Going with the flow at Locket’s
St James’s regulars would have observed the transformation of one of London’s most beloved architectural icons, the Economist HQ, designed by the husband and wife duo of Alison & Peter Smithson in 1964. After a loving restoration, the building is now fondly known as Smithson Plaza.
Nestled central stage is Locket’s restaurant/wine bar – its arrival is attributed to Locket Hambro, the great-granddaughter of Olaf Hambro who bought Wilton’s, London’s second oldest restaurant, over 275 years ago, and whose family has run it along with Franco’s, a few doors down, ever since.
Positioned as a more casual alternative, the restaurant is a café by day, serving breakfast and light lunch options before being gently transformed into a wine bar and casual dining by night. We visited for lunch and picked a selection of sharing plates off the daily changing menu, in addition to the salads served buffet-style from the counter, everything presented and served to Franco’s-style perfection. Given that it was a diary-crammed December, our lunch inexorably slid into a separate coffee meeting, significantly changed-up when our guest decided to order several glasses of champagne – who were we to argue! Such is the alluring charm of the versatile Locket’s, part restaurant, part wine bar, you never know where the mood is going to take you – ‘going with the flow’ had never been so endearing!