Country / City: UK, London
Digital presence (Facebook, Instagram, Weibo, etc.):
Profession / Occupation: Consultant
Xavier Padovani began his career working, firstly, in the restaurant and hotel industry, in establishments such as Paul Bocuse and the Morgan Hotel in London, before branching off to the spirits sector with the launch of Monkey Shoulder whisky. Continuing to work for William Grant & Sons, he roamed the world for eight years as a Global Brand Ambassador promoting Hendrick's gin. In November 2012, Xavier decided to launch his own drinks consultancy, Orfeus Ltd, recognised for its use of alternative marketing strategies, both in the on and off-trade, in order to promote or consolidate emerging spirit brands. Xavier is also a partner of the ECC Group, developing establishments in London, New York and Ibiza.
Why did you decide to live in this country? What aspect of these two cultures do you find most enriching?
I left France more than 15 years ago to improve my English, and never went back. I was seeking a change of scene but very quickly felt at home and fitted in with the local culture. Today, I feel I'm no longer just French but a European who's become a Londoner. A French Londoner from Corsica. Of course, my roots are anchored in French culture and especially French cuisine! I did my studies in Lyon and took my first steps at Paul Bocuse. Today, the mixture of these two cultures is very rewarding for me. I think that the United Kingdom is very open to entrepreneurship and business success.
What French touch do you pass on there? What French Art de Vivre are you sharing with others in the country?
Without any doubt at all, the noble art of eating and drinking! With "Joyeux Bordel", the bar that we've very recently opened (with the ECC Group) in Shoreditch in East London, we're bringing a genuine French touch. Whether it's to do with our approach to hospitality, the choice of drinks available behind the bar (a selection of vintage French spirits from the 1950s such as green Chartreuse, Eau d'Arquebusade and so on) or the music we play (old 45s by the likes of Sylvie Vartan and Francoise Hardy, but also more recent French artists).
Which experience epitomising French Art de Vivre in your country and/or city would you recommend?
Champagne! This has long been my nickname because of my tendency to drink it whenever I bump into a friend in a bar. I truly believe that champagne, with its golden colour, is one of the best incarnations of the French spirit; it's an invitation to celebrate France every day of the year with my friends.