When it comes to culinary curiosity, luxury fashion houses are branching into dining concepts to give consumers a new reason to shop.
Luxury fashion brands like Gucci and Tiffany & Co. have already initiated the trend. From Gucci Osteria housed within the Gucci Museum in Florence in collaboration with World No.1 chef Massimo Bottura, to Tiffany and Co. welcoming The Blue Box Café located on the 4th floor of its New York boutique. You can shop luxury and have breakfast in honour of Audrey Hepburn in the iconic 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Collaborations and dining precincts within retail aren’t merely partnerships for the sake of it – it’s a sign of the times where consumers want even more reason to walk through your front door.
Gucci Osteria carries the torch for Massimo Bottura’s modern food adventure from concept to plate. The menu honours the progressive Gucci brand, as much as it reflects his core kitchen values. This is the age of bespoke retail where striking up a new conversation at the dinner table is de rigueur and where plates get haute in the kitchen.
Italian chef Massimo Bottura, who just recently retained the No. 1 spot for the World’s Best Restaurant in 2018 with his famed eatery Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, creates a menu fit enough for museum goers. Bite sized morsels of cutting edge share plates all in the ambience of this historic museum, which underwent a refurbishment earlier this year.
Cleverly pitched to the fashionistas hooked on all things Gucci, it has found a way to lure foodies as well with a chance to sample the brilliance of Bottura’s menu if you can’t make it to his restaurant three hours away. What’s more, the intimate dining space is within view of the Gucci store in the museum where some limited edition fashion pieces make the best souvenirs.
Gucci Osteria requires a booking – so make sure you plan ahead. Museum entry is free on the first Sunday of the month, but we recommend going on another day and doing it early to avoid the kerfuffle that comes with a freebie.
The green walled restaurant sits 50 guests – this is where you can enjoy decadent tortellini enriched by a Reggiano-Parmesan, creamy risotto and a high-end interpretation of a hot dog too – because irony is not a dirty word at Gucci. You might be sitting in a 14th century Palazzo in Piazza della Signore, but the emphasis is on modernism, degustation and where haute couture and cuisine flirt for art’s sake.
At Tiffany And Co. dishes are a reflection of the jewellery and watch brand with a chic New York spin on classics. For breakfast there’s croissants, waffles and salmon bagels while at lunch we eat lobster and drink champagne.
When in Paris, Tiffany & Co has introduced a high tea diversion for those fixed on glamour but in need of a refuel and some carb loading in the pastry section. A Parisian must do, where drinking tea and eating cakes is essential.
Also in Paris, renowned pastry chef Pierre Hermè and L’Occitane have come together for a concept tea salon. Described as the Picasso of pastries, Hermè’s range of sweets combine elegantly with the scented range of the beauty brand. But in this special retreat, guests are invited to take a seat, try exclusive desserts you won’t find in his other tea houses and cakes that he promises are good enough to drink [literally].
This concept store on the Champs-Elyseée’s is where products and cakes hustle side by side in an olfactory sensory explosion. It’s macaroon heaven here and gives consumers more reason to come in and shop than merely do so online.
Meanwhile, pitching to the fashion princess in South Korea is Christian Dior’s Café Dior in Seoul. Located on the top floor of its boutique, the high tea is again curated by French pastry genius Pierre Hermé – it’s all chocolates, macaroons and exquisite desserts for the fashion sweet tooth. The café leans on modern chic décor while a rooftop garden lends itself to a futuristic architectural cue.
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