Haute couture and haute cuisine seldom meet, unless you eat spag-bol wearing your best Chanel. But we’re spotting a slow-growing trend among fashion houses to include restaurants in their fashion outlets, after all if you can create a fantastic £15k handbag you must also be a dab-hand at cooking up a lobster bisque. So the theory goes.
If you love New York’s Blue Box Café, where you really can have breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Gucci’s 1921 Cafe, conveniently located in Shanghai, then here are the ones in London.
Burberry have successfully wrestled their image back from the Essex hatchback racing unemployed, and are very much reestablished among the great and the good as purveyors of finery, bags and macs. A piece of this puzzle must surely be Thomas’ Cafe, which is named after Burberry’s founder and oozes the style you’d expect from a quintessentially British fashion house. Muted colours and old school refinement, alongside a seasonal British menu, makes Thomas’ a worthwhile stop off whether or not you’re shopping at Burberry.
Ralph Lauren’s Bond Street store is already rather a fun place to shop. If Abercrombie, round the corner, is a nightclub, Ralph Lauren is a gentleman’s club. And no club would be complete without a wood panelled bar and lots of pictures of horses. Ralph’s Coffee & Bar is a treat, as unexpected as it is needed after half an hour trying on jumpers.
There’s definitely a trend of naming your in-house restaurant after your founder, we’ve had Thomas’ Cafe, Ralph’s Coffee & Bar and now Joe’s. Joseph Ettedgui founded fashion brand Joseph back in the ’70s and the brand remains strong. Especially when you can wash it down with a good glass of wine and a bite to eat. The restaurant apparently channels some of his eccentricity and certainly completes a visit to the Sloane Street store.
When you’re one of the world’s leading manufacturers of handbags then what could be more natural than extending this expertise to pastries? According to the guys at Prada this is totally normal, and so they’ve already taken over iconic Milanese Pasticceria Marchesi and will be wheeling out the concept in London next. Slated to open this month, this WILL be the place you go to get the insta likes with its famously Wes Anderson-esque interiors and Mayfair location. Oh, and the baked goods.
Chucs make 1950s-inspired swimwear, and now the fashion label run four London restaurants too. Named after the founder (obvs), Charles Finch, Chucs serve Italian and Mediterranean food seemingly at arm’s length from their men’s fashion business. Which is probably a good thing as you wouldn’t necessarily want men sizing out their swimmers while you’re sucking on your spaghetti. Also available in Harrods, the Serpentine Gallery, Westbourne Grove and, over summer, as a pop-up in St Tropez, Chucs very much stands alone independently of its fashion roots, which is a good thing.