restaurants � food
squaremeal.co.uk | 77
ocktail hour in Café Royal,
Piccadilly. Sitting opposite me
are two of the three Gardinier
brothers, Laurent and Thierry,
the French Corbin and King fresh
o the Eurostar to oversee the
opening of Les 110 de Taillevent in the capital;
their rst foray onto British soil.
It's fair to say they've got form. The
Gardinier family have owned two Michelinstarred
Le Taillevent, one of the most iconic
restaurants in Paris, since 2011, opening a
brasserie across the road the following year -
the rst Les 110 de Taillevent, named for the
remarkable number of wines available to buy
by the glass, as well as the bottle.
The celebrated London opening on 21
October signals more than just a hefty boost
to the West End's wine economy, sited as it is
on Cavendish Square, close to Oxford Circus.
The arrival of two Gardiniers (middle brother
Stéphane looks after other family ventures)
marks a sea change in the global food scene,
with London further cementing its position
as the gastronomic capital of Europe.
"When you are looking for a big foodie city
in Europe the obvious answer is London,"
says youngest Gardinier sibling Laurent,
explaining why they chose our city, despite
the age-old culinary rivalry. "Let's stop this
stupid war and competition between London
and Paris. There are great chefs and great
restaurants on both sides. We [the French]
don't have anything to teach the English.
There is room for us here in London." A bistro
serving 110 of the best wines in the world by
the glass? Damn right there's room.
The brothers go on to tell me that 110
will have its own cellar, just as their French
venues do, but this one will also carry a host
of British wines, as well as unique bottles
from other world regions not found in their
establishments in Paris.
"It's about taking inspiration from the
country you nd yourself in. We will do the
same with the food - modern interpretations
of classic French dishes, with British seasonal
produce," explains Thierry. "In London, we
will also be open for breakfast, pairing the
dishes on the menu with a selection of hot
and cold beverages. Paris doesn't really have
a breakfast scene, but here it's huge, so it's a
good opportunity to try something di erent."
There are a few reasons why so many French
restaurateurs, bar owners and chefs are
nding such success this side of the channel:
one being emerging di erences between
diners and the establishments they frequent.
"WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BIG FOODIE CITY
IN EUROPE THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS LONDON"
Angus beef �llet with
baby gem lettuce at Céleste