Along with messers Harrod and Selfridge, Arthur Liberty is one of retail’s towering figures. His is a legacy that extends from changing the very face of Regent Street to being responsible for James May’s camera-offending warderobe. And while his surname has long been associated with the department store he founded at Liberty’s, now his christian name will get a glimmer of recognition too with the opening of Arthur’s.
This second floor restaurant marks the final stage in a year-long renovation at the iconic shop and promises to marry the heritage of the mock-Tudor building we know and love with the contemporary fashions and styles that it stands for.
In contrast to the Arts and Craft design of the store’s interior, popular when Liberty’s was rebuilt in the 1920s, architect Nick Leith-Smith has created a masterpiece in Art Deco, that decade’s antithesis style and the juxtaposition is both pleasing and successful. The banquette seating with brass and copper detailing, upholstered in plush velvet of alternating shades of midnight blue, teal green and dusty pink gives way to marble-topped tables, lit from above by reclaimed pendant lighting. The walls are painted in geometric designs, adding a vibrance that is also found on the plates, thanks to a menu that draws from the Liberty London’s Mini British Food Hall, adding in a cocktail menu to-boot.
Expect to be delighted by hearty mains including glazed chicken and pickled mushrooms or a salmon poke while the quinoa and kale tabbouleh with grilled haloumi is on-hand for veggie shoppers. Brunch might consist of salmon, chive and free-range eggs with sourdough soldiers or perhaps fresh waffles which are freshly baked by Arthur’s in-house baker, Ingrid Parfait, along with a litany of our favourites; warm madeleines, pink lady cake, popcorn chocolate brownies and her renowned carrot cake.
Arthur’s doesn’t hold back when it comes to cocktails, either, with an impressive bar serving Arthur’s signature Liberty Royal cocktails, or, indeed, a selection of craft beers.
So inviting does all this look that we hope Liberty’s haven’t noticed the design flaw in their creation: with all this on hand why would you ever leave to go shopping?
Arthur’s Restaurant at Liberty London: Open now, Regent Street, W1B 5AH, www.libertylondon.com