Spring arrives with the sour-sweet taste of lemon in Jacquemus' newly-opened Café Citron, perched right inside the stylish utopia of Galeries Lafayette. Made in collaboration with Caviar Kaspia, the southern France-inspired restaurant is the new go-to by fashionable foodies wanting to dig into good food – but before that, take a good photograph of it. Clean, rustic, and most notably, citrusy, it capitalizes on the frenetic energy coming from Champs-Élysées, where avid shoppers can stop by and take their Mediterranean fill inside the upmarket store chain.
Yellow is Jacquemus’ favourite colour and guests can see it all around, thanks to the actual lemons lodged inside the brightly-lit area. Find them either in crates or hung in their trees encased in large terra cotta pots. Above, layers of wooden beams shine with round glass lamps. On the floor are clean white-and-sienna tiles topped off with rugs of the same earthen colour. Paired with charming mismatched French bistro seating, there's a graceful (and notably adorable) air in the room, where the grounded spirit of nature becomes the centre of attention.
There's the interior, and there's the real star of the show: food. While sat on the sun-drenched restaurant, guests can help themselves into a heaping of Mediterranean cuisine, helmed from various origins such as a Mykonos-inspired tarama-and-toast, a hearty Italian creamy burrata di bufala and the Girona-themed Catalan fayet. The sweet-toothed can soothe their cravings from the offerings of beloved patisseries Stohrer, Anthony Courteille and A La Mère de Famille. One of the cafe's highlights: pastry chef Cédric Grolet's trompe l'oeil gift – a candied lemon topped with a daisy, to which the charming treat is cracked open to reveal a smothering of citrusy goodness.
In keeping up with its nature-inspired theme, guests also have access to fresh produce from Les Vergers St Eustache, as well as organic wines which can be paired with the menu.
Being a restaurateur is a fresh experience to him, but Simon Porte Jacquemus has long been a star of his own making. At eight, he started off his career as a child actor, to which at one point, he wrote to Jean Paul Gaultier an offering to become the youngest stylist. Growing up, he found his way working at a Comme des Garçons store before designing his own collection during off-hours. At eighteen, he founded his own label wrought from his mother's maiden name.
The brand took off at Instagram – thanks to his strong media presence and an even stronger vision of style. Jacquemus soon made waves; who wouldn't turn their heads around to gaze at a surprisingly four-inch bag (the Le Chiquito)? Or the large, eye-catching straw hats? Men would be donning mesh knits and brightly coloured shorts. Women, a general air of a French girl, with a fancy layer of fringes and a billowing finish on the trousers.
In all of his works, Jacquemus credits his southern French roots, which is evidently the soul of Cafe Citron. We all could learn something from him: when life gives you lemons, skip the lemonade and open a cafe.