Nearly a year after it was first announced, new details have emerged ahead of the keenly anticipated debut from Parisian restaurateur Guillaume Depoix. Folie, a vast, 100-cover brasserie for the 21st century, will open on Golden Square in the heart of Soho on Monday 11 November.
The pitch, a clever one, is “where Soho meets Mayfair” and recalls Depoix’s saying last year that he hoped to attract the “good crowd of Mayfair — the ones who cross Regent Street.” The truly all-day dining experience wants to encourage its guests to “rediscover the dining culture of the Riviera, from Marseille to Portofino, through St Tropez and Nice” in what are described as opulent and elegant surroundings. The space has been designed by Studio KO, with interiors hoping to “resurrect the sensuality and glamour of the 1960s and 70s.” A precise operator, and a student of the Costes brothers and Alain Ducasse in Paris as well as Terence Conran and Juan Santa Cruz in London, Depoix was never going to rush this project.
It was during Depoix’s stint at Ducasse’s Plaza Athénée that he met Christophe Marleix, who will take on the role of executive head chef — a chef who worked with Ducasse for a decade in Paris and London, and who most recently oversaw the relaunch of Annabel’s in Mayfair (in 2017.)
Marleix’s kitchen will draw inspiration from the Mediterranean, specifically what are referred to as the “humble recipes of the coastal coves of south of France and Italy” which given the space, the location, and the prices they’ll hope to command, “will be refined and elevated.”
Starters will include sea bream crudo with citrus and avocado; mains of Provençal braised beef with confit potatoes, and megrim sole with Menton lemon. Sharing platters will be on the cards for lavish dinners, too — expect whole confit lamb shoulder and basil baby potatoes, or a whole sea bass grilled over charcoal, served on a bed of ratatouille (pictured above.)
At dessert, Folie will serve patisseries such as tarte tropézienne, seasonal sorbets, and cheese boards. As is not always the case with projects such as this, Marleix’s kitchen is planning to “source and champion seasonal ingredients from small-scale U.K. farmers” and procure day boat fish from Cornwall and Devon.
The bar team will go big on classic cocktails: shaking and stirring martinis, sazeracs, and negronis. There will be a menu of rare and unusual pastis and vermouths, together with fine Armagnac and other digestifs. Expect to see some big-hitting old world wines, too. The bar will also offer salty treats, what are called “Riviera épicerie essentials,” such as pissaladière and tapenades.
“Folie is the result of the collaboration of a passionate, talented team: my old friend Christophe Marleix has captured the éclat of the Riviera; Studio KO have conceived the beautiful design; and the designer Yorgo Tloupas, has helped steer the art direction.
“I’m looking forward to recreating the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s and hope Folie will be a meeting point for conviviality, elegance and revelry at all times,” Depoix said.