Walking along Piccadilly, from the Ritz towards Eros, you could easily miss Maison Assouline. A small boutique hiding in plain sight between the eye catching windows and decor of Fortnum & Mason, the beautiful Wren church of St. James and the Art Deco facade of the Piccadilly Waterstones. Only two stuffed sheep at the entrance give you a hint there is something a little different beyond the door.
For this is the London home of Maison Assouline, born out of a French publishing house come design mecca.
Stepping inside you enter a bookshop, beautifully showcasing a large selection of coffee table books. We perused Titles like ‘Poolside with Slim Aarons’, ‘Bright Young Things’ and ‘The Big Book of The Hamptons’ to give you a hint for the type of bookshop this is.
The history of Assouline
Founded in 1994, Assouline Publishing is a book publisher by Prosper and Martine Assouline. They started as a private publisher, their first book La Colombe d’Or, on the history of their favourite hotel in the South of France. Martin took wrote the words and Prosper took the photos.
In less than two decades the couple expanded their business to have offices in Paris new York, Venice, Istanbul and London. Since their inception over 1500 titles covering topics that would be right at home on WTS – art, design, fashion, gastronomy, lifestyle, photography and travel!
Why Visit Maison Assouline?
Soak up the inspiration. The books, the smells, the interior design will leave you inspired.
Impress your friends/clients over lunch or coffee at the Swans Bar. Meet at Maison Assouline instead of Pret a Manger and catch up over a selection of French platters and artisanal teas, or enjoy some fine French wine, champagne or cocktails.
Book the place for your next event. Imagine celebrating or networking amongst these books whilst sipping cold champagne. Contact them directly to discuss options.
The Mason Assouline we stepped into, on that wet February afternoon was their latest flagship venture. Originally a bank, styled by Lutyens, the bookshop, opened into the intimate Swans bar surrounded in wood paneling. The red leather bar stools accenting the masculine palette of colours. Fresh white flowers stood out as the smell of their signature cocaine candle wafted in the air.
Sultry French tunes from Coralie Clement added to the Gallic feeling.
We walked up the stairs, behind the café was the inner sanctum, a space for interior design inspiration. We only popped our heads in briefly, vowing to come back when we had more time.
With no seats at the bar, we occupied ourselves perusing the beautiful books.
We were encouraged to think differently about Maison Assouline…
Think of this as a members club, without the card
That description certainly fits. Hiding in plain sight on Piccadilly, this did feel like a place you could come for equal parts inspiration and relaxation. Like the nearby St James Club, this place combined the feel of exclusivity with a warm welcome.
Maison Assouline 196A Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EY, UK