A Savoir Vivre Minute with Peony Lim

Today we are sitting down with Peony Lim, creative and digital consultant, luxury brand ambassador and creative content producer. Peony is known for her flawless skin, sweet attitude and keen eye. Time to get her Savoir Vivre secrets!

Peony LimWhat time do you wake up?

7am most mornings.

What do you have for breakfast?

I like toast with avocado or peanut butter and bananas.

I also have porridge or yoghurt and fruit.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. But I start the day with a hot water and lemon. Then I drink camomile, earl grey or green tea.

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What is your morning routine?

Let the dog out and feed her.

Hot water and Lemon.

Catch up on the news.

Breakfast.

Wash and dress.

Makeup, sometimes doing an Instagram live or GRWM.

Work at my desk or straight out to meetings.

What do you do for exercise?

Mostly mat Pilates and HITT.

What is on your current playlist?

M People and Gabrielle.

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Do you have a beauty routine?

Yes but I also experiment with new things all the time.

Products I don’t tend to swap out ever… Eve Lom cleanser, La Mer Eye Cream, La Prairie Sleep Mask, Estee Advanced Night Repair, Skincueticals Redness Neutraliser.

What is your favorite café?

I find that hard. I like some cafes because they are comfortable even though the foods not the most exciting. Like Aubaine on Brompton Road, Granger and Co Pavillion Road, Daylesford Pimlico. But food wise I always love Ottolenghi and Crumbs and Doilies.

What is your favorite restaurant? 

I don’t think I can choose just one.

Good Earth, great classic Chinese, I like the Brompton Road branch.

Dozo, My fav Japanese. There are a couple in London.

Carluccios, its a chain but I just love there classics like Carbonara for a chilled date night.

Yauatcha, the best dim sum in soho.

Maroush, cant live without this Lebanese 24hrs classic.

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How many emails do you get a day? How many do you respond to?

Oh god thats a bit exposing. Probably 100 or so a day. I reply to about 30 (eek)

What is the last book you read?

Woman Code

What is the last thing you watched on Netflix?

MariKondo

What is your go to homemade meal?

Salad.

What is your drink of choice?

Water.

Peony Lim

What is your biggest vice?

Swearing and bad posture.

What time do you go to bed?

11 if I’m good.

Bedtime ritual?

I try and read before bed and not use my phone. I wash ny face and apply all my lotions and potions, take my vitamins and then try and read and relax.

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What do you do to relax?

I’m obsessed with baths and walking for relaxation. Although I find working out mentally soothing I don’t think its relaxing.

London or Paris?

London – home is where the heart is.

Where would you like to travel to that you have never been?

India, New Zealand, New Orleans…

Beach or mountains?

Beach, I love the sea. It makes me feel like I can breathe. I think a sea view is always the most beautiful to me.

Where is the most special place in the world to you?

Where my loved ones are.

Peony Lim

 

Echo Deli, a very LA Style Good Vibes café in Paris

I recently sat down with Matthias, owner and creator of Echo Deli in the 2nd arrondissement to learn a little bit more about the Savoir Vivre of this Good Vibes rated café.

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How did a French man come to own a LA restaurant in Paris?

Well, for starters I studied in LA at UCLA 10 years ago. I totally fell in love with the city. Since then, I have gone back at least once a year! The food scene over there is always changing and I was very impressed by what was happening over there. Each and every time I came back to Paris after my trips in LA I was like ahhh I miss that kind of food! It all came together when I went to Gjusta 2 years ago… I was so incredibly blown away by what I tasted. I knew immediately that this is what I needed to create, this is what I needed to bring to Paris. I had already I really want to create my own company and I knew that the coffee scene was changing a lot in here Paris. Yes, there was Holybelly, or Wild & the Moon, two places that I love, but I wanted a place I could please all flavors.

What is your favorite thing about Echo?

The wide variety of the menu and the fact that you have the vast majority of the menu at 9am. I love the emphasis on the savory aspect of it. It’s pretty rare to find a crispy rice bowl in Paris starting at 9 am. This is something we have and something I really love.

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Ideas for expansion?

I do want to expand and I have ideas, but I don’t know where or what I really want to do. I love the all day breakfast thing. So maybe doing something a bit more specific like Mexican food. We are going to open at night on the weekends this fall. We are also going to be open 6 out of 7 days a week!!

Your favorite thing on the current menu?

The Mexican chorizo sandwich. I always love good sandwich for breakfast. It gives you a good kick for the rest of the day.

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The thing you miss the most about LA?

The lifestyle. What I love about LA is that if you want to be out of the world and near the beach or in your own garden you can. But if you want to be in the urban atmosphere you can. Life can be whatever you want it to be. My long-term plan has always been to open a location in LA. But as I didn’t have any experience in hospitality, I started here in Paris.

What inspires you to create your recipes?

I have to hand it to Maelia Weger on this one. She’s from LA so already, she gets it. But she does spend a lot of time on Instagram to see what is going on. For both of us it is very important to offer many different cuisines, like Mexican, Asian, etc. We want the vibe of a lot of different cultural influences.

How often do the recipes change?

Seasonally 25% of the menu changes. This is based on seasonality and seasonal products.

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Why the name “Echo”?

I love Echo Park area in LA. Very creative cool area in LA. We wanted to Echo the LA food scene in Paris. Double sense of the word.

Easy to import Le Croix from the USA?

It was very difficult to get it, so I’m not gonna tell! I wanted a very popular product from LA. People love La Croix there because it is very hot and there is no sugar. I wanted to have something that nobody else had in Paris.

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Why the second arrondissement?

I was looking in the 9th, the Marais, 10th and 2nd arrondissements, but I really just needed a place that was a really good opportunity. This area was and still is changing a lot. When I found the place the Hoxton had just opened so I knew it was the place to be. I wanted it to be near offices where young people are working. I really thought it was the perfect fit to be here. I fell in love with the location with the open piazza and all.

What is the Savoir Vivre of Echo?

For me Echo is a coffee place for the neighborhood. My goal is for it to be the favorite place of the neighborhood, for all day café – a huge community influence. That is why we have a communal table. French people don’t usually like this kind of thing, but I really fought for this to have this. I want Echo to be a place where people and things come together.

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Good Vibes Potion : Sage & Rose Face Mist by Fat and the Moon

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It’s hot and humid, you feel sticky and honestly kinda gross, you’re in need of some good vibes. Or maybe you’re just sleepy and feel a bit crusty. I have found your cure, it’s called the Fat and the Moon “Sage & Rose Face Mist.” I honestly believe this spray could cure any ailment. Fat and the Moon calls it “the mid afternoon crash antidote,” and I couldn’t agree anymore.

So what’s in this magic spray? The potion is predominantly made up of a distilled Rose Geranium – one that yields a very high quality hydrosol (a pure healing water produced during distillation). This hydrosol works as a gentle toner that helps to “revive the skin” and “keep pore clogging bacteria in check.” And let’s not forget the sage!!! This potion includes Clary sage, which serves as a very gentle astringent, getting rid of those bad vibes. And finally – last but not least, a bit of Jojoba oil to keep the skin supple. Click here to get your hands on it.

I would assume you’re convinced, so let me help you get your hands on this awesome product and the other amazing products Fat and the Moon has to offer with a discount code – JESSIE. Go get your Savoir Vivre vibes on!

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Savoir Vivre with Marc Grossman, founder of Bob’s Juice and Bakery

On this new episode of Savoir Vivre, we meet founder of Bob’s Juice Shop and Bakery, Marc Grossman. Pioneer entrepreneur of “well-being” in Paris, former student of Harvard University and filmmaker, Marc meets us today to discuss the wellness revolution in Paris and his professional experiences in the field. Marc’s sharp personality and contagious enthusiasm is sure to please.

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Not Marc’s, but Bob’s?

I didn’t want to call it Marc’s. Marc’s is not American enough, and it’s a French first name too, Bob’s sounds more American. I thought a lot about the name for my business, like when choosing the name for a baby.

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Did you always have a healthy lifestyle?

I was born in Manhattan and didn’t necessarily grow up with a “healthy lifestyle,” but I frequented juice bars from a young age. I also spent a lot of time in LA, where juicing and juice bars are just normal, they’re kind of like boulangeries in Paris. When I arrived in Paris, I noticed immediately that these kind of places did not exist, and I realized that I missed them. So I said to myself, there are definitely other people that are looking for juice bars too – I am the person that should do this, it would work. At first, it was just an idea, but it became my fantasy. It finally became a reality when I signed the lease on the space in 2016.

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Was it an immediate success?

I had customers, except I wasn’t making tons of money. But at the same time, I didn’t have huge expenses. A few months after it opened I published a recipe book. I had a bit of press so the timing was right. I was at the right place at the right time.

The first menu?

At first Bob’s was only juices made to order. But I realized very quickly that this offer was too small. So we added salads, muffins, things that go well with juice. Almost immediately there were two offers – “healthy” juices and American pastries. We mixed juices and pastries. It’s not necessarily always healthy, but we have options for everyone.

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Are your bagels homemade?

Now yes, the recipe is in my recipe book. But at the first we bought the bagels from New York, frozen bagels from H&H. I don’t think they exist anymore, or they changed the time. Except I thought it was a shame not to have fresh bagels and I wanted to make them myself.

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Your vision of wellbeing?

I find that there is a big misunderstanding of this term. For me, how is more important than what. But there will always be people that say, “you must do this” or “you must be vegetarian.” And at the end of the day, everyone has their own habits. No, in theory a bagel isn’t healthy, but if you eat a bagel on Sunday and are conscious of it, the bagel can be healthy. There are people that eat a lot of cheese. I can’t eat digest lactose, so cheese isn’t good for me. But for someone else cheese can be good. The experience of the meal is the most important, the vibes too.

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Your wellness routine?

I’m really extreme. Either I’m really healthy, or I’m really unhealthy. Sometimes in the morning I have toast with black tea. But other times I’ll be in a detox phase and I’ll eat completely raw. It’s part of the reason I created Bob’s…sometimes I am looking for detox, sometimes I am looking for pancakes, I like to have these two possibilities. I have a very addictive personality, so I go to extremes naturally. Ironically, today I am detoxing. I have been for the past two days because I’ve been so toxic recently that I had to cut out everything. It wasn’t only food and I wasn’t doing crazy extreme things but I was really stressed out and working way too much. I was obsessed with lots of things. It didn’t do me well to drink 5 coffees per day, to eat tons of sugar and late at night. For me to get out of this spiral I have to cut out everything. So today I am eating lots of fruits and drinking a little coffee. Today I can’t cut out the coffee, but maybe tomorrow.

 

Your best wellbeing tip?

Don’t eat at night. Based on my experience and research, this is the most important thing to follow. Also – fast for 12 hours, aka stop eating at 8pm and then eat breakfast the next day at 8am. Personally, if I am able to not eat at night, I wake up with tons of energy. If I eat late at night, even if it’s just a salad with quinoa, I wake up stressed out because I didn’t sleep well. I’m moody and my problems give me anxiety.

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Your tips for success, while remaining balanced?

I have almost always been characterized as “stressed. I was dyslexic, I changed school 4 times, etc. Honestly, I only started to read when I was 10. It was at this moment that I started to get serious about school. I realized that if I worked hard I would be successful. So I worked like a manic. I was always afraid of missing out on an opportunity, which in my opinion should be avoided at all costs. If you have this attitude, and you work 4 times harder than others, you will succeed. At Harvard, I calmed down a bit because I realized I had made it to “paradise”. But I also realized that in the end, Harvard was not paradise. We are never content with our success. I try to distance myself from this idea because I see that it is a never ending cycle.

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How do you manage your stress?

Haha… Well, last week I got a phone call from my security system at 2am. They told me that someone tried to break into the Bakeshop. When I arrived to the bakery, I saw that someone broke the lock on the door but were not able to get in. At the same time, I realized one of my refrigerators wasn’t working and that apparently there was a new Trump tax, forcing all international businesses to pay a tax on their business, retroactive from the opening. Oh, and that I would have another pretty important tax to pay to my old business partner…there are always problems in life. But I had told one of my clients I would go to her yoga class, the same day. It has been a really long time since I took a yoga class, even though I used to practice everyday. So I said to myself, no matter what these problems are not going to disappear today. I have to go on with my life, and so I went to the yoga class. And it was really great. It was a step in the right direction. I think that’s why I’m now on a detox. I am taking a lot of steps in the right direction. I try and put things into perspective to be less stressed out.

Your addiction?

Today my drug is my work. I work until I’m sick. It’s my power, to work more than everyone else.

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Is well-being, being well power in itself?

Well-being is in fact a power, one that that can be used in two ways. To be physically well, to be beautiful. To be fit. That’s the more attractive part, but what do we do with it? Is it just to nourish our ego? Or is it a way to love others? The ego is very smart; it finds it’s way into every situation. For example, you decide to open a juice bar to be a good citizen, to follow a passion… but in another sense, you know that people are going to look at you and say wow… isn’t he healthy, isn’t he nice. And that makes you feel good! So that’s the problem. There’s no reason to judge people because everyone has an ego.

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The problem with the 21st century?

In this day and age, we need to share, we don’t have a choice. Back when I opened Bob’s yes we had a website, but it’s nothing like the way things are today with social media. Today there is no choice but to be engaged. These days it is somewhat politically correct to say “I make a lot of money, my business is booming.” This is something that really bothers me. Today to succeed with the algorithm, you become an exhibitionist. For example, show me your butt…if you are a woman and you show your butt, you get a lot of likes on the photo. But do you want to show your butt? Or is it just to get likes?

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Your Parisian cantine?

I really like IMA on the Canal, it makes me think of Bob’s a little. Except normally I avoid these kind of places, because they make me think of work. I don’t go out much at night. I am kinda cheap and I think about what we pay at a restaurant and how much it would cost to make it at home. I do like eating in Chinatown for Vietnamese food and soups. The Chinatown near Arts and Metiers. I really like Le Petit Cambodge and Le Cambodge. I usually get takeout. They make a good soup. They’re really pro and quick. They are pretty reliable too. I also like going to Shakespeare & Co. There’s a Bob’s café there, but even if there wasn’t, I would still go.

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ON LOCATION – My Retreat in Amorgos

04720ee0-8255-4299-8838-ac1b10457d1dOh sweet paradise. Amorgos. How you treated did me well.

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Just a couple of short weeks ago I spent one full week on the Greek island of Amorgos. This prolonged moment of solitude and grounding nailed my two feet to the ground. Amorgos came to me by virtue of Aria and Gus, my yoga coaches, for a retreat that I will never forget. I discovered the mystical Warrior Yoga at my Parisian yoga studio, when I stumbled upon this rather intense, very cardio style of a vinyasa flow. It was love at first flow. The combination of abs, vinyasa and inversions was my happy place. Such a happy place that I was quickly swept away to Puglia in Italy for my first yoga retreat. Amongst laughter, fun and sweat I came back to Paris with a new vision on my life, one that I would fully discover a couple of months later when I decided to leave the fashion industry. I came back mentally lighter, and lacking my passport and cellphone which were consequentially stolen at the airport …yeah. I must haven feeling pretty zen if I was able to singlehandedly have my beloved iPhone stolen for the first time along with my passport. Praise B for my carte de séjour, which saved the day – it let me cross the French border.

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So really strangely enough when I came back, surely based on my new outlook and good vibes, things started to turn around and change in my life. Things started to really come together. I found love, my true passion in life (hey Savoir Vivre by JJ) and genuine happiness. A yoga practice of 4 (ish) days a week turned into 7 days a week. I was becoming a really really devoted yogi. Aria and Gus remained a constant part of my life (when they were in Paris that is), so it was pretty much a no brainer for me to take off with them to Amorgos when they announced the upcoming retreat.

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Taking back off with a group of 35 strangers (with the exception of only a few that I knew from Italy) was again a oh so unforgettable experience. By virtue of my first experience, I could see how much I had grown and evolved since. I found my attitude softer, my brain calmer and all around freer. I happily shared a room with a friend (I don’t think I had ever shared a room before, except as a freshman in college, it wasn’t my brightest moment), I actually enjoyed staying out and getting a minimal amount of sleep, and felt truly bienveillant. While yoga has an impact on my everyday life, these retreats have made an impact on the real big picture.

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I know it may sound strange to think of a yoga retreat as “me” (“The Parisian Well-being Guru”) stepping out of my comfort zone, but you know what, it actually really was. It forced me to let go, it put me in a situation where I was not in control and I was emotionally vulnerable. But guess what? It made me better. It made me grow. It made me learn. It made me cry. It made me GOOD and truly thankful. Thankful for who I am today, all that I have and every waking moment on this absolutely beautiful earth.

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Photos by Joel Capillaire

 

Yotam Ottolenghi {the israeli british chef i live by and best restaurant of london}

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If you’ve never heard the name, shame on you, as this man is a sheer genius. And still, if you haven’t heard the name you’re about to get the low down. As it’s Thursday, I thought I would do a little throw back and talk about the London institution for healthy, good and delicious eating that I hold very close to my heart. If you must go anywhere when you are in London, you must pay a visit to an Ottolenghi restaurant.

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Who is Yotam? Born and raised in Jerusalem, the man has a very very interesting history and life that came before his fooding success. That being said, his fooding endeavour did not start directly with this vision, but early in his career he began working in the industry as a pastry chef for several very known and reputed resaturants. But it all really began in 2002 when he opened Ottolenghi in Notting Hill.

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His dishes quickly sought praise, with a foundation on vegetables, crazy and inventive flavour combinations, and the essential Middle Eastern spices including za’atar, rose water and pomegranate molasses that must are completely unaccustomed to. The business has grown enormously since, and he now has a variety locations including a finer dining restaurant called Nopi. Each restaurant has a calm and “at home” ambiance. It’s always like I never left when I return to Ottolenghi. The only thing missing is, is that he has not opened in Paris (please come to Paris Mr. Otttolenghi). But at least he has published several cookbooks, so we can make our own attempts at home. Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about this incredible chef. The only thing I can really say is that the next time you’re in London, you absolutely MUST visit Ottolenghi. As you can see from the photos, you will leave happy. Check their site for more info.

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