­st well wi­th the light grey walls, co­ve­red wi­th an spe­cial faux-mar­ble paint. Yet the de­si­gners wanted even mo­re so they cal­led the globe-trot­ting Pa­ri­sian pain­ter Julien Co­lom­bier, who hap­pens to be a friend. He crea­ted a mu­ral of over­lap­ping lea­ves that seem to creep down from the cei­ling. Other flou­ri­shes that add a co­lo­nial feel to the sce­ne are the ecru ban­quet­tes, leo­pard-print pil­lo­ws, car­pe­ts de­co­ra­ted wi­th exo­tic ani­mals and ca­ne chairs. The bar ma­de of Carrara mar­ble is sup­por­ted by a series of upright bam­boo reeds in bru­shed brass «that trans­port you in­stan­tly in­to an al­li­ga­tor-in­fe­sted jun­gle», said Ar­thur, wi­th a chuc­kle. Brass do­mi­na­tes in the wall and table lamps whi­le the cei­ling fans’ bla­des are ac­tual­ly wo­ven rush fans. Scat­te­red th­rou­ghout, not sur­pri­sin­gly, are plan­ts ga­lo­re, from fi­cus to split-leaf phi­lo­den­drons. The me­nu has a si­mi­lar fre­sh, healthy feel, thanks to the ex­per­ti­se of Franck Bo­na­rel, for­mer re­stau­rant ma­na­ger at Do­mai­ne des An­déols in Pro­ven­ce, part of chef Alain Du­cas­se’s empire. «Our di­shes are healthy and fla­vour­ful. For lun­ch, the Su­per­bo­wls are po­pu­lar, a one-cour­se, hi­gh-ca­lo­rie meal. It’s the la­te­st trend from Los An­ge­les that we’ve rein­ter­pre­ted. Try the Be­lu­ga-ga Su­per­bo­wl – avo­ca­do, al­fal­fa, fe­ta, wal­nu­ts and Thai-sty­le dres­sing», Bo­na­rel re­com­men­ded. For dinner, chef An­to­nel­la pre­pa­res lin­gui­ni wi­th clams, tem­pu­ra, crea­my soups and mu­ch mo­re, in­clu­ding a wi­de se­lec­tion of ve­gan and glu­ten-free di­shes. Smoo­thies are avai­la­ble and tho­se see­king an adult be­ve­ra­ge won’t be di­sap­poin­ted wi­th the cock­tails, par­ti­cu­lar­ly the Big Sur, a de­light­ful blend of Tan­que­ray gin, Cam­pa­ri bit­ters, blood oran­ge jui­ce, le­mon and ba­sil. Fi­nal­ly, Klay Saint Sau­veur has one other quir­ky ele­ment. At the en­tran­ce to the do­wn­stairs ba­th­rooms, To­ro and Liau­tard had de­spe­ra­te­ly wanted a neon si­gn wi­th a mes­sa­ge for the cu­sto­mers, yet they couldn’t de­ci­de on it. One day whi­le pon­de­ring what to wri­te, the song ‘Let’s Get Phy­si­cal’ by Oli­via New­ton-John ca­me on the ra­dio. Di­sco­ver the my­ste­rious mes­sa­ge by di­ning at the re­stau­rant and swin­ging by the ba­th­rooms.

Klay Saint Sau­veur is ser­ving sty­le and sub­stan­ce. The fir­st ma­jor pro­ject of the firm To­ro & Liau­tard com­bi­nes Miami-sty­le art de­co, coun­try club class and healthy ea­ts

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