Restaurant: Les Deux Salons
Where is it: On William IV St, perfectly positioned right by Charing Cross and Embankment stations and within a short stroll of Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery, The Portrait Gallery and West End theatres.
Opened: July 2015
The concept: Already being hailed as a “triumph for Sir Terence Conran” by Fay Maschler, this Parisian-inspired dining salon has just been given a million-pound refurbishment by the designer and his team, who also own (along with his wife Vicki and long-term associate Peter Prescott) Albion, Boundary and Lutyens. The result is a vast restaurant of two parts (a downstairs brasserie and an upstairs dining room), serving up Gallic French fare for speedy lunch, pre- and post-theatre bites and special occasion meals.
Who goes: Culture vultures who don’t fancy the usual chains for lunch, families or groups looking for a statement spot to celebrate in, and design lovers who appreciate its super-shiny, refined décor.
The interiors: Will transport you to the streets of Paris with elaborate light installations, sweeping balconies, stained glass ceilings, brass finishes and mirrored pillars aplenty.
We tried: Artichokes à la Grecque (‘Greek-style’ – gently poached with a little olive oil) and Crab, Grapefruit and Pea Bavarois (sublime in both taste and presentation) to start; Wild Mushroom Fricassee with Potato Gnocchi and Butter-Roasted Dover Sole with Grenobloise for the main.
Save room for: The strawberry soufflé – a mouthwatering, puffed-up pud that is cut open at the table and permeated with a ball of white chocolate ice cream. It’s as heavenly as it sounds…
And the drinks: Include a wine list of strictly French bottles which the sommelier seriously knows his way around – don’t be afraid to ask for advice, you won’t be disappointed with their choice.
Our favourite thing about it was: That in a city so full of pop-ups, street food and new ventures that frequently come and go, Les Deux Salons is a reassuringly old-school restaurant that looks set to stand the test of time.
The Small Print: Those searching for a less formal scene might want to swerve the starched white tablecloths of the grand upstairs dining room. If that sounds like you opt for the brasserie instead, where a range of sharing plates and a buzzier atmosphere, will ensure you sit comfortably.