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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. Our upstairs dining room Le Grenier is available for private hire.

For Café du Marché please contact us directly on 020 7608 1609

 
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History


       History       

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purpose built cold stores and butchers which lined Charterhouse Street to the west have closed down and in their stead been replaced by a different hub of activity – bars, restaurants and clubs.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.

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About

Cuisine

           Cuisine           

 

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 an a la carte menu


 We recommend reserving your table in advance on
020 7608 1609


Bookatable reservation

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Menu

              Menu               

Café du Marché

Christmas Menu. 2 courses a £38.95. 3 courses a £45.95

All main courses served with frites and green salad

                Les Entrées              

La soupe de poisson

La soupe du jour

Tartine of smoked salmon, guacamole and pink grapefruit

Risotto of butternut, smoked chicken and sage

Chicory, Roquefort, fennel and orange

Tartlette of crab, spinach, parmesan, poached egg, butter sauce

Terrine of foie gras, apple puree, toasted sourdough (£3 supplement)

Pear, goat cheese and hazelnut pizzeta

                 Les Plats                

La cote de boeuf, sauce béarnaise (for 2 people – £5 supplement)

Le poisson selon le marché

Le plat du jour

Confit of duck, Brussel tops, cranberry compote, red wine jus

Braised beef bourguignon, celeriac puree

Pan fried scallops, sweet corn purée, lemon dressing, straw potatoes (£3 supplement)

Wild mushroom risotto, shaved parmesan, truffle oil

Butter poached blue lobster tagliatelle (£5 supplement)

Lozere leg of lamb, Greek salad and frites, madeira sauce (for 2 people – £5 supplement)

               Les Desserts             

Damson tart, eau de vie crème fraiche

Chocolate and baileys trifle

Maraschino pannacotta, Morello cherry compote

Le dessert du jour

Sorbet ou glacé

Les Fromages (£3 supplement)

15% optional service
N.B. Customers susceptible to food allergens are advised to ask management for further information on menu content

Christmas Menu from 27th November – 22nd December

Wine

             Le Vin du Café             

The Café’s careful selection of wines offers a variety of French regional wines.

La Carte des Vins

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Private Dining


     Private Dining     

Le Grenier is available on week days and Saturday evenings (or on Sundays by negotiation) for wedding receptions, private parties and dinners, or other functions.

We can arrange music for your party – with bands providing musical styles ranging from classical to jazz to blues.

Please contact us on 020 7608 1609 to discuss your plans.

More information here

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Cafe Background

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Gift Vouchers

       Gift Vouchers       

Treat friends and family to a gift voucher for lunch or dinner
For more information please email us at events@cafedumarche.co.uk

Contact

            Contact            

Le Café du Marché


22 Charterhouse Square,
Charterhouse Mews
Smithfield

London EC1M 6DX

Locate on the map

020 7608 1609

events@cafedumarche.co.uk

Kitchen Opening Hours:
Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-10pm

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive invitations to live music nights and updates about the menus

 




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Reviews

 

Le Café du Marché has been open for more than 27 years
and has constantly received praiseworthy reviews within London’s eating scenery


Barbican Life - February 2016Barbican Life - February 2016
The Guardian - February 2015The Guardian - February 2015
A Little Bird - November 2010A Little Bird - November 2010
Squaremile - October 2010Squaremile - October 2010
Foodepedia - July 15th 2010Foodepedia - July 15th 2010
Evening Standard - 8th July 2010Evening Standard - 8th July 2010
City Am - 22nd June 2010City Am - 22nd June 2010
Charles Campion - 18th June 2010Charles Campion - 18th June 2010
Time Out - 2009Time Out - 2009
Os Magazine - Spring 1993Os Magazine - Spring 1993
Letter from London - May 1989Letter from London - May 1989
Midweek - April 9th 1987Midweek - April 9th 1987
Image Magazine - February 1987Image Magazine - February 1987

With a family lineage hailing from the French culinary capital of Lyon, the original restaurateur, 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, 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.

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The bare brick walls with little by way of decoration bar vast glass bottles of preserved fruit; the single vintage clock, the wooden warehouse beams. Senior, magnificently Gallic chaps in checked shirts and aprons greet you like old pals when you arrive and remember your coat when you leave. The candlelit romance of the place is intensified by its location, a hidden, cobbled arched mews off Charterhouse Square. It’s all enough to turn the most leathery cynic misty-eyed.

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This is a great place for dinner with friends but it’s also a perfect date spot – book a cosy table for two by the wall and you can gaze at each other over candlelight and steak-frites.

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That’s probably down to the lure of places like Le Café Du Marché, which has taken the best innovations of the last few decades(lighter dishes; waiters who don’t look at you like you’ve shat in their shoes) and grafted them on to what is, essentially, a great French neighbourhood restaurant. That just happens to be plonked right in the middle of Smithfield.

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Le Café du Marché has been in Clerkenwell so long you half expect to find Peter Ackroyd excavating the cobbles outside. This area is steeped in history, so perhaps it’s only fitting that one of its best restaurants has been around a while too…

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This nest of three restaurants is hidden away close to Smithfield(as well as the café there is Cafe Rendezvous and Le Grenier Du Café) and they have been serving traditional French food to happy regulars since 1986. For the Francophile its the perfect place to celebrate Quatorze Julliet.

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Le Café Du Marché, the atmospheric French restaurant in Smithfield and firm favourite among City folk, is offering three courses for the price of two for lunch until the end of the summer. Hidden up an ancient cobbled lane off Charterhouse Square, there’s nothing erstaz about the place’s romantic Gallic charm, where you can get stuck into a constantly changing menu of French classics. The fillet steak, by the way, is spectacular.

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These old-timers have been quietly going about their business for decades rather than years. Their menus are couched in old-fashioned language, this is not the place to seek out Asian spicing, foams, or moody fusion concepts.

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Set in a former warehouse on an idyllic alleyway off Charterhouse Square, Café du Marché is divided into three separate eateries: Le Café is the smartest and most atmospheric, with a pared-down country-meets-city aesthetic (bare brick walls, starched white tablecloths, original wooden floors, candles), and a jazz pianist to set the sophisticated but warm tone. The romantic location is popular with couples…
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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Whether you are seeking a business lunch or an unhurried soiree a deux, Charles Graham-Wood’s restaurant tucked behind London’s meat market has the ambience to suit. By day, the corporate lunch dominates, but by night the atmosphere transforms into a soft, relaxed setting. Even the brick walls take on a warmer hue especially when the three piece band strikes up (saxophone, piano and double bass). Cuisine is of the highest quality and reasonably priced, so it is hardly surprising that even in the depths of recession you need to book. The colourful, Gitanes-smoking patron, whose family originate from the French gastronomique capital of Lyon, attends to his guests as though he were hosting a private dinner party. Set price three course menu, lunch and dinner £19, or £11 three course (no-choice) downstairs. Excellent house wine; the little known Vacqueyras from the Rhone valley £11. Only one sitting so you never feel rushed.

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A real find in something of a culinary desert is Le Café Du Marché, very handy for the Barbican and close to atmospheric Smithfield market. The roomy converted warehouse is pretty, done in rustic French style with brick walls, wood and lace curtains. Downstairs the set price meals offer good French bistro fare like poule au pot or provencal fish soup as well as more international flavouring with satay and ceviche. All meals are set menus from £10 to £15.50. A grill room upstairs, Le Grenier, has a bar festooned with French sausages you never knew existed and serves grills with classic sauces.

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You need sniffer dogs and an ordinance survey map to find the latest addition to Smithfields eateries – Café Du Marché – tucked away in a tiny mews off Charterhouse Square, where the famous public school was originally sited…
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.

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Le Café Du Marché serves food which is not only imaginatively selected and prepared, but also has the good sense to simplify its menu to a two-tier structure. You may either have the set meal of the day – three courses at £9.00 – or any selection from the equally tantalising a la carte menu at £12.50…

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