Tucked away down a cobbled mews in historic Smithfield, Le Café du Marché is one of the oldest restaurants in the area. Renowned as an atmospheric and convivial French restaurant, it remains family-run after three decades Downstairs a characterful restaurant serves authentic French cuisine, while upstairs is a unique private dining room - perfect for parties, dinners, corporate events and wedding celebrations.
The regularly hanging à la carte menu uses the best fresh and seasonal ingredients, features daily specials and ever-popular dishes such as la cote de boeuf with sauce béarnaise; braised beef bourguignon and celeriac puree; mousse au chocolat and classic French cheese. The ground floor restaurant saw extensive renovation during 2017 to open up the previously separate café. The space retains the bare brick walls and beams of this former warehouse and coachhouse for neighbouring Charterhouse. The atmosphere is that of a traditional French brasserie, with live jazz in the evenings. In the summer tables spill out onto the pavement.
The high-ceilinged first floor private dining room, Le Grenier (the attic), has high ceilings, large windows and characterful oak panelling, creating a rustic French atmosphere in the centre of London. The room is self-contained with its own entrance, bar, toilets, and kitchen. The light and airy space seats up to 62 people for lunch or dinner and up to 120 for canapés but is also cosy enough to suit smaller groups too.
Marina O’Laughlin reviewed the restaurant for The Guardian in 2015 and wrote: “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. The food, regularly changing and handwritten on a blackboard under the brick arches, is as unreconstructed as a garlic-breathed, whiskery kiss.” Le Café du Marché was founded by Charlie Graham-Wood in 1986 and named to reflect its proximity to Smithfield meat market – the largest wholesale meat market in the UK. Today Charlie’s vision is continued by his daughter, Sophie Graham-Wood and a loyal team of staff, many of whom have been part of the team since the late 1980s.