Originally opened in 1867 by August Kettner, rumoured chef to Napoleon III, Kettner’s was one of the first French restaurants in London. Popular with historical figures and creatives throughout its history, King Edward VII is said to have courted his mistress, actress Lillie Langtry, there. The lounge and Champagne Bar have welcomed visitors including Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie, Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Bing Crosby.
Today, Kettner’s comprises seven Georgian townhouses, including the Grade II-listed club space and two bars, all carefully restored with close attention to original features and details. On the three top floors are 33 bedrooms and the Grade II-listed Jacobean Suite, with its own private entrance.
The Kettner’s art collection is inspired by the buildings’ risqué reputation, with site-specific installations by Danny Augustine and Sara J Beazley. Works in the Champagne Bar are inspired by a series of lost murals, partly uncovered during the restoration. The murals were preserved before being recovered behind the bar walls, and after photographing the decades-old work, Beazley incorporated the imagery into silkscreen prints. In the bedrooms, the artwork mixes modern Soho with vintage and Georgian references.
Kettner’s celebrates Soho and its local community from 1867 to today, marking a new chapter for this historic building.