The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh, will open Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux on 11 June. In collaboration with Alain Roux, Chef Patron of The Waterside Inn, Bray-on-Thames, and his father Michel Roux, O.B.E., legendary chef and restaurateur, Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux will celebrate a ‘new alliance’: matching the very best of Scottish produce with classic French cooking. The colourful and vibrant interiors similarly showcase a strong partnership between internationally celebrated Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Building & Design and sister to Sir Rocco Forte.
From June, Alain Roux will take up the position of Signature Chef at Brasserie Prince which has replaced Hadrian’s Brasserie and The Balmoral Bar. Alain currently retains three Michelin stars at The Waterside Inn, the only restaurant in the world outside France to have upheld this accolade for more than thirty years. At Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux, he will continue to showcase his heritage of sensational French cooking but will be inspired by Scottish ingredients. When talking about the new opening, Alain Roux says: “This exciting new brasserie will be defined by a seasonally changing menu rooted in French bistro dishes, irresistibly simple, delicious food. We will be led by the fantastic array of Scottish ingredients and flavours to include beautiful seafood platters and tasty sharing plates at the bar. I want to serve the dishes that I love to cook myself at home and seek out with family and friends when we go out to eat. It will be a menu informed by my French heritage but totally inspired by Scotland.”
The inspiration behind the collaboration between the Roux and Forte families came from Lydia Forte, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Bar & Restaurant Development Manager. ”Michel and Alain Roux were my first choice when I thought of a new brasserie at The Balmoral,” says Lydia. “Michel was one of the first to revolutionise the UK dining scene at about the same time that my grandfather was making his strides in hospitality. Michel and Alain run a family business like us and as such we have the same ethos. The experience of our guests is so personal to us because our names are on the door.”
The restaurant and bar will cater for 210, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as light bites and sharing plates at the bar, and seafood from the raw bar. Guests can expect a seasonal menu that will include hearty dishes featuring the highest quality produce, from Scottish côte de boeuf to Plateaux de fruits de mer. Diners may also choose from the daily ‘Grand-Mère’s Specials’ which will encapsulate this unique alliance of cooking. These daily specials will include Boudin noir aux deux pommes, a rich dish of black pudding with caramelised apple and potato purée and Côtelettes d’agneu, lamb cutlets with couscous, sorrel and mint sauce. Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux will bring to life dishes from throughout France and Scotland to showcase the diversity in cooking and produce from both countries.
Now with a separate entrance on Princes Street, the restaurant space has undergone a complete redesign led by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS), the internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design studio. Martin Brudnizki has worked closely with Olga Polizzi on this new venture, the design duo having long been collaborators since Martin’s first hotel commission for Villa Kennedy, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Frankfurt. Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux marks MBDS’ first project in Scotland.
The new brasserie offers a fresh colour palette of soft blues, green hues and blush pink tones which complement the high gloss lacquer and timber panelled walls. Staying true to the brasserie’s location, Martin Brudnizki has selected materials synonymous with Scotland: timber, soft leather and wool. Antique mirror and brass detailing ensures light is created within the space. A variety of seating options, including traditional banquettes and leather upholstered dining chairs, add to the feeling of comfort, warmth and conviviality; Martin Brudnizki has designed the brasserie with friends and family in mind. An adjoining bar and lounge area, a destination in its own right, offers beautifully and simply prepared classic cocktails and a food menu of French snacks and sharing platters, also created by Alain Roux. Guests can enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif, sit in the cosy library by the fire for an after dinner drink or sample a few cocktails at the long, marble bar counter for a fun night out. The ambience of Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux is relaxed yet convivial whilst offering delicious food using only the highest quality ingredients and warm, efficient service.
Ms Polizzi comments on the design: ”I’ve worked with Martin many times and have always enjoyed it; I think our collaboration works well. Martin is really brilliant, particularly when it comes to bars and restaurants; he is the best in his field. He looks at every project individually and always comes up with something different and innovative. Brasserie Prince is the perfect setting for Alain Roux’s cooking in Edinburgh.”
Taking residency at one of Scotland’s most iconic hotels and recognised landmarks from 11th June, Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux will further establish The Balmoral as a culinary destination in the heart of Edinburgh, joining the hotel’s Michelin-starred Number One restaurant led by Executive Chef Jeff Bland. It marks a unique alliance between the Fortes and Rouxs, two distinguished families committed to excellence.