Organising a picnic in London in summer doesn’t come without risk. For a minute there, I thought it would rain all over the world’s first pop up picnic restaurant hosted by sparkling water brand Badoit, but the weather gods were kind and spared us from a soggy meal – and what a meal it was.
Following the success of last year’s Badoit Express in Paris – where Michelin starred chef Thierry Marx turned a commuter train into a free fine dining restaurant – the picnic on Soho Square was a more British version of the same concept. Some lucky office workers on their lunch break (and lucky old me!) were able to experience fine dining in the park for free, complete with blankets, exceptional waiting staff, silver cloches, a string quartet and plenty of Badoit water, of course.
In charge of the vibe, staff and decor was Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows, who designed the Badoit Express pop-up and added a touch of French finesse to a traditional picnic. Explaining the pop up, Sirieix said: “Soho square is going to pop with excitement. This completely free, wonderful gastronomic experience to Londoners, exemplifies Badoit’s conviviality and easy elegance. Of course the service, music and delicious food will be wonderful – but it is the Badoit that will bring true sparkle to the occasion.”
The Badoit Express pop up definitely proved that a lunch hour doesn’t need to be boring, that it could be so much more than a boring sandwich from across the street, wouldn’t you agree? And not a drop of rain until right after I got back behind my desk…