Le Gavroche’s wine cellar up for auction
After the closure of Michel Roux Jr.’s Le Gavroche last month, artworks, bottles of wine and other memorabilia from the late Mayfair establishment are due to be sold at auction.
The announcement last summer that Le Gavroche would be shutting up shop after more than half a century of operating, a stint during which it became arguably the most revered restaurant in London, raised questions about what would happen to the contents accumulated over 56 years.
Well, those eager to fork out for a memento from the late Le Gavroche are able to do so at the Christie’s online auction taking place from 10 to 24 April. While the full line up of more than 100 lots has not yet been disclosed, a selection of some of them has been revealed.
One artwork that will be auctioned off, at an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000, is the very painting that the restaurant is named after, depicting the street urchin from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
The illuminated sign that greeted visitors will also be available to bid on (starting at £1,000), as will pieces of cutlery, crockery and other, more kitsch, items of decor, which gave Le Gavroche its distinct, if slightly unusual, personality.
There are also plenty of liquid assets up for grabs. Though Le Gavroche served everything from Marsala to Sussex sparkling wine, the lots revealed so far have a distinctly French flavour.
2013 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Grand Cru, probably unsurprisingly given the wine’s prestige, is expected to fetch between £9,000 and £12,000 per bottle.
Champagne Salon’s 2002 vintage of Le Mesnil has a somewhat more modest estimate of £700 to £900. A magnum of 2017 Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru is expected to go for between £500 and £600. Bonneau du Martray is owned by Screaming Eagle and Arsenal FC owner Stan Kroenke.
In Le Gavroche’s final weeks, not every customer was prepared to wait for an auction to secure a reminder of the restaurant. In November, Roux tweeted his frustration that “some cretinous vandal” had ripped off the toilet roll holder as a “souvenir”:
So some cretinous vandal decided to rip off the wall the toilet paper holder last night. Hope you are happy with your souvenir pic.twitter.com/nlu13NPSQt
— Michel Roux Jr (@michelrouxjr) November 17, 2023
When Le Gavroche finally did serve its final Soufflé Suissesse in January, there followed a series of hagiographic articles about how the restaurant transformed British dining and how great a loss it was to see it closed – but was it in fact about time that it shut?