Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Cyclechic's little black book: Cafe Luc, Marleybone High street

I had the pleasure of being invited to new brasserie restaurant, Cafe Luc, to test out the bike valet service... and of course the food.
The booking was for 7pm so I popped on a frock, jumped on my poppy and set off across London. I had a wonderful cycle ride through Kensington and Hyde park, passing the Royal Albert Hall and crossing over the Serpentine. A perfectly romantic start to the evening.

I arrived at Cafe Luc, located in one of my favourite London streets, the sophisticated Marleybone High street. The restaurant looked wonderfully inviting and as I perused the menu, a couple of smartly dressed and rather handsome chaps came out and offered to park my bike for me. How lovely. Instead of the usual hunting around for suitable bike parking then scrabbling around with my lock, I simply handed Poppy over and waltzed into the restaurant to meet my date. Cafe Luc have a secure indoor area where they store customers bikes while they dine at no extra charge, this is the the first bike valet service I've heard of in London and I think its a fabulous idea.

I won't pretend to be a restaurant critic but the food was scrummy. A fantastic selection of French and Mediterranean dishes, I had scallops to start and Red Mullet for my main, washed down with lovely Savingnon Blanc. The service was efficient and friendly but not intrusive and throughout the meal I was safe in the knowledge that my bike was parked safely and would be presented to me as I left.

The restaurant, which has only been open for 8 weeks and busy and bussling - some popping in for a quick bite after work and others sitting comfortably in the corner, taking their time over 3 courses and a couple of bottles of wine. The mains range from £12-28 but there is also a very reasonably priced set menu for £15 per person so it doesn't have to be expensive night out.
The bike valet service was a great added extra to what was a very enjoyable evening out. I will definitely be back. I am already suggesting it to my cycling friends as the perfect spot to meet for Sunday brunch and have it noted as a great place for a business lunch.
So after a smashing meal and an espresso to help me with the cycle home, we left the restaurant and I was reunited with my bicycle. Not only was this handy and hassle free but was a sophisticated end to glamorous Friday night out.


Clazzerati said...

What a great idea! So many times I end up being late as I cycle round in circles trying to find somewhere to park my bike. Th valet guy looked rather cute too! I think i'll be checking this place out rather soon. x

dreamlet said...

How great is that? I hope some restaurants in LA take to that idea. With parking in LA always being such a hassle, it would make so much sense!

Paper-Rock-Scissors said...

I love everything about this. It's so chic, cycling to dinner. I must sign up for cycling fun in the city sun.

Unknown said...

What a fabulous service!

Melafrique said...

Wow I'm so envious. Unfortunately I can't cycle to marylebone from cambs in order to enjoy all that's on offer but I will definitely try the food next time I'm in London. Love your poppy - I ve just ordered a sonnet bliss inflated and I just can't wait to enjoy her.

Caz said...

I am so glad you all agree its a good idea. Fingers crossed other restaurants will follow the example!
I have to say it was the icing on the cake to a lovely evening and the valet guy was very cute!

KarmaCycle said...

Interesting how some places welcome bikes, but many don't. I love the idea of a valet service for bikes. What does anyone think about bringing bikes into shops? I sometimes try to pick up a bottle of wine on my way home (I know, decadent and disorganised) and some of the shops let me rest the bike inside while I shop. It saves the hassle of chaining the thing up. But at Nicolas in Great Portland Street I was fairly rudely told not to bring the thing in. It really annoyed me! I can see you don't want to smash all the bottles by mistake, but surely we are pretty good at leaning our bikes safely, aren't we?

Lady VĂ©lo said...

What a fantastic idea this is!