Tuesday 14 October 2008

Vincent Rooms, Vincent Square SW1

The Vincent Rooms are the training restaurants of Westminster Kingsway College. They were set up in 1910 by the men who brought French cuisine to London: Salmon, Escoffier and Cesar Ritz. Alumni include Jamie Oliver, Antony Worrall-Thompson and Ainsley Harriott so the school must shoulder some of the blame for the scourge of the celebrity chef.
The current building was designed by that hugely under-rated architect H.S. Goodhart-Rendel and built in 1950-7. Over the door is a slate incised with a picture of a candle-lit dinner for two, complete with champagne and all the implements of high-class seduction, as Kai Lung says. The cat only adds to the decadent atmosphere.
It is signed Ledger, an artist of whom I can discover nothing. It is also said to be a sundial, but there is no gnomon and it faces south-west so the folds of the table cloth that might be placed to tell the time are completely wrongly aligned.

1 comment:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Beautiful. I wasn't aware of this place at all. I like the cat, with its back to the fish, but on the point of turning round.