A new restaurant by Richard Caring and the Caprice Holdings group, Brasserie of Light, will open 22 November, in the Selfridges department store on Oxford Street — a final major installation brought about thanks to £300 million investment in the store. It is described as “a new destination restaurant and bar.”
The restaurant is described as “Contemporary, artistic and elegant,” featuring “London’s largest scale artwork by Damien Hirst, [and] offering all day dining in a chic, Art-Deco brasserie.”
Food-wise, it’s a familiar formula: “An eclectic mix of classic British and internationally-inspired dishes throughout the day.” The a la carte will feature dishes such as scallops with red peppers, roasted fennel, and capers to start, spaghetti lobster for main, and ‘Pegasus Pie served with a yuzu coconut cloud for pud.
Then, at the weekend, customers can look forward to avocado teamed with poached eggs, but also “given an edge” — with ancient grains, turmeric, coconut, and garlic hollandaise. In charge of those edgy creations and more recognisable brasserie fare is Portugese chef Emanuel Machado, who moves from Balthazar in Covent Garden, where he’s been cooking since it opened in 2013.
Caring, whose recent restaurant expansions have been characterised more by their foray into affordability than his company’s signature opulence, said: “When you think of the Capital City of the World you think of London. When you think of London you think of Selfridges. In the future when you think of London restaurants I hope you will think of Brasserie of Light.
What, in short, is a “culmination of putting together extreme talent, extreme experience, extreme desire and extreme passion,” according to Caring.
“The Brasserie of Light is a new look spectacle where the input of Damien Hirst, Martin Brudnizki and the absolute strength of Selfridges; this mix has resulted in what I believe to be something very beautiful. It is about light, make-believe and dreams. Dreams in this restaurant will come true!” he added.
Pricing is referred to thus: As offering “affordable luxury to those visiting Selfridges or living and working nearby.”
Anne Pitcher, managing director at Selfridges, said: “It has been an exciting journey working with Richard Caring and his team on this project, and for what promises to be a spectacular new addition to the Selfridges restaurant portfolio and London’s culinary map. I look forward to...welcome guests..., where they should expect the unexpected.”
The centrepiece to the restaurant, “and in keeping with the Caprice style” is Pegasus, a piece of artwork by Damien Hirst. The 24 foot crystal encrusted statue has a 30 foot wingspan and “will soar over diners with hooves lifted, while an East facing aspect floods the space with natural light.” Hirst of course is no stranger to the restaurant business. His “cock and bull” work is positioned in the centre of chef Mark Hix’s Tramshed in Shoreditch, while Hirst is the owner of Pharmacy 2 at the Newport Street gallery in Lambeth.
About this, though, Hirst said: “I love the myth of the Pegasus and this is such an exciting project and I love the scale of it. I hope it’s going to look like something beautiful from another world.”
There we go. More soon.