My relationship with PAUL started a few years ago when I moved in a new flat near the University Square in Bucharest (the one that I live in as I am writing these lines). It was the freezing cold days of January and I used to walk every day past its beautiful windows and feel the smell of fresh baked croissants and baguettes – honestly, that’s always the first scent that hits me. And I still feel it everyday, for three years now.
At the beginning, it was about looks, the big French display-kind-of-boulangerie. They say Bucharest is like a Little Paris and I do love that Paris mood, finding some baked goods at every corner and enjoying the possibility and just stopping for a few moments, maybe getting some sweets for a friend as a surprise, maybe stopping for a cup of hot chocolate or tea… or even coffee. It feels cozy.
Then it was about the smell – back at it again but I guess we, humans, are all about our senses when it comes to connecting with something or someone. And then it was about the music, the sound that created the atmosphere. As soon as I enter that place, I always get hit with either some new French pop song or some old tunes – starting with the Amelie soundtrack – which still remains, to this day, my favorite soundtrack of a movie ever and, probably, the album that I listened to the most in this lifetime. Also, there’s Edith Piaf and her Vie en Rose or Je Ne Regrette Rien. Or Joe Dasin. Or Charlotte Gainsbourg. So the mood is set.
Then you have the staff. They’re always friendly. Most of them smile and ask you what would you like to order or try. And they’re dressed like proffessional bakers with the special beret that make you think about the typical French cooks and the respect that they give to food as a passion, not as fuel. There was a quote in Ratatouille from a food critic that summarizes how French people see this connection to what they eat: “I don’t eat food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t eat it.”
I have a good friend that once told me that I should reward myself with a little treat after every hard day of work and every project that I’ve done. It’s not about waiting for someone else to congratulate or reward your work, it’s about you being appreciative of yourself for getting through the day and enjoy a nice sweet treat in that way. So I always do this – for some years now and this has really nothing to do with the fact that the people that represent PAUL approached and chose me to be part of their “Paul Gentlemen” campaign – I always get something sweet from their bakery after a hard day of work. Usually, for me, it’s eclairs. They have this special offer for many years now – if you buy 2 eclairs, you get the third one for free. And I always get all the of them filled with chocolate – they have them with vanilla and coffee.
There’s also the week-end habbits. I love getting up on a Saturday morning when the city is still asleep, I can roam the streets and feel the morning air, enjoying the morning light that floods every corner of the old city center in little Paris. I love to either get my morning croissant and go to the Cismigiu Park and catch a few minutes of fresh air and silence. Either – in winter time – just bring the croissants, the tarts the sandwiches at home and have a nice breakfast while watching some inspiring movies or just some new Pixar animated film.
I don’t think I’ve ever settled a bussiness meeting at Paul although I have a lot of friends who do that. For me, because I love the mood so much, I always meet with close friends for a hot drink, for eclairs or for breakfast, it’s always about a nice chat, enjoying the time of the day, taking time to sip every cup of coffee and so on.
So after years of being passionate about their bakeries, I am proud and grateful that they chose me to be part of the Paul Gentlemen campaign. The idea of the shooting and the campaign is to show how gentlemen can also enjoy Paul in a beautiful way. Which I am already doing for so many years – and if you check my social media profiles, you know that I’m always up for sweets & treats from Paul, especially eclairs.
They have a new special offer now going on in their stores. Until the 7th of December, if you order any sandwich in a baguette, you get a free eclair with it – the one of your choice: chocolate, vanilla and coffee. So if you needed more reasons to visit Paul this time of the year, here’s one. Although, if you love it as much as I do, you probably are already on the way to one of their bakeries right now. And don’t forget: more sandwiches, more eclairs, haha!
So I have been rewarding myself after every hard day for many years now, it’s your time to do the same and to pay it forward. Reward yourself!
I want to thank Tudor Tailor for my full outfit!