London & South East

Parisian dining with a twist

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Blanchette, a French bistro situated in the heart of London city centre, opened its doors in December 2013 and has so far gone down a storm with diners.

For brothers Maxime, Yannis and Malik Alary this Parisian-themed venue is their first foray into the leisure industry. The budding restaurateurs are benefitting from a partnership with Salt Yard Group, who currently operates Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern.

The project included converting the existing building, which previously housed a Korean restaurant, as well as carrying out an interior fit out and sourcing quirky decorative touches to add character to the venue. Works to transform the property into a French-feeling bistro began in mid-October 2013 and reached completion in a record time of six weeks.

Blanchette serves simple, classic and inventive French food. The dining concept is based on the idea of sharing small French family dishes chosen from a menu featuring delicious charcuterie plates, homemade terrines, oysters, cheese, whole roasted chicken and apple tart. Fine selections of drinks are also available, such as an eclectic list of wine from French wineries as well as organic cider.

Owners Maxime and Yannis, have 25 years of hospitality experience between them, having worked in top end restaurants worldwide including in London, New York and Paris. Fellow owner Malik is the founder of a sound design company, La Musique du Faubourg, and has designed the music selection in Blanchette to create a lively and social atmosphere within the restaurant.

Premier Hospitality caught up with Simon Mullins, Director at Salt Yard Group, to find out more about Blanchette. Simon said:

Yannis Alary used to be the general manager at Dehesa, one of the restaurants in Salt Yard group, so we knew him through his involvement with that venue. Tam Storar is the chef at Blanchette and previously worked at the Bibendum oyster bar on Fulham Road in London as a su chef for eight years. He is a really talented chef.

The feedback about the venue since opening has been very good; the team were very busy early on which is a great sign. The venue takes a contemporary spin on classic Parisian bistro and serves food from all over France, with a focus on cheese and charcuterie.”

Simon added:

As this is the Alery brother’s debut restaurant they are awaiting to measure the success of the venue before opening more Blanchettes. With regards to future plans for Salt Yard Group; we are aiming to continue to expand and we hope the same happens with Blanchette.”

The design of the venue is quirky and contains a mish-mash of various furniture pieces and ornaments from France, as well as comprising an array of impressive architectural and decorative features. The walls have been adorned with artwork depicting birds in their natural setting which adds character to the venue.

The venue spans two storeys; with the bar and dining area on the ground floor and the kitchen and private dining room in the basement. The ground floor has been designed to include bar seating in front of the window so that diners can look out onto the street. The floor also allows guests to congregate and sit around the bar and eat their meals. At the rear of the ground floor a more formal dining area is situated.

The basement contains a swish private dining area which seats up to 15 people. The ground floor holds just 50 covers and so guarantees diners an intimate experience whenever they visit Blanchette. Architect Gabor Gallov, who runs his own independent practice, was the lead designer on the project and was also instrumental in hiring in numerous independent contractors to complete works on the venue.

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