Stella McCartney

Women We Love: Jeanne Tremsal, Le Petit Royal

©Julia Zierer

Of course, this text will be about Le Petit Royal, the restaurant in West Berlin, which is the fourth project by Stefan Landwehr and Boris Radczun, following the footsteps of Grill Royal in Mitte, Pauly Saal and Dottir. Needless to say, that everything is in place here: the interior, that is considerate and accurate in every detail, the menu, the wine selection as well as the well mixed clientele.

But when I met Jeanne Tremsal, who leads the port of call at Grolmanstraße, my focal point slightly shifted. While I try to record the interview by phone, that afternoon, we have to take a break a few times.The staff needed answers, a friend, who lives around the corner comes along to book a table for the next day.Hectical for some, for others just the right challenge. Before this new chapter of her life, Jeanne worked as an actress. With a little interruption, when she worked at a gallery and realized: “ Ah, so I can also do this”. The first step towards broadening her horizon was done.

For a while, we philosophise about the perks of having a wide set of skills, which support you in every phase of life.Once she dreamt about having a restaurant of her own with her cousin, who is a chef and lives in Paris. He in the kitchen, she at the reception and behind the desk. Amidst the first concrete preparations, the phone call “I can’t do it” and shortly after, Stefan’s and Boris’ offer to join them. Ever since, life as she knew it turned upside down: at first the construction phase, then the opening, today being at the restaurant from 9 o’clock until the evening hours, until 3 at night on weekends, always smiling, always elegantly sporting a pair of high heels.

Now she relearns everyday what it means to be the boss. To give orders, to lead a team that mostly consists of men and possibly has more experience in the gastronomy industry, than she does. “As an actress you learn to adapt. To always be nice, not to say your opinion on set, otherwise you’re pegged as the diva. Of course, that is entirely different now.”

When the first guests come in around 6 o’clock she changes clothes and with her uniform and takes on a completely new role.“I noticed that I don’t constantly need a camera in front of me to be happy” she explains and when I see her in action that same evening, while the restaurant is packed during the week, I get what she means. “I’m easily bored and I love it to jump in at the deep end. Here I have the opportunity to make new experiences and to dive into a world, one that excites me, but a world I didn’t know before.

While we talk, I ask myself in secret how long she might stay. She gives the answer without me having to ask: This weekend she’ll be heading to Vienna, leaving Berlin for the first time since the opening a few weeks ago. There she’ll meet another producer, who wants to put the screenplay she wrote together with Christopher Roth into a movie. The plot? The last three years of the municipality by the infamous performance artist Otto Muehl, from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl: “For me, it was about describing, how it was back then. The world as I knew it, without judging, without knowing the outer world, including  the moment when you realize that everything was not as heavenly, after all.” But she will not play the part herself, nor will she be on set all the time. “At the end it’s supposed to be fiction and for that to happen I have to let go and hand it over to the other people involved in the project” she adds and kindly says goodbye. There is still a lot to prepare until the doors open.

RESTAURANT AND BAR

GROLMANSTRASSE. 59, 10623 BERLIN
OFFICE@LEPETITROYAL.DE
030 33 00 60 750

MONDAY – SATURDAY
From 6pm

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.