Renowned Spanish chef Albert Adrià has chosen London's Hotel Café Royal to open his first permanent restaurant outside his home country.
Cakes and Bubbles is set to open in November on the site of what is currently European café Papillon off Regent Street.
Albert, who together with his brother Ferran, ran the three-Michelin-starred elBulli in Catalonia before launching Barcelona restaurants Tickets, Hoja Santa, Pakta and Enigma, continues a relationship with the London hotel which started when he held a 50-day residency there, appropriately named 50 Days, in 2016.
As the name of Cakes and Bubbles suggests, the new venture will have a focus on desserts, Champagne, Cava and other sparkling wines.
The menu has not been finalised, but is likely to change with the seasons and as Albert adapts to the location. It will feature a classic version of the cheesecake made famous at Tickets (pictured below), as well as a more modern version, and the chef is excited to see which of the two proves more popular.
The cheesecakes will be served alongside waffles, doughnuts, ice-creams and handmade chocolates, all of which Albert promised will have a "wow factor".
He told The Caterer
He added that the menu would be relatively short but that some savoury items will be available too.
Talking about his inspiration for the project, he said: "I wonder why I didn't think earlier about doing a concept that would focus on the sweet world. I have worked for so many years in pastry, after all. I am really excited to see the results and how it is going to go.
"Both Champagne and desserts have this effect of price. When you have a glass of Champagne you say 'I am drinking this because I deserve it'. It is the same thing with desserts. You wouldn't have them every day but now and then you want it and you deserve special treatment, so we are connecting those two sides."
Albert said he had chosen Hotel Café Royal for the project not just because of its central location facing one of the busiest streets in London, but also because of the relationship he has with the team there.
"When we did 50 Days, the feeling we had at the end was of mutual respect and affection. They treated me really well and it was a beautiful experience and a beautiful partnership. I am the kind of person that chooses more on the human factor than any other factor," he said.
The chef hopes to build a strong local following for Cakes and Bubbles, the capacity of which has not yet been determined, aiming for a mix of tourists and around 50% local residents.