Expert Eye: A New Chapter
The luxury book publisher Assouline ended its 20th year on a high note, with the opening of its first international flagship on London’s Piccadilly. Maison Assouline (assouline.com) is a three-floor temple to the act of reading—and collecting—with offerings such as Assouline’s new collection of library furnishings, which can also be ordered made-to-measure, as well as the publisher’s full line of sumptuously illustrated books, leather book bags, and desk accessories. A series of carefully curated rooms includes a vintage book collection chosen by founder Prosper Assouline, a gallery of prints from the house’s most noteworthy titles, and a “cabinet de curiosités” with one-of-a-kind objects.
The Maison’s bookbindery allows customers to personalize both their Assouline purchases and volumes from their own collections. And for a quick bite while browsing, the ground-floor Swans Bar serves wine, Champagne, espresso, and artisanal tea with a menu that ranges from canelés to foie gras. The building itself, a 1922 structure designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, conveys the proper history and prosperity for a publishing house that specializes in books on art, design, architecture, and fashion. New Assouline titles to be found on the shelves include Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table, Krug by Krug Lovers, and In the Spirit of Monte Carlo.