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Les Deux Salons: West End brasserie is Conran’s 46th launch

Sir Terence Conran has made a remarkable gastronomic return to Theatreland more than a decade after the launch of his last West End venue.

The “committed francophile”, 83, and his business partner Peter Prescott has today relaunched French bistro Les Deux Salons in Covent Garden, after taking it over in December.

It comes 11 years after Floridita op-ened in Wardour Street, and 20 years on from the height of his “gastrodome” eating-out revolution. The latest launch — number 46 of the Habitat founder’s 62-year career — is also just yards from the site of his first: the Soup Kitchen in Chandos Place, which began serving in 1953. Sir Terence said: “This is my first opening in real central London since Quaglino’s and Mezzo. It feels very good, a bit of a homecoming certainly.”

Despite his age, he said he had no intention of retiring and had three more projects in the pipeline: a café and cocktail bar in Shoreditch and a restaurant in Clerkenwell.

“We’re coming to the end of this project now. It’s taken three months but I still love doing things like deciding whether to cover the columns with a mosaic,” he added. “Is it going to work? You just don’t know until you see it.”

Sir Terence and Mr Prescott have spent more than £1 million turning Les Deux Salons, a two-storey restaurant  in King William IV Street near Trafalgar Square, into their version of a Parisian Rive Gauche brasserie. The 240-seat all-day destination has a café, bistro, bar and épicerie on the ground floor, and a more formal restaurant with linen tablecloths and a private dining room on the first floor.

Interiors have been designed by Spin Architecture’s Isabelle Chatel de Brancion and the head chef is Barry Tonks. The venue was previously run by Will Smith and Anthony Demetre, the team behind Arbutus and Wild Honey.

Sir Terence sold a half-share in his Conran Restaurants group to management, who renamed it D&D London in 2007 and took a back seat. He made a previous return to the restaurant scene in partnership with Mr Prescott in 2009, with Lutyens in Fleet Street.


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