My style icon is the painter Cy Twombly. He was a wise and elegant gentleman who seamlessly mixed classical sculpture with very modern pieces of art. Both his work and personal style inspire me because of their sophisticated simplicity.
My favourite room in my house is the sitting room because of its authentic 18th-century decorative wood panelling and gilding. Vintage chandeliers from the Porte de Clignancourt flea market are juxtaposed with contemporary photographs and deer antlers from La Rochelle. This room is the perfect backdrop for the modern furniture I designed for the space.
The last meal that truly impressed me was at Ya Lamai, a Thai restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement. The owner, Rose, is a very particular person and a wonderful cook. I had a delicious dessert called tako, a unique combination of coconut and mung-bean flour. 16 Rue du Petit Thouars, Paris 75003 (+331-8356 5500; www.yalamai.com).
The books on my bedside table are Plague and Cholera, a story about the second world war by Patrick Deville; Repulse Bay by Olivier Lebé; and Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch, which recounts the author’s experiences across Bordeaux and the Loire and Rhône valleys.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a small piece of whalebone to my son, Léonard. I gave it to him as a souvenir of our holiday in St Barths. Whales often pass through the warm waters there and this carved keepsake fits perfectly in the palm of his six-year-old hand.
In my fridge you’ll always find a Basque pâté terrine with red chilli peppers and a Bordeaux red wine that I like to serve to my friends as an apéritif. You will also find milk, cheese and mangoes, which my son currently loves. La Grande Epicerie de Paris, Le Bon Marché, 38 Rue de Sèvres, Paris 75007 (+331-4439 8100; www.lagrandeepicerie.com).
An indulgence I would never forego is a good, relaxing massage. In Paris, I go to the spa at the Hôtel Costes and when I am in St Barths I like the outdoor treatments at Le Sereno. This is a little time just for me. Hôtel Costes, 239-241 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris 75001 (+331-4244 5000; www.hotelcostes.com). Le Sereno, Anse Maréchal, Saint Barthélemy 97133 (+335-9029 8300; www.lesereno.com).
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is the British painter Peter Doig. He lives and works in the Caribbean and his pictures illustrate a style of life on the edge of fantasy. His paintings also show that we can have multiple perspectives on the same thing. I think he is a modern Gauguin.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the area where I live in the 7th arrondissement. I moved there 35 years ago because it is such a calm and beautiful part of Paris. We are surrounded by gardens and small mansions and we’re just 200m from Saint-Germain-des-Près and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. I like the mix of antique shops, art galleries, wonderful cheese shops, such as Barthélemy, the book store La Hune and pastry and cake shops, including Pierre Hermé and Pâtisserie des Rêves. I also love Le Bon Marché for all sorts of food and household items – it’s the French equivalent of Harrods. This neighbourhood has the unique Rive Gauche spirit that is relaxed and sophisticated at the same time. Barthélemy, 51 Rue de Grenelle (+331-4548 5675). La Hune, 170 Boulevard Saint-Germain (+331-4548 3585). Le Bon Marché, 24 Rue de Sèvres (+331-4439 8000; www.lebonmarche.com). L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 14 Rue Bonaparte (+331-4703 5000; www.beauxartsparis.com). Pâtisserie des Rêves, 93 Rue du Bac (+331-4284 0082; www.lapatisseriedesreves.com). Pierre Hermé, 72 Rue Bonaparte (+331-4354 4477; www.pierreherme.com).
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are the research team at Laboratoire Lescuyer in Aytré in southwestern France. They create the best mixtures of natural vitamins and minerals that help me stay energised and in good health. All their products are based on seaweed, minerals and a variety of herbs (+335-4656 3048; www.laboratoire-lescuyer.com).
If I didn’t live in Paris, the city I would live in is London. I love the creativity and energy of the people. I also find the British to be polite and cheerful and their city has the most beautiful parks in Europe, including Regent’s Park and St James’s Park. I’d very much like to live in Mayfair, especially in the red brick houses on Mount Street and in the surrounding area. I’d frequent Scott’s, The Arts Club, and 5 Hertford Street – just a few of my favourite places that all offer delicious food and a lively scene. 5 Hertford Street, 2-5 Hertford Street (020-7408 2100; www.5hertfordstreet.co.uk). The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street (020-7499 8581; www.theartsclub.co.uk). Scott’s, 20 Mount Street (020-7495 7309; www.scotts-restaurant.com).
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be an artist, which is very close to being a decorator. I love to paint, particularly with oils.