Patisserie Valerie, the café chain offering mouth watering patisseries and ice creams to busy Londoners is delighted to launch its latest venue, set in the heart of historic Spitalfields. This impressive site has been specially designed by leading architect Norman Foster and will act as a dramatic complement to the nine existing offerings across the capital. Set over two floors and with over 7,000 square feet of space, the building’s wrap around glass façade affords panoramic views of the City and London’s newest and most exciting shopping area.
Patisserie Valerie Spitalfields marks a fresh, funky departure for this family-run business, which has until now been a strictly West End affair. You won’t find any dark woods or traditional furniture in this haven of self-indulgence, which includes a patisserie, a fully-licensed brasserie, a 60-seater café, a takeaway ciabatta bar and a Gelateria. In the state-of-the-art basement kitchens, a battery of eight chefs will be hard at work, hand-making the Patisserie’s renowned ice-creams, rich chocolates, breads and cakes on a daily basis.
The Patisserie has been designed as the ultimate in bright, modern cool. On the slate-tiled ground floor, the central stainless-steel Ciabatta Bar is lit with glowing fibre-optics, where customers can eat their snacks sitting on Italian-designed buffalo-skin bar stools.
The Café, where customers can relax with coffee, cakes or perhaps a towering ice-cream sundae, is furnished with bright yellow one-piece moulded plastic tables and chairs, while the supporting pillars have been painted in bright multicoloured stripes in homage to the artist Howard Hodgkin. A huge organic-looking aluminium and glass sculpture, designed by the renowned sculptor Guy Portelli (creator of the John Lennon memorial in Central Park, New York) forms a spectacular centrepiece.
On a sunny day, the doors are flung open and customers can watch the world go by at outdoor tables. Harassed City traders can stop at the takeaway window for an ice-cream cone at any time of year: the Gelateria, which serves 28 different flavours of freshly-made ice-cream, will be open every day. “It’s my mission to convert Britons to the joys of ice-cream in winter,” says director Enzo Scalzo.
Upstairs, accessed by panoramic glass lifts, is the fully-licensed Brasserie, which offers light meals, soups, salads and perhaps a glass or two of good wine to wash them down. Seating 70, the décor here is equally modern but a little softer. Multi-coloured polka dots dance over the pillars and the bar is topped with a striped zebra-wood. On hot days, glass doors to the outside can be opened, and customers are shaded from dazzle by specially-designed louvres.
Open seven days a week, from 7.30am to 8pm daily, the Patisserie will cater for everyone from businessmen wanting a quick and delicious breakfast to families treating themselves after a day out at the stunning new Spitalfields Market. In fact, only one type of customer may find them-selves disappointed: the dedicated slimmer.
“I’m afraid,” says Enzo, “that we’re really about indulgence, not dieting.”