Located on the third floor of London’s esteemed Harrods department store, the Montreux Jazz Café has opened just in time for the London Summer Olympics.
The Montreux Jazz Café concept was originally created to offer a warm and friendly place where artists and music lovers can mingle. As the brainchild of music legend Quincy Jones and Montreux Jazz Festival founder and general manager Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Café has become the embassy of the festival, a place where the Montreux Jazz Festival experience is possible.
The first Montreux Jazz Café opened at Geneva’s airport in June 2008, followed by a Montreux Jazz Café in Zurich in December 2011. The Montreux Jazz experience continues to expand with new locations in London and Paris.
The London location has opened just in time for the Olympics and is located in Harrods department store in the capital’s high-end neighborhood of Knightsbridge. The Café is situated next to a music store and features 2,500 square feet divided into three spaces: the main room of the café, a restaurant with an open kitchen and a 70-seat capacity, and a Montreux Jazz Shop offering Festival classics. There will also be a Funky Claude’s Lounge for those looking to relax.
“We made sure we would be ready before the Games,” said Laurent Buri, operations manager for the Montreux Jazz Café. A grand opening is planned for September.
During the Games, viewing screens will be placed all over in order to broadcast the best moments of the Festival. According to Buri, the atmosphere at the Café can be summed up in three words: “intimacy, music and relaxation.”
“The idea is to reproduce the ambiance of the Festival for the pleasure of our guests. The main challenge has been to harmonize the atmosphere of Harrods with our music,” said Buri. “Musically speaking, London is one of the most important cities not just in Europe, but worldwide. It is also a major tourism destination. Finally, Harrods is the absolute reference in terms of luxury.
After London, other Montreux Jazz Café locations will be inaugurated in Paris-Gare de Lyon in 2013 and at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in 2014.
President of the Montreux Jazz International said, “We are not aiming to become the new Hard Rock Café.”
The menu at the London location will include dishes such as Montreux Gazpacho, Trip Hop Salad (sweet and sour lobster salad), Funky Claude’s Pancakes (50g finest Prunier caviar, Chinese pancakes, salad and lemon), Smoke on the Water Salad (Swiss sausage salad and new potatoes), After Midnight (traditional Angus beef tartar, salad and toast), Jazz Platter (Swiss cheese and dried beef), Can’t Get Enough (Meringue from Gruyere and Swiss double cream), Salee au Sucre (traditional Vaud Cream tart) and The Ugly Duckling (vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate sauce). The menu was created by Gilles Dupont and Thomy Bryne.
Claude Nobs created the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1987 and today it has reached a unique position in the world of music thanks to its founder’s approach of music based on conviviality and passion. From the start, Nobs has had a reputation for inviting artists to his home to share a good meal before and after their concerts – giving him a privileged place in the artist’s hearts.
Limited edition guitar cases have been unveiled within Nob’s unique collection and were designed for the opening of the Montreux Jazz Café in Harrods.