Over the summer holidays last month, I met with Julie Aubert, inspiring founder of Mademoiselle Run, a positive lifestyle and women’s running community in the City of Lights. We had met previously at a fitness event and her authentic vibe and passion for bringing women together for the love of sport had immediately resonated with me — so I was eager to learn about her latest venture, Chez Simone. When moments after we sat down Julie mentioned that her co-founder in this new project is Aurélia Del Sol (who I’d been following through her lifestyle blog, Je Suis Bonne), I was even more thrilled to learn what sort of awesomeness their collaboration would mean. The answer: Chez Simone, a home away from home located in the heart of Paris and a space dedicated to the wellness of mind, body and spirit.
As Aurélia shared during our subsequent interview, the inspiration for Chez Simone has been brewing since last November, when she began hosting weekly brunches in her apartment. A passionate cook, Aurélia had been featuring healthy dishes on Je Suis Bonne and, after receiving numerous recipe requests, made the bold decision to open her home to 30 people each weekend (for 2 brunch settings of 15 people). Her goal had been to test the concept, which was quickly validated by many seeking a “home sweet home” experience in Paris. After a few successful months, Aurélia was sure her next step would be to find a separate space in which she could host her growing public. She began searching for a business partner and in February, through mutual friends, connected with Julie. Mademoiselle Run was also experiencing a lot of growth at that time, after being featured on several prominent Adidas campaigns; it was the perfect moment for Aurélia and Julie to join forces and open a comprehensive and chalereux wellness space in Paris. Voilà, Chez Simone: opening to the public on Monday, September 26th.
With the slogan Bien Manger, Bien Bouger, Bien Vivre, “Chez Simone is all about enjoying a balanced and intuitive life,“ Aurélia notes. Her 3-month stay in Australia during the final year of her double Masters program first nudged her in the wellness direction; she remembers feeling nostalgic upon returning to France, missing the lifestyle she’d experienced abroad, which seemed significantly more easy-going and balanced. “The women I met in Australia were all playing sports as well as partying. They live a more intuitive life than we tend to in Paris,” she recalls. Similarly, Julie’s 8-month stay in South America around the same time sparked her passion for embracing a positive lifestyle. She was particularly inspired by Brazil, where she enjoyed a lot of fitness and outdoor activities, as well as plenty of celebrations. Parallel experiences and aligning goals have created a strong bond and friendship between Aurélia and Julie and their collaboration will surely grow a nurturing wellness community in the City of Lights.
Located at stunning 140 Rue de Rivoli and covering just under 200 square meters, Chez Simone is designed as a comfortable and inviting living space, with 3 daily fitness classes offered Monday through Friday (morning, midday and evening) and breakfast and lunch served. The space is also open as a café for co-working on weekdays from 1.30pm until 6.30pm. Weekends will feature selected workshops as well as a weekly Sunday brunch from 11.30am until 3.30pm. Shown here is Cafe Simone’s opening schedule, which will shift every 2-3 months.
There’s nothing not to love about the concept of Chez Simone. A place that feels like home – where you can work out, enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal and get some work done? Sounds pretty ideal to me: sign me up! Payments for classes and meals work on a credit system and may be purchased online. To connect with Chez Simone, visit their website + instagram + facebook. Better yet, check out Chez Simone in person at 140, Rue de Rivoli. Paris. 75001.
* Song For This Moment: “Keeping Your Head Up” by Birdy.