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The Crown Estate unveils Jason Atherton's latest venture, Sael, and debuts Eastern Mediterranean gem, Claro

Property & Places

The Crown Estate is set to welcome two new restaurants to its West End portfolio – Sael, a British brasserie from Michelin star chef Jason Atherton, and Claro, a farm-to-table venture focusing on Eastern Mediterranean cuisine.

Sael, housed within the iconic St James’s Market, will celebrate all things British – from the menu, featuring only ingredients sourced from the British Isles, to the domestically-sourced furnishings, all of which will pay homage to the restaurant’s location in the heart of the Capital. The latest concept from award-winning, Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton and his wife, co-director Ihra Atherton, Sael aims to be a beacon of British tastes, appealing to domestic and international visitors alike.

The kitchen will be led by Chef Dale Bainbridge, who has worked in partnership with Jason for a decade and is currently the Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social. Located at 1 Carlton Street, St James’s Market on a 9,088 sq ft site, Sael is due to open in summer 2024.

Just down the road at 12 Waterloo Place, the well-established restaurant and catering group Claro will open their first flagship establishment outside of the Middle East. The London opening – set for autumn 2024 – will be the first of several Claro restaurants in major cities.

Featuring contemporary, sophisticated Eastern Mediterranean cuisine as interpreted by partner and Chef Patron Ran Shmueli, Claro will have an emphasis on fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce and premium ingredients. The large restaurant – spread across 7,793 sq ft in a heritage building – will offer a relaxed, upscale atmosphere with an open kitchen and kitchen-bar. Claro London will feature substantial outdoor seating, as well as bar seating, dining tables, and a selection of private rooms. The restaurant will serve lunch, dinner, and brunch on weekends.

Claro’s team is comprised of four partners and long-term friends, covering all relevant areas of hospitality through decades of cumulative experience. The Claro team has sought the assistance of Nick Gross, restaurant consultant and founder of LanburyHundred, for their first UK opening.

In addition to these new West End foodie hotspots, the innovative speciality coffee company from London – Kiss the Hippo – is expanding with a new café at 3 New Burlington Street. Since their launch in June 2018, the brand has been dedicated to making coffee with a difference, bringing high-quality, ethically sourced, and sustainably roasted coffee to the UK and beyond. With outdoor seating, the café offers a welcoming space for guests to savour their coffee while soaking in the ambience of Mayfair. The UK Barista Champions of 2018, 2019, and 2020 opened their 8th location on Thursday, 25th April.

Richard Ellwood, Head of Customer Partnerships and Marketing at The Crown Estate, said: “These two exciting new restaurants brilliantly complement our burgeoning line-up of world class restaurants in the West End. With one showcasing the very best of British cuisine, and the other bringing a refined taste of the Eastern Mediterranean to the historic heart of the Capital, both are well-placed to attract diners from London and further afield. We are excited about these partnerships and supporting both restaurants to flourish and carve out their own unique places in London’s hospitality scene.”

Jason & Ihra Atherton, Co-directors of Sael, said: “St James’s Market is an iconic British landmark in the heart of London. Originally the site of a medieval cattle market, it is steeped in a rich history that makes it the perfect location for our new concept, Sael.

“To be able to work with The Crown Estate in such a location on a quintessentially British-style brasserie is a dream of ours, delivering affordable, no-holds-barred cooking to the British public and international visitors. By celebrating our fantastic ingredients in an innovative way, we can get rid of the shackles of traditional fine dining and create a place for people to relax and enjoy not only the excellent food and drink, but the whole atmosphere, with a carefully designed fit out and artwork showcasing British music icons past and present.

“We feel that, after four unsettled years during and following the pandemic, Sael will provide a much-needed celebration of all the amazing culinary delights from our Isles.”

Chef Ran of Claro, said: “We are very excited to open Claro in London, which is a culinary centre and a great challenge for us. We are looking forward to working closely with local farmers and artisan producers and serving our seasonal happy food in the beautiful capital of the UK.”