We're unashamed menu fans here, and love nothing more than poring over a grand old magnum opus of some ancient long-gone restaurant. Probably terribly naff these days, but what the hell. Naff is cool.
Here, we've gathered together a little collection of our personal favourites.
(Photographed from our own collection)
|Oustau de Baumaniere, Baux de Provence, France: 1990|
Oustau de Baumaniere, Baux de Provence, France: 1990 So wide you need to share it to read it. From the L’Oasis school of ostentation. Commissioned illustration.
|Jamin, Paris, France: 1991|
Jamin, Paris, France: 1991 Reflects everything Joel Robuchon stands for. Refined, smart, small, precise, thoughtful. Pensive. Confident.
|Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France: 1988|
Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France: 1988 Beautiful, though I think if you did this today you would be taken to court and charged with pretentiousness. Commissioned psuedo-surrealism fr watercolour illustration, Conqueror paper (illustration by Michel Granger, of Jean Michel Jarre fame).
|Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse, Monte Carlo, Monaco: 1995|
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse, Monte Carlo, Monaco: 1995 Faux baroque, embossed card. Possibly the antithesis of what is fashionable in London today, and quite the reason to love it. In 2025 it will probably look very similar. I hope.
|Fouquet’s, Paris, France: 1990|
Fouquet’s, Paris, France: 1990 The most famous restaurant in the Champs-Élysées. If you want to create a brasserie anywhere in the world, this is first place to look. At the time, more crazily different ingredients than any restaurant in the world. Classic 80s Paris.
|Pharmacy (Notting Hill Gate), London: 1999 (est)|
Pharmacy (Notting Hill Gate), London: 1999 (est) A great example of ‘trends’ in menu (and restaurant) design. Seems so dated now! Fun. Doomed.
|Taillevent, Paris, France: 1991|
Taillevent, Paris, France: 1991 THE menu. Spirit of Escoffier. Completely French wine list. So snobby, not even all of France is allowed. 100% Bordeaux, Bourgognes and a few Côtes du Rhône! We love this one so much, it's hung in the corner of our Grand Salon at Gauthier Soho.
|L’Oasis, La Napoule, nr. Cannes, France: 1994|
L’Oasis, La Napoule, nr. Cannes, France: 1994 Massive, (almost 1m2!). Unashamed in its vulgarity. Anyone who needs a “Caravane de Desserts” is not here to appear frugal. Classic flash Cote d’Azur.
|Scott’s, London: 2005|
Scott’s, London: 2005 The quintessential London menu. Unfussy, clever, straight to the point. User friendly. Also could easily be The Ivy.
|Harry’s Bar, London: 2003|
Harry’s Bar, London: 2003 The real private club menu. Complicated, all in Italian with no translation, super expensive but refined to the extreme. Austere.