A Taste of Venice comes to London
Contracts Director David du Boulay has worked closely with Russell Norman and Richard Beatty since the launch of the first Polpo in 2009.Inspired by the bacari of Venice, the restaurant is located in an 18th Century building in Beak St, appropriately said to have been the home of Venetian artist Canaletto. The 60 seater restaurant offers chicheti, a sort of Italian tapas, with wines carefully chosen from Northern Italy. Diners get a great view of the open kitchen at one end and the bustling streets of Soho at the other. Exposed brickwork, an imported bronze coloured tin ceiling and ancient carbon filament light bulbs lend an atmosphere of a bygone era.
Its sister restaurant, Polpetto, opened in 2010 and is located in Soho’s Dean St above The French House. Russell Norman has described it as “a tiny jewel-box version of Polpo” with just 28 seats. Salvaged 19th Century French light fittings and handmade zinc tables by Soho artisan metalworker Bela Pasztor adorn the room along with mirrors crafted from reclaimed metal windows.
The third restaurant in the group, Spuntino, draws its inspiration from Italian/Americano influences as a slice of New York’s Lower East Side is brought to Soho’s Rupert St. Early on in the design and build process Russell and Richard were delighted to uncover the original Victorian glazed white tiles and mosaic walls which immediately lent the patina of age and character that many restaurant designers go to great lengths to achieve. Diners sit around a wide pewter-topped bar and enjoy a lively dining experience.
London’s restaurant goers now await with anticipation the opening of da Polpo in June.