The Roux “dynasty” is set for new a chapter. Emily Roux will become the third generation of the famous Anglo-French Roux family to operate their own restaurant in the U.K. (her grandfather Albert and father Michel Jr have run Mayfair restaurant Le Gavroche since 1981) when she launches a new venture called Caractère later this year in west London’s Notting Hill.
The restaurant, formerly the neighbourhood gastropub-cum-bistro Bumpkin, sits at the junction of Ledbury Road and Westbourne Park Roads. The corner site is 2,500sq ft and includes a host of notable (fine dining) neighbours: The Ledbury, for one. And CORE by Clare Smyth. Other famous local names include 108 Garage, Granger & Co and Beach Blanket Babylon.
About her first solo venture, Roux said that she would open the restaurant with her Italian husband [Diego Ferrari who is current head chef at Le Gavroche]. Considering her own French roots, she announced that “there’d be a mix of French Italian food” on offer.
Caractère, which is French for “character”, is described as the “imagining of a dream shared by husband and wife team Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari,” where “their characters and traits will come alive in this Notting Hill venue, their first very own restaurant.”
Roux has made no secret of the expectations that accompany her family name: “I left for France because I wanted to be more anonymous without the pressure of being a Roux,” she says on her website.
“I’m lucky enough to have been taught by some of the greatest chefs in the world, but I wanted to be able to find my own feet and make my own name. It was easier to do that away from the UK.”
But it will always be a difficult name to shake off: Speaking on behalf of a private landlord, James Grimes, a director at the property advisors AG&G, said his client was delighted to have “secured such a prestigious family name and reputation into its premises.”
“The attention to detail of Emily and her advisors so far as the planned fit out is concerned, bodes well for the business focus they will have when it opens. I am sure it will be a great success,” he added.