Theatreland’s Les Deux Salons has undergone a huge refurb, overseen by Terence Conran in association with Isabelle Chatel de Brancion (of Spin architecture), promising a new lease of life to the Parisian-style multi-purpose brasserie.
Launched by Antony Demetre and Will Smith in 2010, Les Deux Salons was bought by the Prescott & Conran group (behind Boundary and Lutyens), late last year.
The two main rooms which inspired the restaurant’s name remain, but the ground floor now houses a café, bistro, bar, wine shop and a small deli (the Épicerie Fine, replacing the cloakroom), while the restaurant and a private dining room remain one floor above. The refreshed venue will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Owner Peter Prescott explains: “We wanted to add to the experience and make good use of both salons, while also refreshing the interiors, making everything a little light and brighter. Plus, we’ve always liked introducing several different food and drink ideas under one big roof […] our aim now is to make the ground floor more convivial and accessible, and the first floor somewhere to entertain or enjoy a decent lunch or supper.”
Head chef Barry Tonks (a “committed Francophile”) is behind a classic regional French menu: head to the café for breakfast or an informal lunch, with pastries or a croque monsieur accompanied by coffee and fresh-pressed juices. Monday to Saturday, the bistro will be serving a pre- or post-theatre dinner of oysters, entrecotes frites and French cheese and charcuterie, accompanied by an all-French wine list of over 20 different wines. The upstairs restaurant, within a double-height atrium space, is a more refined affair with a menu boasting French delights from foie gras and lobsters to truffles and wild mushrooms. Expect smartly-attired staff, white tablecloths and a bar menu of classic Parisian cocktails, alongside plenty of French vermouths, spirits, and French liqueurs.
The new cave à vin will sell all the wines served in the two salons as well as French beers, ciders and spirits. The épicerie will stock a range of fine French groceries, from puy lentils to honey from Provence.
Expect a colour palette redolent of classic Parisian brasseries: green and brass with vast mirrors reflecting globe lights and a newly restored mosaic floor. Art is central to the new design, which aims to capture the spirit of French society. Terence and Vicki Conran have provided much of the ground-floor decoration, with various works by Georges Goursat (a Belle Époque-era French caricaturist) and a huge poster of Mr Michelin himself, M Bibendum, on the staircase.
This article was published 1 June 2015.