This November, husband and wife restaurateurs Lawrence and Emily Hartley will open Le Petit Citron; a classical French bistro inspired by their love of Provençal cooking in the heart of Brook Green, Hammersmith.
Taking inspiration from long summers spent with family in the French countryside, Lawrence and Emily will be using much-loved recipes from the region, bringing simple flavours to their neighbourhood restaurant. French cooking is at the heart of Lawrence and Emily’s kitchen, and Le Petit Citron will be an extension of their family table.
Evenings will start with aperitifs of Lillet martinis, cassis and lavender gin and tonics and Kir Framboise. Dishes will be inspired by life in Provence, including entrées of Petit farci of pork and sauce Provençale, and Coquilles Saint-Jacques with pomme purée and vermouth, alongside Tuna carpaccio Niçoise and Rustic Mediterranean fish soup with gruyère and rouille.
Principaux dishes will feature classics such as Onglet steak frites with a pastis, garlic and herb butter; Lemon and garlic poussin with French beans, persillade and pine nuts; and Wild honey and mint marinated lamb with aubergine and olive tapenade.
Weekend brunch will comprise freshly baked pastries and preserves as well as comforting dishes of Les Gauffres with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar, and Le Petit Citron’s Café complet: baguette, croissant, orange pressé and coffee.
Invoking a scene from a classic French romance movie, Le Petit Citron will be lit with soft pendant lighting and flanked by original French posters atop pale green walls and exposed, original tiles. An informal space where guests can come for everything from quick midweek lunches to relaxed dinners and leisurely weekend brunch, Lawrence and Emily’s will be a true neighbourhood restaurant.
Lawrence said, ‘Every year we visit Provence and always bring a slice of the lifestyle back to London with us; whether that be a recipe or just a touch of the serenity we find in the hills of the South West, it’s a place we truly feel inspired by.
'Opening Le Petit Citron, we hope, will go some way in returning the classic French bistros to our local high street – relaxed, welcoming and unfussy, Le Petit Citron is simply a place to be enjoyed with family and friends.'
Emily added, ‘We want to keep things really simple both in the kitchen and the dining room, and we think we’ve chosen some of the most beautiful but pared back dishes that everyone feels at home with in French cooking. These recipes are part of our family which Lawrence and I have enjoyed for decades, so to share them with our guests will be really exciting.'