Maison Soquet is a work of art for lovers from the whole world.
In the heart of Montmartre, just near Moulin Rouge, behind a discrete facade, it reveals an illusionist labyrinth far from everything you have ever seen until now. A certain Madame Souquet ran a maison close (posh bordello for wealthy gentlemen) here from 1905 until 1907 – hence the two red lanterns marking the entrance – and in 2015 the white townhouse reopened as a boutique hotel mischievously loyal to its illustrious past.
Celebrity French designer Jacques Garcia waved his magic wand to create bewitching, blood-red interiors spun from the finest silk, gold gilt, Venetian glass and sculpted wood. He sourced antique Arabesque panels encrusted with precious enamels, leather and polychrome wood to adorn the lavish Salon de 1001 Nuits (Salon of 1001 Nights), the drawing room where pleasure-seeking socialites drank and discussed politics before moving through to the dimly lit Salon des Petits Bonheurs (Salon of Small Pleasures) to be wooed by courtesans and, much later, relax in the floral ‘after room’ or Jardin d’Hiver (Winter Garden). The attention to detail – down to the carefully curated 19th-century furniture, original chinoiserie and flickering scented candles of rose, tobacco and jasmine crafted by an artisan candle-maker in Lyon – is quite simply exquisite.
Each of Jacques Garcia’s 20 individually designed rooms are as seductive as the celebrated belle époque courtesans they are named after. Rich exotic palettes – neoclassical gold and black, operatic turquoise and red, rich navy, sage green – enhance a mesmerising feast of sumptuous silk-lined walls, voluptuous padded bedheads, fringed lampshades and sculpted brass light fittings. Big bold stripes mix with vintage pipe-player motifs or floral prints perhaps, while velvet Napoleon III poufs and cushion-strewn chaises longues encourage in-room lounging belle époque-style.
It is located at the foot of Montmartre, in northern Paris. This is both the fabled Paris of old-timer cabarets and peep shows, and an edgy part of modern Paris packed with new-generation cocktail bars and constantly evolving on-trend dining. The Moulin Rouge and shop-lined rue Lepic, which climbs up to Abbesses and Montmartre hill, are at the end of the street. Blanche metro station (line 2) is a two-minute walk and transport hub Gare Saint-Lazare is 10 minutes’ south on foot.
This magical address makes the heart sing. An extraordinary cocktail of belle époque glamour, five-star luxury and creative exuberance, Maison Souquet is the ultimate lovers’ address.
Drinking champagne in the sultry, red velvet and dark wood bar is one of Maison Souquet’s many highly pleasurable indulgences I can’t resist.
This place has it all mystery, elegance, exoticism, sensuality and ostentatious luxury to carry away the mind and soul to pursue pleasure amid a fantasy setting taking you on a decadent journey to La belle epoque.