From Our Editors
The story of Les Trois Garcons is, unsurprisingly, the story of three young men: Hassan, Stefan and Michel. Hailing from Malaysia, France and Sweden respectively, the trio found themselves settled in London, and in 1996, purchased a converted Victorian-era Shoreditch pub as their home (there is perhaps no more efficient way of immersing yourself in British culture). In 2000, the three friends opened the ground floor of the converted building as a French fine-dining restaurant, and it wasn’t long before a queue started to form. Once inside, it’s not hard to see why.
Nobody could accuse Les Trois Garcons of being indistinctive. Despite the Victorian pub façade, the restaurant’s interior is an opulent fusion of Victorian curios and dramatic chandeliers, as though Hemmingway and Byron shared interior design duties with Marie Antoinette. This style has been much imitated since Les Trois Garcons first opened, with various venues across the capital dabbling in decorative costume jewellery and looming taxidermy. Meanwhile the original has gone from strength to strength and the three garcons have remained, and even reside on the floors above.
As well as serving up a mean Wagyu beef bavette and classic French escargots, Les Trois Garcons also specialise in pre- and post-dinner drinks. In 2003, when a defunct meatpacking factory behind the restaurant became available, the trio bought it and turned it into Loungelover—a dedicated cocktail bar which continues the theme of Baroque decadence that began in Les Trois Garcons. And just to put the icing on the cake, in 2006 the garcons acquired Chateau de la Goujeonnerie, a palatial chateau in western France built in 1872. But despite the Chateau’s evocation of the fantastical, the fairy tale of Hassan, Stefan and Michel can be wholly attributed to the quality of the food, drinks and ambiance on offer back where it all began—at the original Les Trois Garcons.