A brand specialised in home fabrics, especially linen, Borgo Delle Tovaglie opened their first boutique in Bologna in 2011, and since September 2014 they have a second one in Paris (here), even bigger than the first (700 m²!).
Housed in what used to be a workshop making rubber product (no sniggering at the back there) it’s an impressive space with a large glass roof in one room and – yum yum – an authentic Italian restaurant that’s pretty amazing.
Here’s our visit!
Borgo Delle Tovaglie was founded nearly 20 years ago in Bologna, but really started expanding about ten years ago, and the Parisian boutique is brand new, just a few months old.
The quiet backstreet minutes from Oberkampf isn’t necessarily the ideal spot for a huge concept-store like this, but the space alone explains why they’ve set up shop there. It’s huge, and handsome to boot.
Taking the entrance on the left, you immediately arrive in a cornucopia of linen, cushions, blankets, crazy lamps and perfumed candles…
At the back of the store is a large room with a glass roof, more linen for the house and a whole stack of beautiful stuff for the kitchen.
There’s also a little staircase here that many visitors don’t dare go up, but we say go ahead! Upstairs you’ll find a few small rooms with even more articles and one of the loveliest old fireplaces we’ve ever seen.
But the guided visit doesn’t stop there! Back downstairs you can carry on through to another room with more objects…
…and finally you arrive at the edible goods and two dining rooms, plus a large counter with legs of ham and the kitchen behind.
Now that we’ve gone round everything, time for some food!
Unsurprisingly, everyone at Borgo is Italian, with accents that range from heavy to positively comical. The chef has piercings, tattoos and plucked eyebrow, and he was very eager to show us his latest giant tiramisu. Massive stuff.
The restaurant isn’t open in the evening, but at midday they have various fixed price menus at 15€, which is pretty reasonable – soup plus pasta, pasta plus dessert, pasta and a glass of wine or a plate of sliced meats and a small salad. Pretty much something for everyone.
There’s also a short menu with other dishes (mainly risotto and pasta dishes) if you haven’t found anything you like on the fixed price menu.
Table decoration if pure Borgo, love it or hate it, with appreciable little details like the selection of Italian-style breads.
We started with a lovely thick pea broth that was amazing, and some small toasted breads filled with pesto, very cute with their little flower motif.
A first course isn’t essential because main course servings are pretty generous, but when it looks this good it’s hard to resist.
For the main course we opted for the gorgonzola and walnut penne and two risottos, one with boletus mushrooms and black truffle, and another with pumpkin and amaretto.
We have to say, the cook likes to add lots of cream! Some people might find the dishes too rich, but we bravely downed them with gusto. The amaretto gave the risotto an almost dessert-like quality, and the black truffles had that amazing trademark smell that makes them so great. Oh, and the penne didn’t disappoint either!
And despite having eaten copious amounts of food, we still found room for dessert – what a surprise!
The tiramisu seemed a natural choice after having been presented with it earlier, but it turned out to be very liquid with practically no substance and no discernable taste of coffee. We think the best tiramisu in Paris is still made by Carmen Ragosta!
The panacotta however was served in a giant helping and had a great texture and taste, and a quick espresso was definitely required to help us back on our feet after all that 🙂
Borgo really is an out of the ordinary experience – great objects for the home, a surprising space, delicious food and staff that are genuinely warm and helpful(just like in our hotels!).
We strongly recommend you go visit them, and we’ll be going back very soon for food or perhaps a glass of Prosecco early evening. Can’t wait!
To check out all our photos of Borgo, click here.