How do you start your day?
I start my day with an Earl Grey tea with honey and milk while I am shaving and listening to French radio to catch up on the news. I either go straight to my office or visit Mark’s Club or George where I’ll have double espresso and a bite to eat followed by my daily update meeting with our Operations Director; Graziano Arricale and Luis Simoes, Bar Director for the Birley Clubs. As we near its completion, we are focusing on the opening of the new Annabel’s, and there is plenty of work which requires us to visit the site on a daily basis.
Leisurely lunch go to?
I love to go to Blanchette in Soho, owned by my friends the Alary brothers; the food is always consistent and delicious and the vibe is great. For a business lunch, I would opt for Mark’s Club; it’s private and the food and service are always excellent. Honey and Co. is also a favourite; it’s around the corner from my office in Fitzrovia which is particularly convenient and Rachel (the Manager) always makes you feel at home.
Favourite way to pass the time in London?
In November I love going to Twickenham for the Autumn rugby test games, and from February the Six Nations; I can think of few things better than enjoying a pint of Guinness or few glasses of champagne amongst friends whilst watching the games. With that being said, I was recently lucky enough to experience lunch in the car park with Bollinger, cheese and vintage port before kick-off, which was quite special! Summer to me is all about Wimbledon; each year I look forward to taking my wife and a few friends to spend the day together. For my daughters, The Tate Modern is always a winner for the exhibits and for the space itself. Petersham Nurseries in Richmond provides a romantic escape for my wife and I; it’s like being in a Matisse painting.
Favourite London landmarks, and why?
St Pancras is my favourite train station next to Grand Central in NYC. I love it for its architecture and for its purpose; It always brings me home to France quickly and safely. I love the greenhouse at Kew Gardens as well as the British Natural History Museum which always reminds me of one of my first visits to London, aged thirteen.
Tipple of choice and favourite cocktail hangout?
A Negroni with Monkey 47 at Harry’s Bar, an Old Fashioned at Mark’s Club or a glass or two of Krug. For a quiet evening; the bar at The Connaught with the maestro, Ago Perrone is a delightful choice, or for a more lively evening, Annabel’s never fails to deliver.
Favourite dining destinations, and why?
Umu (my first opening in London 14 years ago) is for me, the best Japanese restaurant in London and is a favourite of mine for special occasions. I am consistently impressed by the precision of the cooking and the impeccable service. For a truly magical evening it has to be Harry’s Bar where you are transported back to the 50’/60’s through the décor, clientele and other worldly service, food and cocktails. I love Italian cinema from this era, and Club director; Luciano Porcu is the Fellini of the front of house.
Final stop for a nightcap, and why?
Chiltern Firehouse is my favourite hotel in London; The Ladder Shed bar is so glamorous and sexy and has the best ambiance for a late night glass of something before bed.
Best hangover remedy?
Terry’s Café in Borough for its full English breakfasts and huge portions is a failsafe. Terry’s son Austin has been working there since he was 13 and runs the show.
Where next on your travels?
Since we are due to open a Mexican restaurant on the top floor of the new Annabel’s, I visited Mexico City in September last year for research purposes, which was the most wonderful experience. The people, architecture and the cuisine were so exciting to me and definitely left a lasting impression. Lisbon, Portugal is also my new favourite European Capital.
Guillaume Glipa started his tenure at The Birley Clubs as Executive Director in December 2016 ahead of the opening of Annabel’s at 46 Berkeley Square. Guillaume joins the group from Chiltern Firehouse where he was Food & Beverage Director. Prior to this he opened Coya as General Manager and Shareholder in 2012 and was the General Manager of Zuma London. He was Restaurant and Bars General Manager at the Sanderson Hotel and Restaurant Manager and Head Sommelier at the 2 Michelin Umu. As well as his extensive bar and restaurant experience in London, Guillaume spent nearly ten years in New York. He arrived there aged 23 and embarked on a career in hospitality, working at The Elephant, Jewel Bako NYC and Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. Guillaume is a certified Sommelier of Wine and Spirits awarded by the American Association of Sommeliers, as well as Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.
Insider details, personal recommendations