Cider just got cool
The image of Normandy cider’s artisanal traditions have been given a fresh and funky spruce-up thanks to Maison Sassy, whose apple and pear creations now grace the drinks menus at some of the finest restaurants in France, including those run by Alain Ducasse.
The company was founded by childhood friends Pierre-Emmanuel and Xavier, who grew up in the region and reworked classic recipes before creating dynamic, modern packaging for a new generation of cider drinkers.
“Cider was seen as a secondary drink, something to accompany crêpes and galettes,” Pierre-Emmanuel told The Connexion. Their small range of elegant, refined drinks also provide a more healthy alternative to beer: the ciders are gluten-free, 100% natural and the least calorific alcoholic drink available – with fewer than 50 calories per 15cl glass.
Maison Sassy HQ is named after the imposing Château de Sassy in Boischampre, Xavier’s family home in the Orne department.
The ultimate in upcycling
Renovating old pieces of furniture is one thing but creating uniquely stylish, bespoke items is another. Which is why the website Mauvaise Réputation (Bad Reputation) – the outlet for designs by designed by Stéphanie Rottée Lesné – takes the idea of ‘upscaling’ to another level.
Stéphanie describes her eclectic work as “a little vintage, kind of rock, kind of industrial, kind of ethnic, a little Bohemian, a little Classic... and totally ethical.” We love the printed map chairs (you can suggest your own map, from €160) – but be quick, as once new products are listed they sell out quickly. The site also sells many decorative pieces, including lamps, and accessories such as quirky handbags.
Beauty and the birch
The founder of the natural cosmetics and beauty company Saeve, Pauline Bony, worked for years with big name brands before working with top scientists and botanists on her own products. She turned to her Auvergne childhood for inspiration, and one plant in particular: fresh Birch Sap. This elixir was used to make treatments by the women in her family but had rarely been used in cosmetics. It is now the star active ingredient in her range of high-performance skincare, used alongside organic Chaga, what she calls the “mushroom of immortality”. Serums from €30, hand balms from €6, energising shower gel, €8.25 (pictured). Explore the full range and order online.
Association worth its salt
An initiative that combines gastronomy, kindness and even a clever pun... what’s not to like about Do It Your Sel? Created in 2014, the association works to support people with multiple disabilities and their families, by selling packs for making your own salt at home. 100% of the profits from the sales of the boxes are donated to benefit the families.
The project is led by Valérie and Jean Chéneau, parents of twins, one of whom, Alice, suffers from RTT syndrome. They work with many volunteers and the workers at the salt cooperative on Ile de Noirmoutier, Vendée.