The Crown Estate Leads Grand Restaurant Renaissance Bringing Villandry to St James’s

December 16, 2011

The Crown Estate has today announced Philippe Le Roux’s Villandry will lead the latest revitalisation of one of its historic listed buildings in St James’s, to bring it back to life as an 8,000 sq ft London flagship restaurant catering for 1000 diners a day.

Villandry will take occupation of the restaurant in Trafalgar House, a historic Grade II listed building in Waterloo Place. Ahead of the opening The Crown Estate is set to undertake a major £5 million refurbishment to the entire building and will look to progress major public realm improvements in the locale; these will include streetscape improvements, pavement widening, and street-clutter removal.

The Villandry letting builds on the current renaissance of the large West End restaurant, which has recently seen Jeremy King and Chris Corbin announce plans to open 20,000 sq ft grand French Brasserie in the palatial 1920s setting of The Crown Estate’s Quadrant 3 development. Cumulatively, The Crown Estate has recently revived more than 1,000 covers in St James’s and Regent Street in the last six months.

The company, which is the largest owner of freehold property in the core West End, has made substantial progress in St James’s in the last 18 months. It has acquired over £150 million of new property interests as part of a £500 million investment strategy to deliver a host of new high profile restaurant and retail lettings that will transform the area’s reputation as a stimulating and eclectic shopping and dining destination.

The Villandry restaurant, which will open in summer 2013, builds on its success in Great Portland Street. Commenting on the letting, Philippe Le Roux, Managing Director of Villandry said: “St James’s is home to some of London’s most celebrated heritage and is a world renowned destination. That’s why we’re looking forward to building on The Crown Estate’s investment to create a restaurant that offers affordable luxury and a place to meet and relax for office workers, residents and tourists.”

Anthea Harries, Portfolio Manager for St James’s at The Crown Estate said: “As the largest owner of freehold property in the West End we are investing £1.5 billion in regenerating St James’s and Regent Street. Lettings to King and Corbin, and now Philippe Le Roux, demonstrates our ability attract the best in the business and marks the first of a wave of new high calibre retailers and restaurateurs for the core West End”.

Villandry St James’s will offer three seated dining areas. Customers will enjoy a light southern European style menu featuring dishes from Italy, Southern France and Spain, all with a bias towards strong yet simple flavours and high quality, locally sourced, organic ingredients. The main dining room will also offer more traditional dishes and the retail and cafe area will sell a wide variety of wines, groceries, patisserie, salads, sandwiches, teas, coffees, soft drinks, hampers and flowers.

Davis Coffer Lyons and Nash Bond acted for The Crown Estate.