French chef and owner of two Michelin star hotel and restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc, has opened his thirteenth Brasserie Blanc (outside of London). It is his first effort to reengage the people of the North West since the closure of Petit Blanc in Manchester in 2010. The brasserie is set in the grand and recently renovated grade II listed Royal George building to create an impressive but relaxed space for enjoying fine but simple French food.
The launch held at the Knutsford establishment just off King Street, offered guests a taste of what’s to come at Brasserie Blanc. Blanc co-designs all of the menus in the brasseries and they’re aiming for simple, classic food sometimes with a modern twist. Tasters included a variety of delicious miniature versions of dishes such as oysters, scallops with a tomato sauce, crab, potted shrimp, steak tartare, breaded goat’s cheese with beetroot and even burgers all washed down with a crisp Blanc de Blancs fizz.
Despite filling a vast space, the restaurant with 120 covers feels intimate as it’s split between three distinct spaces. To create the relaxed atmosphere, that sets the brasseries apart from Blanc’s Le Manoir, the service is slightly relaxed, friendly, and the food is reasonably priced, including set menus. The interior varies as you move through the separate spaces, but is brought together through the use of subdued greens and greys with low lighting and simple, but brooding stylised food photography on the walls.
During his opening speech, Blanc announced how he has been lucky to have found the space in Knutsford and is looking forward to Brasserie Blanc becoming a part of the Knutsford community.