Peonies Paris, the first French flower café

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Peonies Paris, the first French flower café

We promise we absolutely hadn’t timed this article with Valentine’s Day… Flowers are for all-year-round! And especially when they come from Peonies Paris, the new coffee spot/brunch place/flower shop that has just opened in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Drop in to the pretty pink and green space for a cuppa (and maybe a slice of pistachio/rose cake) and leave with a beautiful bouquet of seasonal blooms crafted by Clémentine Lévy, a former model and DJ – the perfect combo! We met up with Clémentine to talk about her project, and listen to some of the amazing stories a simple bunch of flowers started…

Have you always had a passion for flowers?

Ever since I was little I loved to pick flowers and make daisy chains… But not to the extent of making a career out of it! It never crossed my mind. Over the years I turned to more “artistic” professions such as modelling or music. But there came a time when I got a bit bored, or at leat felt as though I wanted to do something else, to really create something using my own hands. 


How did you get the idea of combining a coffee shop and a florist? 

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to open a coffee shop, but I wanted a place that was completely unique. Above all I was looking for a concept that didn’t already exist in Paris. That’s when I discovered that “flower cafés” were a thing, and that a couple already existed abroad. I instantly knew that’s what I wanted to open.  

Your favourite flowers?

Peonies, of course…

Clémentine Lévy, founder of Peonies Paris (photo Pauline Darley)

Clémentine Lévy, founder of Peonies Paris (photo Pauline Darley)

You trained with Paris coffee roasters Café Coutume before opening your café. How was it? 

I spent a week alongside Steaven Marks, who trained me, and the rest of the Coutume team. During the week we took classes, and of course practised actually making coffe. I learnt all the basics, like the origins of coffee, latte art, and of course the dosage for a good cup of coffee. 

Buying flowers, for oneself or for others, is a highly personal pleasure. You must have witnessed some beautiful moments since opening! 

Every day! Really, it’s such a pleasure. A loved-up couple who buy each other flowers every week, a little old lady who lives nearby and comes every Sunday to buy her bouquet… And people who are just passing by, who stop in just for a coffee and think, “Hey, I quite fancy buying myself flowers!” Flowers bring people together. Just like coffee, actually! 


A typical day for you?

I get up at 6am if I’m not going to the Rungis market to buy my flowers, otherwise I wake up at 4am. I get ready, I drive to the shop on my scooter, then I prepare my bouquets for the day. After that I take care of the coffee, I try out different dosages before finding the magic formula, then I open the shop! I am generally there until closing time, at 8pm. I tidy everything up, I come home, hug my cat and my boyfriend, have a quick dinner, and I’m in bed before 10pm. And start all over again the next day! 

It feels as though Paris is having a real moment, with lots of new spots opening gathering genuine interest from Parisians. What do you think? 

I completely agree! More and more young entrepreneurs are giving life to new ideas, opening places with a real concept behind them. There is a real desire to create, to experiment – you can sense it in the Parisian atmosphere. It’s super stimulating!