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After a long, draining day traipsing around a gallery or museum, you can always count on an overpriced, disappointing meal in the museum café.
It always leaves me bewildered that you can feed your mind with some of the highest art and cultural artefacts in the world and then top the experience off with a substandard ‘sandwich’ or burnt coffee and sickly sweet muffin, leaving you strung out and frazzled as you lurch from the rarefied atmosphere of a museum into the chaotic traffic of a major city.
It’s about time someone put the time and effort into the culinary museum experience with the same attention to detail and care that a curator does when putting together an exhibition. Step forward Alain Ducasse.
The French magus of gastronomic excellence has brought his savoir faire to the very recent Café Jacques at the Quai Museum Branly (Jean Nouvel atelier) in Paris.
Very obviously a tribute to Jacques Chirac who was passionate about creating a museum dedicated to the Arts and Civilisations of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, the space holds some of the expected features of a museum café – benches, floor to ceiling windows and marble table tops, yet the whole thing is unashamedly luxurious and opulent.
With views of the Eiffel Tower, the room looks like a clear container, with gold and cognac finishes used to complete the furnishings in contrast. The custom made ‘Lisa’ seats are by SCAB Design and the windows open to the garden by French landscape designer Gilles Clement, where you can take your refreshments outside.
A fine dining experience in a museum offers another reason to visit. Feed your mind and your body with the highest in culture.