Established in 1867 by August Kettner, rumoured to have been chef to Napoleon III, Kettner’s was one of the first restaurants in London to serve French food. Popular with historical figures and creatives throughout its 151-year history, legend has it that King Edward VII courted his mistress, actress Lillie Langtry, in its cabinets particuliers (private dining rooms). Remaining open through both World Wars, Kettner’s entertained visitors including Sir Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, Bing Crosby and Margaret Thatcher.
The French restaurant at Kettner’s Townhouse has a menu inspired by its past, using locally-sourced ingredients. The design retains the original Grade II listed details, including the floral plasterwork and mirrors that line the walls. The interiors feature rosewood and mahogany furniture in a warm colour palette.
The Kettner’s Townhouse art collection is inspired by the buildings’ risqué reputation, with site-specific installations by Danny Augustine and Sara J Beazley. Works in the Champagne Bar are inspired by a series of lost murals, partly uncovered during the restoration. The murals were preserved before being recovered behind the bar walls, and after photographing the decades-old work, Beazley incorporated the imagery into silkscreen prints. In the bedrooms, the artwork mixes modern Soho with vintage and Georgian references.
Kettner’s Townhouse celebrates Soho and its local community from 1867 to today, marking a new chapter for this historic building.