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First look at iconic Edinburgh venue Le Monde following million pound makeover

One of Edinburgh's most iconic venues, Le Monde, has re-opened after a £1 million renovation.

Published: September 12, 2019
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Promising guests colourful cocktails, delicious dining and luxurious interiors, Le Monde, the classic George Street boutique hotel is set to reopen its bar and restaurant after the biggest refurbishment in its history.

Thirteen years since it first opened, a four-month, £1 million renovation has seen the venue’s entire ground floor bar and restaurant area transformed into a glamorous getaway in the city.

The new-look restaurant and bar is being billed as perfect for any occasion - from brunches and afternoon teas through to late night dinners and drinks.

Through its George Street entrance, guests will be welcomed into a new semi-circular Laurent Perrier champagne bar, complete with marble bar top, crimson leather bar stools, and welcoming velvet booths - perfect for sipping a glass of fine vintage fizz no matter what the occasion

A newly tiled marble herringbone walkway leads guests through to the light-filled main bar and restaurant space.

Designed to showcase the building’s Georgian architecture, this space is now home to on-trend luxurious velvet and brass accents, which sit alongside custom made artwork to give a warm, luxurious ambience.

What's on the drinks menu?

Le Monde makeover

The champagne bar. Picture: Maverick Photo Agency

The transformation is led by Le Monde’s new cocktail menu, which promises a journey of discovery to some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.

From Cairo to Casablanca, Reykjavik to Rio, Beijing to Barcelona, Le Monde’s bar team has searched the globe for inspiration, creating their own versions of lesser known drinks from each city.

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Prestigious vintage and non-vintage champagnes, a beautifully curated selection of old and new world wines, premium spirits and a modern range of craft beer and lagers are also on the menu – alongside an impressive choice of refreshing, non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks.

Dining at Le Monde

Le Monde is also set to unveil a new small plate dining menu, inspired by world flavours and made with locally sourced Scottish produce.

Guests can looks forward to dishes such as garlic and lemon marinated artichokes; aubergine bruschetta and warm focaccia served with balsamic and olive oil.

The menu follows themes of land and sea, as well as offering veggie and vegan options.

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Land dishes include: chorizo and manchego croquettes with a burnt pineapple and chilli ketchup; Serrano ham and stem broccoli with tarragon crème fraiche; and a selection of premium cut steaks sourced from local family butcher John Gilmour, served with a choice of chef’s sauces.

Selection of small plates.

Options from the Sea include: oak smoked salmon with fennel, orange and dill crème fraiche; and king prawns with paprika, chilli, garlic, herbs.

Vegetarians and vegans are in for a treat with dishes including: spinach and cheddar croquettes with beetroot mayonnaise; roast pepper and olive salad with feta and dukkah.

If you'd like some added extras, side include chef's homemade skin-on chips and roast green beans served with a walnut dressing and sesame slaw.

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Those with a sweet tooth will not be disappointed by the desserts, which include chocolate brownie with strawberry ice cream; vegan cranachan with raspberries, whisky and maple; and vanilla poached pear with pistachio and oat crumble, coconut and raspberry.

The team

Le Monde makeover

Picture: Maverick Photo Agency

A team of skilled and passionate staff are bringing Le Monde’s exciting new vision to life.

Experienced on-trade operator Darren Scott joined the venue in early 2019 as general manager to oversee the refurbishment and manage operations, while Mike Caldwell takes up the post of bar manager.

Michael Wren is restaurant manager and the kitchen will be headed by Daniel Schlegal.

Commenting on the re-opening, Darren Scott said: "Le Monde has been a favourite venue in the heart of Edinburgh for many years now, and we’ve taken that wonderful idea of a trip to exciting places around the globe and reinvented it for modern customers.

"The newly refurbished bar and restaurant areas are simply stunning. The décor exudes the kind of warm cosmopolitan glamour and relaxed luxury that make you want to settle into a booth and while away the day or evening in great company!

"Our food and drink menus are a labour of love for our team and they have delved into the culture, customs and cocktails of cities around the world to create a very special selection for Le Monde customers.

"Every dish and drink has been devised from scratch, blending global inspiration with some of the beautiful ingredients we have here in Scotland.

"To top it all, we have some brilliant new managers, kitchen and bar teams joining our charming front of house staff, and we can’t wait to welcome customers, new and old, to celebrate a new era of Le Monde with us."

Central location

Le Monde makeover

Picture: Maverick Photo Agency

Le Monde Hotel is situated on Edinburgh’s George Street in the heart of the city centre, just minutes from St Andrew Square.

It is one of the city’s most popular boutique hotels, featuring 18 individually designed bedrooms inspired by stylish cosmopolitan cities.

Guests can wake up under the stars in Los Angeles, experience the urban cool of New York, enjoy the carnival spirit of Rio or indulge in the luxe vintage vibe of Paris - all under one roof in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The venue’s refurbishment was designed and project managed by architecture and interior design studio RYE Design.

Their aim was to enhance the building’s fine period features with the use of beautiful metals and marbles, and bold contemporary colours.

The newly designed Le Monde features five flexible event spaces which can be configured to suit groups of all shapes and sizes, from intimate dining to larger parties and receptions – including an upcoming festive dining and party programme for 2019.

The venue also houses the Dirty Martini, Le Monde’s vibrant upstairs bar and event space; and Shanghai Nightclub, one of Edinburgh’s continuously popular late night destinations.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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