Eat and Be Merry: London Calling

The chef who made the Frenchie name wildly popular in Paris has a new jewel in his crown.

EMILIE BONAVENTURE FRENCHIE COVENT GARDEN LONDRES (25)Frenchie to Go – chef Greg Marchand has opened Frenchie Convent Garden in a Victorian building on Henrietta Street in London’s trendy West End. The chef, who hails from Nantes, France, is proudly serving fine French food to swinging Londoners in a stylish space.

Parisian Emilie Bonaventure, hired for the design project, previously revamped the beloved Frenchie Restaurant in Paris on Rue du Nil. Because that has exposed brick walls, she incorporated the same key element into the London location. Bonaventure’s other striking choices include bar stools custom-designed by her firm and based on a vintage 1960s stool attached to a contemporary base. The lights suspended over the bar are vintage French opaline globes, and to complete the hip bar look, the lamps at drink level are Sergio Mazza designs from 1957, still made today by Artemide.

EMILIE BONAVENTURE FRENCHIE COVENT GARDEN LONDRES (3)The overall style is chic and contemporary, with white walls, smooth marble, and accents of copper and brass that play beautifully against Oscar Ono’s luxury custom flooring throughout the restaurant, even on the grand staircase. Yes, that stunning stair railing is made of polished brass. “I decided to give the two-level space the opportunity to become very theatrical, very French, as a reference to the great stairs of the Opera Garnier,” Bonaventure notes.

About last night and those chairs at the tables? They are based on a vintage model and reupholstered in a chic Arundel Red fabric, part of the Millbrook fabric collection by Colefax and Fowler.

In the open kitchen, British ingredients are used to make modern French foods, such as duck foie gras with beetroot and horseradish snow, paired with handpicked wines or seasonal cocktails with names befitting such an upscale place. “Apple is the New Orange” is made with rye, distilled apple and rhubarb.

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