|Project Name||Socca||Posted in||Restaurants, Design, Interior Design||Location||
41 South Audley Street
|Telephone||+44 020 3376 0000||Completed||2022||Official Website||soccabistro.com|
Tucked behind sun-kissed blue awnings on the ground floor of a Grade II-listed Edwardian building, Socca restaurant marks the partnership of Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi of Bibendum in Chelsea, and restaurateur Samyukta Nair of LSL Capital by bringing a nostalgic taste of the French Riviera’s mid-century heyday to London’s Mayfair, both in culinary and aesthetic terms. Chef Claude Bosi channels fond childhood memories spent in the South of France in a French-Mediterranean menu of elevated comfort dishes, while interior design practice Fable Studio conjure the artistic heritage of Villa Santo Sospir and boutique hotel & restaurant La Columbe d’Or, two art-forward Côte d'Azur establishments where artists such as Jean Cocteau, Matisse, Miró, and Chagall left their mark.
Working with Nair, designer and co-founder of Fables Studio Tom Strother has complemented the historic building’s classical elegance – think high ceilings, parquet flooring and ornate ceiling mouldings – with a dash of Provençal flair by combining wood panelling, pristine white table linens, and a vibrant palette of blue hues. Brass scallop-shell sconces, half-net curtains and hand-crafted ceramics further amplify the French Riviera vibes.
At the front of the space, the light-filled ‘Grand Salon’ features intimate dining booths in navy blue leather upholstery, banquette seating in baby blue patterned fabric and a Breccia Violetta marble bar with smooth leather and bronze details. Hand painted stucco walls adorned with blue and white motifs in homage to the painting style of French Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy are complemented by paintings by the late Swiss artist Albert Chubac as part of a program of rotational exhibits in collaboration with A Space For Art.
A palette of green hues dominates ‘Le Petit Salon’ at the back of the space that also feature hand-painted murals whose whimsical stylings are a nod to Jean Cocteau’s famous wall paintings in Villa Santo Sospir – extending to almost every room of the villa, the psychedelic fantasia of Greek and Roman myths was completed over many months in 1950 when Cocteau was as a guest of French socialite Francine Weisweiller. The adjoining ‘Le Bar’ is an intimate nook swathed in warm, earthy tones centred on a charming timber lined bar paired with oxblood leather bar stools where patrons can enjoy pre-dinner cocktails with Mediterranean flavours such as sweet-apricot Muscat wine, thyme liqueur and lavender-infused maraschino.
Named after the rustic flatbreads made with chickpea flour, which are served here with aubergine tartinade, Socca’s culinary proposition is in essence a love letter to the traditional cuisine of the south of France. Underpinned by seasonal simplicity and hearty flavours, the menu features some of Chef Bosi’s own favourites such as Provençal beef cheek with sand carrot, and his mum’s Tripe and cuttlefish gratin, as well as classics like Ratatouille Provençal, Garlic snails and Salad Niçoise. Complemented by a heavily French wine list and a selection of mouth-watering desserts like Orange blossom madeleines with olive oil ice cream and Rhum Baaba Tropézienne, the gastronomic experience is just as deeply comforting as it is refined.