Idon’t have breakfast on Saturdays. I like to get up at around 7am and go for a long walk on an empty stomach to clear my body and brain. Because we travel almost every day for work – mainly on the plane I designed – it’s a great pleasure for me and my wife, Jasmine, to escape the spiral of jet lag. We try to make the weekend a calm oasis. Otherwise, we’d be completely lost.
Our Paris apartment is on three floors in a 1930s building in one of the city’s most beautiful areas. I set off from here and walk about 15km. I love the early‑morning atmosphere and discovering lost places. Sometimes, I drop into Les Puces – the flea market – to browse, but rarely buy anything. Then I go with Jasmine to Mama Shelter, a hotel where I created all the interior architecture and design, for the best brunch in the world, or to the recently opened Ma Cocotte [pictured] in Les Puces, which I’ve decorated with finds from the surrounding antiques markets. We also like going to Carette, an old tea salon that’s now a wonderful pâtisserie, for a tasty hot chocolate.
In the afternoon, we go to a little harbour in Place de la Bastille, where I keep my skiff. Very few people take boats out on the Seine and there are lots of tunnels and grottoes to explore. Friends sometimes join us and we head out along the river at sunset with a good bottle of organic wine and, when we moor, I cook on the boat – fresh shrimps or spaghetti vongole. I’m like a whale – seafood is my favourite dish. If we don’t eat on the boat, we’ll go to Mori Venice Bar, Massimo Mori’s glamorous restaurant, for a seafood risotto or tagliatelle.
Although I love walking around Paris, I never go into galleries or design shops because I like to make the work, not buy it. Nor do we go to the cinema. We spend so much time on the plane, we can catch up on movies there. I like watching documentaries at home, though. I always think a bad documentary is better than a good movie and I like scientific subjects best. I also enjoy science and nature magazines. I never buy magazines or books from shops, but I’m addicted to Kindle and my iPad. At night, I read for a while, then try to get to bed early – between 11pm and midnight.
Mid-morning on Sunday, we go to the organic vegetable market in Boulevard Raspail and meet up with friends. We buy a whole lot of different vegetables and then we come home, put them all on the table and eat them raw for lunch. After this we might go by motorbike to Forêt de Rambouillet, about 40 minutes from the centre of Paris, where we have a country cottage, and see if any work needs doing there. We also have a small house on Ile de Platais, a tiny island on the Seine. Although it’s only 30 minutes from Paris, it’s wonderfully quiet because there are no cars. Nor is there any electricity, and the main street is less than 1m wide. We go on the boat and sometimes take our baby, Justice, and friends. We’re very happy feeling far away from everything.
We like living a simple, natural life at weekends, whether we’re at our oyster farm in south-west France, where we live in a wooden fisherman’s hut with no water or electricity, or at our house on Formentera in the Balearics, which is also in the middle of nowhere, or at our cottages on Burano, an island at the northern end of the lagoon in Venice, where our friends and children come and stay. All our homes are in very beautiful places with fantastic views, and I find this restores the concentration I need in order to work well during the week.
On Sunday evening, I do what all busy people do and clear my desk, make a “to do” list and pack for the next trip. We’ve got packing down to a fine art, which leaves me time to make soup from organic vegetables for supper and get to bed well before midnight.