Many establishments of excellence in the hospitality industry, enjoying success, have become seeds to an ever-growing tree of destinations with branches found far and wide. It is easy to see the alluring attraction of such growth, and if managed sensibly it may be justified but all too often the essence and character of the seedling may not always be retained in new sprouts. It remains to be seen how the well-established French restaurant Lapérouse will fare in its quest to branch out from Paris worldwide. And will it be as far-reaching as the scientific conquests of Officer Lapérouse from whom it takes its name?

Jean François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse often called simply Lapérouse, was a French naval officer and explorer. Having enlisted at the age of 15, he had a successful naval career and in 1785 was appointed to lead a scientific expedition around the world. Taking a look at the many destinations of his ships we may appreciate that there is room for expansion for Lapérouse because he stopped in Chile, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Mauritius, Reunion, Macau, Japan, Russia and Australia.

Interestingly, the newest addition to Les Cafés & Comptoirs Lapérouse isn’t in any of these places but found in London, soon to be followed by Miami and Jeddah. Suitable for a restaurant named after a naval officer of great political influence, it is located in one of London's most legendary buildings.

It is in Whitehall, in the courtyard of The OWO, annexed to the new Raffles Hotel at the Old War Offices that French elegance and art of hospitality take centre stage. With two different spaces, the Pavilion Café caters for all-day casual dining and the more lustrous Salon a more formal evening affair. Many travel-themed elements feature throughout, such as shells adorning the magnificent bar, reminiscent of Lapérouse’s Island adventures.

Graciously welcomed at the magnificent bar in the pavilion with champagne and, inspired by the shell-themed design, we enjoyed the oyster platter from the rather sparse but well-chosen menu as starters in the dining hall, Salon Lapérouse. For mains, one of Lapérouse’s grand Parisian classics, Dover sole with meunière butter, capers and pomme purée didn’t disappoint, nor did the Château beef fillet, all presented with prompt, attentive but unobtrusive service.

In the formal evening dining space artistic director, Cordelia de Castellane, has managed to give Lapérouse a Parisian spirit, with elegance and refined but sumptuous details. She has created an atmosphere reminiscent of the different worlds of the navigator Lapérouse, inspired by his other ports of call and the rich history of the flagship restaurant in Paris.

Lapérouse considers itself to be a tribute to the art of entertaining, to French savoir-faire and to destinations of exploration outside the walls of the flagship at Quai des Grand Augustins in Paris. At any time of the day, from breakfast to dinner, you might well expect Pavillon Café and Salon Lapérouse to make the perfect meeting place for figures of political intrigue, aptly set in décor inspired by the voyages of the explorer from whom the restaurant takes its name. This is not just a restaurant; it is a portal to the heart and soul of French culinary artistry. Whether you are a seasoned connoisseur of French cuisine or a first-time explorer, this enchanting establishment offers an authentic and unforgettable experience that transports you to the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of France.

It seems that French elegance and the art of hospitality will now take centre stage at those locations with Café Lapérouse. With its delicate, gourmet menu and all-day dining service, this is sure to be the address of choice for Londoners.

A rendezvous for bon vivant and an ode to subtle and tasty French cuisine, to celebrate all occasions, day or night.