"Not Le Caprice"

Perhaps the most anticipated opening of 2024? A historically important restaurant Le Caprice (Or Something Like It) is to return.

" Not Le Caprice " is about to open and will be called The Arlington after the street it's located on, just behind The Ritz.
A little primer for anyone who’s taking in a lot of new information here.
Le Caprice was originally opened by Mario Gallati in 1947 at 20 Arlington Street in London's St James's area and soon drew the cafe society through its doors, and quickly gained a reputation for being frequented by celebrities.But the real golden era came later, Le Caprice was one of those iconic London restaurants that was rarely out of the society pages during its 1980s heyday. 

Princess Diana had a favourite corner table; Omar Sharif and Ian Dury got into fisticuffs over a girl; and Madonna and Liz Hurley were counted among the regulars.It became a legendary dining spot for Sir Elton John, Sir Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Princess Margaret and Jeffrey Archer, who received a parcel of its celebrated salmon fishcakes in prison. 
In 1981 it launched the career of Jeremy King, at the age of 27, with his long-term business partner Chris Corbin.
  In 2005 it was sold to Richard Caring as part of the Caprice Holdings empire but became one of the big restaurant victims of Covid.

I am the proud owner of Le Caprice cookbook and hanging on our kitchen wall framed, the original brunch menu and wine list from my last visit.I have to say I also own The Ivy cook book and was asked by Richard Erlich of the independent to put some of its recipes to the test for their regular column "Cooking The Books." That is by the by and the story here is the Ivy´s sister restaurant Le Caprice.
Just as well-known as the restaurant's customers was its general manager Jesus Adorno.When Le Caprice closed with the arrival of the pandemic, he had completed 38 years service and was disappointed not to have passed the four-decade mark.Now he will be joining King once again with the aim to recreate a restaurant that  many of their customers over the years have cherished

Apparently this isn't just going to be a rerun of an old favourite. It will be a new version but but reassuringly familiar in how it looks, and what is served.

Will the salmon fishcakes with sorrel sauce,the crispy duck salad and bang bang chicken be making  a comeback? We'll have to wait and see.

" Restaurants are at the heart of the culture 
and the economy of any country"

Before the pandemic, the hospitality sector contributed almost £60 billion to the economy, and restaurants represented between 3 and 5 per cent of businesses in each country and region of the UK. While more than ten per cent of restaurants – around 13,000 venues – have closed permanently since the pandemic began, King says the industry still plays a vital role in boosting tourism and attracting investment.' Restaurants are at the heart of the culture and the economy of any country,' he says. 'I would say there is no literary, artistic, musical or political movement that has not started in a restaurant or grand cafe.' Restaurants, he says, ´are an art form`, pointing out that Harold Pinter wrote a play called Celebration inspired by The Ivy. Restaurants Like The Wolseley, housed in a former car showroom are based on the grand European cafes, that are meeting points where everyone is welcome whether grande dame or thespian.

A concept that anyone can come in and have a cappuccino at the bar or caviar in a comfortable booth.At the Ivy table reservations were held back in case those who´d been treading the boards that night wished to dine after the show.If one turned up without a reservation King would seat you at the bar witha gin and tonic until it became clear that a speculative table had become available.Just by being there you are made to feel special in place where you can indulge in a favourite dish at your preferred table, served by staff who know you.Whoever you are you are made to feel privileged.This is how to do hospitality.
He despairs of rivals who open soulless chains.Which sadly is the demise of the Ivy since it was forcibly sold off. Since 2014, the company that bought it has opened over 30 spin-off restaurants. The Ivy Collection, known as Ivy Cafés and Ivy Brasseries., can now be found on high streets and shopping outlets across the Uk.
The well-known restaurateur and patron saint of London’s restaurant scene has been the mastermind behind The Wolseley, The Delaunay, Brasserie Zedel all in a square mile of the West End and theatre land, until the spring of 2022, when the company was forcibly bought out by shareholders Minor International. It was only going to be a matter of time before the restaurant King supremo bounced back and what better location than where it all began.
An American-style diner, The Park, and reviving Simpson's In The Strand, are also on his to do list.


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