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A profile of Lumiere
Award winning Cheltenham restaurant has chosen several Robert Welch Designs pieces
Lumiere is a three-AA-Rosette restaurant in the heart of Cheltenham, the Regency Spa town home to the Gold Cup, the Jazz Festival and much more besides. The restaurant holds three AA Rosettes, is listed in the Michelin Guide and in 2016/17 was named the AA Hospitality Awards Restaurant of the Year – England.
They’ve chosen Helix hurricane lamps, Drift Barware and Arden cutlery for their restaurant and several Signature knives for the kitchen. We caught up with co-owner, Helen Howe, who opened the restaurant in 2009 with husband and head chef, Jon.
Tell us about Lumiere, Helen, how did it all come about? “We wanted to set up a restaurant that Jon and I would love to eat in - our aim is to provide a truly memorable dining experience. An experience that celebrates the diversity of our wonderful British ingredients, cooked with imagination and passion. With our warm, knowledgeable, professional staff extending genuine hospitality as they guide you through your visit.”
In describing the restaurant, the AA Guide said: The discreet frontage is easy to miss on Clarence Parade, but look out for the restaurant’s name etched onto the single window pane. Jon and Helen Howe’s restaurant, with its gently contemporary interior and smart table settings, is one of the town’s most alluring dining destinations.
What were the design features you were aiming for? “Our restaurant is contemporary and airy, designed in rich purples and creams with modern works of art and glass, generous table sizes, crisp white tablecloths and comfortable chairs. The overall effect is calm, modern and stylish. With my blend of friendly and informative service, combined with Jon’s culinary ability and Modern British style, we create a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, which we hope will leave you wanting just one more mouthful.”
We’re very pleased that you chose so many Robert Welch products, Helen, what was it about them that appealed? “We’ve been aware of Robert Welch products for years, of course, and we loved the Helix lamps because they’re made from bright stainless steel and glass – just what we wanted. The dark wood base also complements the chair legs. It’s all about the detailing.
“The same is true of the Drift condiment sets – the two pinch pots sit on a dark wooden base - and that led us to the Drift Champagne Buckets and Wine Coolers. Now that we’ve added the Arden Cutlery, they complete the quality feel for diners.”
The Michelin Guide said of the food: Seasonal dishes are modern and intricate with the occasional playful twist - desserts are often the highlight. The AA Guide added: everything from dynamic canapés (smoked eel and wasabi croquette, say) and breads (check out the amazing brown fig and raisin version) are made in-house. Jon runs the kitchen with verve, delivering a repertoire that reveals classical roots and an up-to-date approach. Every ingredient is on the plate for a reason, with every flavour and texture hitting home, and the food is very prettily arranged, too.
Helen explained: “Our preference has always been to use fantastic fresh, seasonal food delivered daily from local farms, regional suppliers and markets to create a short inspirational menu that changes frequently to make the most of the fresh produce available to us.
“Jon’s beautifully presented food is focused firmly on great ingredients and bold flavours with an interesting use of unusual ingredients and combinations. We make everything in house, but not because we just like to say its “homemade” but because we want to give our customers the best we possibly can and an experience that will stay with them for a long time.”
The new cutlery and some Drift Barware items were delivered during the Micheline Guide’s judging window. We certainly hope that Lumiere has a very positive judgement and we wish Helen, Jon and the team there all the very best – fingers crossed for that first star!
For more information or to make a reservation, visit the Lumiere website directly.