Mille Fleurs blooms with fresh new look

By Karen Billing

Mille Fleurs unveiled a new look last week, inspired by the rare, hand-painted blue and white delft tile that has been inlaid in the bones of the restaurant since the late 1970s.

The fact that the inspiration for the restaurant’s new blue hues came from the floral tile pattern that inspired the Mille Fleurs name 30 years ago makes it particularly special.

Owner Bertrand Hug decided in January to do the remodeling and closed the restaurant last weekend for a rushed four days of work, re-opening the dramatically changed restaurant on April 22. A luncheon was held April 21 to unveil the upgrades. (Luncheon photos shown on this page.)

“Everybody loves it — all the regulars are super-excited,” Hug said. “I try to do a remodel every five or six years because I want to show the customers that I care. There’s nothing worse than staying pat all the time. I’m too eager … When you’ve been here for 30 years, you have to keep people interested.”

The space has been brightened from the old orange and brown color scheme with fresh new blue banquettes, chairs and walls, printed valances and blue curtains — a touch of Provence. Hug said Connie McNally of the village’s McNally Company Antiques was “instrumental” in the design decisions.

The warm, buttery yellow of the fireplace was echoed on the walls and in the beams. Hug said he was extremely impressed by the painters from Olde World Artisan, completing numerous coats of the painting work, working long days from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., 20 workers all avoiding stepping on each other’s toes.

Hug also had the kitchen floors and walls redone, as well as the floors of the walk-in refrigerator — a large undertaking.

“To remove everything in the kitchen, that was a huge deal,” he said.

To help toast a special anniversary year, each table in Mille Fleurs is now set with a special new wine glass, stamped with “Mille Fleurs 30th anniversary.”

“The customers have been buying those like crazy,” Hug said.

For reservations or information, visit millefleurs.com. Photos by McKenzie Images

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