Open for nearly three decades Le Cafe du Marche has become renowned as an atmospheric and bon vivant French restaurant in the heart of Smithfield with live jazz in the evenings.
The Café is the main restaurant on the ground floor, upstairs we also have Le Grenier and Le Rendez-Vous , our recently re-opened coffee shop and restaurant, is around the corner.
Smithfield and Charterhouse Square are so steeped in history, it is only fitting that le Café du Marché is one of the area’s oldest eating establishments, opening its doors one summer in 1986 by Charlie Graham-Wood.
Fitting too, that the converted warehouse this French restaurant is housed in was developed from stabling and coach houses for Charterhouse officers and was once a corset factory, then a medical storage warehouse for St. Barts hospital.
Le Café du Marché, aptly named due to its proximity to Smithfield meat market – the largest wholesale meat market in the United Kingdom, is situated next to the legendary Fox & Anchor pub.
Time passing, and the purpose built cold stores and butchers which lined Charterhouse Street to the west have closed down and in their stead been replaced by a different hub of activity – bars, restaurants and clubs. All the while, tucked down the cobbled mews, Café du Marché has been quietly going about its business, with an ongoing stream of city lunchers, champagne parties, happy regulars, lovers and francophiles.
With a family lineage hailing from the culinary capital of Lyon, Charlie Graham-Wood sought to bring straightforward, honest French food to his tables. Almost three decades later, four of his core staff remain: executive chef Simon Cottard who trained under the Roux brothers, general managers Roberto Muscas and Carlos Ruiz and Keith Davies, pastry chef and creator of our basket of blown sugar fruit, the latter three joined Charlie from the Restaurant Ship Hispaniola. Remaining an independent, family run restaurant, his daughter has joined the team. Together they continue to carry out Charlie’s vision.
Our cuisine has a predominant provincial French accent, however our Chefs are working constantly to innovate, bringing European influences to their dishes.
As a consequence, our menu changes every five weeks. It includes a soup du jour and meat and fish du jour, reflecting the best fresh and seasonal products available in the markets.
We offer a fixed price 3 or 2 course menu.
We recommend reserving your table in advance
Le Vin du Café
The Café’s careful selection of wines offers a variety of French regional wines.
We can arrange music for your party – with bands providing musical styles ranging from classical to jazz to blues.
Please contact Gisella on 020 7608 1609 to discuss your plans.
More information, menus and photos…
Monday to Friday 12 – 2.30 pm
Monday to Saturday 6 -10 pm
Le Café du Marché has been open for more than 27 years
and has constantly received praiseworthy reviews within London’s eating scenery
- Image Magazine - February 1987
- Midweek - April 9th 1987
- Letter from London - May 1989
- Os Magazine - Spring 1993
- Time Out - 2009
- Charles Campion - 18th June 2010
- City Am - 22nd June 2010
- Evening Standard - 8th July 2010
- Foodepedia - July 15th 2010
- Squaremile - October 2010
- Midweek - April 9th 1987
Again, it is well worth winkling out and, even just three months of business, seems to have established a terrific reputation for food and atmosphere. “Once you’ve found us, you feel a sense of achievement,” said owner Charles Graham-Wood.
The fixed-price three-course à la carte features a nice balance of French provincial dishes. Dishes were beautifully presented and near faultless. Chocolate mousse to follow was deliciously rich and appropriately small. The wine list (almost exclusively French) provides a satisfying read for oenophiles…
Complimentary extras such as a large salad bowl with the mains and constantly refilled bread baskets reinforce the feeling of being well looked after…
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