Why We Love Soho’s Iconic French Restaurant, L’Escargot

Set in the heart of Soho, L’Escargot holds the distinction of being one of the oldest and most celebrated fine dining restaurants in London for nearly 100 years. This iconic French restaurant is renowned for its charm, elegance, impeccable service and the excellence of its traditional French cuisine.

Encapsulating the spirit of old Soho combined with an age of relaxed luxury and its legendary status, the restaurant is renowned for traditional French cuisine with a regularly changing and immaculately presented menu focussing on the finest seasonal ingredients, which celebrates classic French dishes with a modern twist. The world-famous Les Escargots flambéed in Pernod, come by the dozen and is a must-try for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience. The menu features the finest French delicacies and dishes from the flavoursome Lobster Bisque, Bouillabaisse, seasonal game and Pâté en Croûte ‘Maison’ to the legendary Tournedos Rossini, Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon and the divine Soufflé au Chocolat.

L’Escargot was a firm favourite of Princess Diana and has hosted an array of prominent artists, actors, musicians and celebrities over the years including Coco Chanel, Frank Sinatra, General de Gaulle, Elton John, Sam Smith, Mick Jagger, Dame Judy Dench, the Kray’s and HRH Princess Margaret. Petula Clark and Shirley Bassey both sang around the piano, plus Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon used to lunch at the restaurant once a month.

The restaurant has achieved a string of accolades, named as Best French Restaurant in London and Best Restaurant in Soho – a reputation it retains to this day. Head Chef James Tyrrell reigns at the helm, who comes from Claridge’s Hotel and trained at Langan’s Brasserie with the great Richard Shepherd.

Housed in a magnificent 18th-century Georgian townhouse dating from 1741, the building was one of the first houses to be built in Soho and was originally the private residence of the Duke of Portland. Stepping inside L’Escargot, guests are greeted by an enchanting interior, which retains original features that have delightful French aesthetics and a cosy, intimate atmosphere draped in velvet and chandeliers with a backdrop of 01 original, esteemed works of art throughout the entire venue.

The rooms are colourful and eccentric; with ornate mirrors, soft lighting, and a large art collection with old photographs of celebrity clients and contemporary art from Matisse, Bacon, Hockney, Peter Blake, Grayson Perry and Lubaina Himid. The upper floors contain a series of private dining rooms, seating from 10 – 40 guests, which are perfect for special occasions, corporate events or private dinners. At the top of the house is a private club bar, the Snail Bar, which regularly hosts live music events and on Fridays and Saturdays has a wonderful pianist.

Whether you are a seasoned gastronome, a lover of the arts, or simply seeking an unforgettable dining experience, L’Escargot promises a truly memorable experience.


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