Like good bread

Designed by local studio Bishop Design, La Serre is a recently opened Parisian bistro and boulangerie that offers customers an array of dining experiences. From the ground floor boulangerie to the second floor bistro, the new locale’s design incorporates a number of authentic and inspired decors that pay homage to the south of France.

“I wanted to create a boulangerie/bistro experience, creating a fusion of cultural identities to produce something unique. The challenge was in combining a sleek and contemporary location which typifies modern Dubai with the charm of a Parisian bistro,” comments Izu Ani, La Serre’s prominent head chef who also formed the restaurant’s concept.

Upon entering La Serre, customers are greeted by the warmth of a traditional French bakery that offers freshly baked goods and crisp, warm bread. The imagery offered is oevocative of provincial France.

Paul Bishop, managing partner, Bishop Design, explains: “A more casual walk-in dining experience with an integrated boulangerie offering up freshly prepared dishes [was to be located on the ground floor].

This was considered as a natural extension, or overflow, to the boulevard and was reflected in the use of materials, furniture, details and finishes applied within, with the emphasis concentrated upon the open kitchen and food preparation areas forming an integral dynamic to the space.”

The first floor, which can be accessed directly from the street via an independent main staircase, maintains a more refined, provincial inspired style. The black and ivory porcelain tile floors evoke imagery of traditional French kitchen design, while the polished white walls and counters mixed with wooden details such as the chair legs and flooring offer a calm and elegant setting.

When commenting about the first floor, Bishop explains: “The requirement upon this floor was to accommodate a chef’s table that would be a versatile space allowing it to open to the main kitchen and restaurant alike, an accommodating drinks bar for pre and post dining, and a more formal dining experience for lunch and evening sittings, yet still maintain a…connection to the venue below.”

Although the two levels differ from one another in terms of formal etiquette and ambiance, Bishop is adamant that the two work well together and are undeniably connected.

“Each floor has an independent culinary food offering and differs in its visual aesthetics. Each was intrinsically linked to the other… A sensory connection was established between levels as the aroma of freshly baked pastries and breads tantalised the atmosphere within,” he notes.

La Serre comfortably measures at 1,003.76m2 in the newly refurbished Vida Hotel on Emaar Boulevard. The home grown idea created by the celebrated chef Ani aimed to provide a classical environment that would also blend well with the architectural surroundings of Dubai’s downtown.

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