About Noble Rot Soho
OPENS SPRING 2020
There was much sadness when Hungarian restaurant and Soho institution The Gay Hussar closed its doors for good in the summer of 2018, following 65 years of operation. Now, though, the legendary site has been taken on by the almost equally revered wine bar and restaurant Noble Rot, to open its second site in the capital following the Bloomsbury original.
The original Noble Rot has been both a critical and commercial success since opening in November 2015, with head chef Paul Weaver winning over the London crowds with his menu of Anglo-French classics, as well as his ongoing championing of British coastal produce.
Dishes that Weaver’s team has cooked up in the past include grilled Cornish John Dory served alongside purple sprouting broccoli and spiced brown shrimp, and roast Jerusalem artichoke with Roscoff onion and chickpeas. At Noble Rot Soho, you can expect a similar vibe, although the menu here also features a few nods to the glory days of The Gay Hussar.
The Gay Hussar opened in doors in 1953 and throughout its life became known as a popular meeting place for politicians, journalists and artists. Among its famous clientele were broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson and Richard Ingram, who founded satirical magazine Private Eye. There are many interesting and sometimes scandalous stories attached to the restaurant too, including that The Gay Hussar was the place where a young Tony Blair was encouraged to run for parliament, and that the restaurant provided the backdrop for a meeting between politicians plotting the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.
The Noble Rot brand started out as a food and wine journal, which is still in circulation today. In 2015, co-founders Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew decided to take their ideas and opinions off the page and launch a bricks-and-mortar restaurant. The pair haven’t looked back since and have also launched a wine import business called Keeling Andrew & Co. Sunday Times restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin is a partner in the restaurant and teased the news of the Soho sequel on her Instagram page a day before the official announcement.