In February, Greg and Marie Marchand opened a branch of successful food venture, Frenchie, in Covent Garden – their first site outside of Paris.
The duo, also behind the hugely popular Frenchie, Frenchie Wine Bar, Frenchie to Go and the brand new Frenchie Caviste, are thrilled to open the new Frenchie restaurant on Henrietta Street.
Greg opened Frenchie in a tiny alleyway in the garment district of Paris in 2009. With help from friends and family, he took a chance on the small site in an unknown area of the city and designed and built the space himself, all while Marie was pregnant with their first child.
Within weeks, the prix-fixe restaurant was fully booked and highly acclaimed by the Parisian and international critics, including Le Figaro which called it “without doubt, the most stunning culinary showstopper of the season.”
Two years later, he opened Frenchie Bar à Vins across the street, followed by casual deli/sandwich counter, Frenchie to Go. Marie joined the venture in 2013, before opening wine shop, Frenchie Caviste, at the end of September 2015.
The menu at Frenchie Covent Garden echoes its Parisian counterpart, with simple, generous yet precise dishes heavily influenced by Greg’s travels.
The food references his experiences in kitchens across the world, from Gramercy Tavern in New York to beach bars in Spain, through to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London, underpinned by his classical French training growing up in Nantes.
Greg uses, for the most part, British-sourced ingredients, and thus his dishes have evolved into new adaptations across the Channel. His simple yet inspired cuisine includes trademark techniques such as house-smoked meat and fish, vibrant seasoning and fresh flavours, which all shine through.
The 60-cover restaurant has been designed by renowned set designer Emilie Bonaventure. The two-floor space features a light-filled informal ground floor restaurant and bar.
A key member of the Frenchie group, Emilie offers a design concept featuring whitewashed walls and exposed brickwork, warmed by brass, copper and zinc accents, leather seating and a rich colour palette.
Emilie has used her experience as a set designer to inspire her design at Frenchie Covent Garden, using a striking staircase and an original 19th-century marble fireplace to create a natural focal point for the space.
The lower floor can be configured for larger group dining or individual tables, with several seats at the open kitchen designed to recreate the intimacy of Frenchie, Paris. Upstairs, 18 seats at the bar are reserved for walk-ins. Emilie has worked with Greg and Marie to choose contemporary artworks for Frenchie Covent Garden – a collection that will expand over time.
“With Frenchie, I wanted to create a lively, yet relaxed place where you want to come but most importantly return again and again,” says Greg.
“I love London and I am so excited to have the opportunity to bring Frenchie over here and to feed on the energy, the diversity and the ‘richesse’ the city has to offer. I look forward to rediscovering the best of British – both the produce and the people!”