Café Rouge, Britain’s best-loved bistro since 1989, has completed a £500,000 refurbishment of its flagship site opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral. The largest scheme to be undertaken by the brand as part of its national rejuvenation programme, Café Rouge St. Paul’s now features a beautiful mural, specially commissioned for the 182 cover restaurant inside the magnificent Condor House.
The architect responsible is renowned Neil Masters of Cantor Masters, a boutique London firm known for having a fine eye for beautiful detailing and stylish, timeless concepts. Neil Cantor comments, “We are very excited to be rejuvenating this heritage bistro brand and our mission is to create a sympathetic new style which restores and refreshes whilst celebrating all that urban France is famous for.”
Restored to period glory
Using a sumptuous palette of gold, black and, of course, rouge, the bistro has been fully restored to period glory with features such as gold leaf window screens, hand-foiled high ceilings, beautiful blinds, dramatic black awnings and vintage marble tiled flooring. Furthermore, Neil has designed bespoke marble bars and table tops, authentic pendant lighting, mottled mirroring and beautiful boudoir bathrooms to complete the French bistro experience.
Old oak floors have been brought back to their original best and bespoke banquettes made from the softest buttery leather offer supremely comfortable seating that conjures up the romance and decadence of Paris.
The one-off artwork commissioned to celebrate this landmark development for Café Rouge is entitled ‘Cityscape’ and is the creation of designer Jia Jia Wu. At 3.5m x 1.5m, it dominates a main wall in the bistro and brings together the finest elements of Paris and London, featuring landmarks such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Rivers Seine and Thames.
Hand-painted in black, white and gold, the mural can be viewed by passers-by who walk along St Paul’s Courtyard and enjoyed for longer by Café Rouge diners.
‘Best of the Best’ menu
To complement the refined interior, Café Rouge has launched its ‘Best of the Best’ menu which is available at every one of the company’s UK bistros. Featuring a carefully-curated selection of freshly-cooked French food, the ‘Best of the Best’ experience includes:
- Lobster Bisque with brandy, champagne and cream served with sour rye bread
- Merguez Sausage Baguette with wild rocket and aioli
- Plateau de Charcuterie offering wild boar saucisson
- Saumon Croque made with smoked salmon, Gruyere, horseradish crème fraiche and lemon
- Classic Steak Frites with a choice of cuts and sauces
- Confit De Canard, a mouth-watering dish of slow-cooked duck and cherry sauce
- Moules steamed in a cream, garlic and wine broth
- Seabass En Papillôte, a butterfly-filleted sea bass steak served in parchment with leeks, piperade and a lobster dill butter
- Desserts to conjure up sweet memories of Paris such as Crème Brulèe, Crêpes and Tarte Tatin
The brand’s finest moments over the past 26 years
Café Rouge Brand Director, Georgia Hall, says, “The ‘Best of the Best’ menu is a reflection of the brand’s finest moments over the past 26 years with an added contemporary spin. Our Executive Chef, Duncan McEwan, has blended the beloved recipes of our long-standing customers with new and classic French influences. What’s more, he has ensured that the new menu meets the needs of today’s diners, with an extended selection of vegetarian and made without gluten options.
“Over half of our Café Rouge bistros have now been rejuvenated with classic and authentic interiors to complement our delicious food and wine. With its iconic location and grand scale, St. Paul’s was a unique opportunity to really push the boat out and create a flagship bistro that tells the story of our sumptuous brand.”
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