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Interviews with Marylebone Village Retailers

Alberto Fraquelli – Owner of La Brasseria Milanese

LA BRASSERIA MILANESE

TELL US ABOUT LA BRASSERIA MILANESE?
We are an independent restaurant called La Brasseria Milanese run by third-generation restaurateurs and brothers Andrea and Alberto Fraquelli.

WHAT MAKES LA BRASSERIA MILANESE SPECIAL?
Our all day offer provides the local Marylebone community with the ideal spot to enjoy a cappuccino to go, a plate of our homemade pasta or to hang out for an aperitivo. We pride ourselves on bringing Italian warmth and style to the Village and we are most well-known for our beautiful terrace where we have 50 outside seats.

WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW YOUR FAVOURITE DISH IS?
Our favourite is probably the most classic Milanese dish on our menu: the Cotoletta alla Milanese. Our customers have really warmed to some of our more modern dishes, such as our Ricotta Pancakes served on our weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menus or our “Little Italy” Chicken Parmigiano inspired by a popular New York recipe.

IS THERE ANYTHING NEW WE SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO? 
More and more breakfast and Italian coffee! We want to be known as having the best coffee in the Village and have had some fantastic feedback from local customers who swung by over the lockdown period to have a takeaway coffee from our window. We have continued to serve takeaway coffees since reopening on the 4th July. In addition since opening we are serving over 100 customers a day, for breakfast, which shows we are a hotspot in Marylebone, for breakfast.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MARYLEBONE VILLAGE? 
The fact that despite being so central it still feels so local. We have so many regular customers who pass by our restaurants at least once a day either to say hello, grab a coffee or a bite. Everyday walking down the high street you will bump into someone you know. That intimate community feel is unique to central London.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY IN MARYLEBONE VILLAGE? 
Opening La Brasseria Milanese in May 2018

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT?  
The Wolseley or Mortimer House

Website: https://www.labrasseria.com

Stephen Rothe – Co-Owner of Paul Rothe and Son

PAUL ROTHE AND SON

TELL US ABOUT PAUL ROTHE AND SON?

Paul Rothe and Son Delicatessen was established in 1900 by my great grandfather on August 2nd and has been in the family ever since. The shop has changed the nature of its business over the years, once purely a grocers, we now rely on catering as the main part of our business. Homemade soups, freshly cut sandwiches, salad boxes and many other delicious treats await our hungry customers!

WHAT MAKES PAUL ROTHE AND SON SPECIAL?

I think the fact that we are still a family run business in the heart of the west end makes us different from other eateries. In a world of fast food and pre packed sandwiches, I think our customers appreciate being able to come in and choose exactly what goes into their sandwich or salad. If you want salad, we put it in, if you want cheese that goes in too, add pickles, chutney or even anchovies!! But if you want a plain sandwich with no additions, we can do that too. If you don’t want bread just have a portion of your favourite filling!

We get to know most of our customers by name, and it’s lovely seeing the same faces every day. Building a rapport with customers is vital as a small business. Our customers are very important to us and we want them to know that. Asking about their weekend whilst we prepare a sandwich is all part of the job! We have many customers who come in every day, some once a week and some once a year when they come to visit a clinician in the area.

All of these customers are part of what makes Paul Rothe and Son what it is now. No matter how often the visit, we appreciate everyone who comes through the door to support our business.

WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE DISH IS?

We are best known for our delicious homemade soups and sandwiches. But on the shelves we have many delicious jams, marmalades and condiments to tempt our customers with. Little Scarlet Strawberry Jam has to be my favourite. Tiny wild strawberries left whole and packed a plenty in to the jar. Delicious!!!

And our British Heather Honey by BlackBee Honey has to be one of the most popular items we have sold in recent times. It has a +20 total activity rating too!!

IS THERE ANYTHING NEW WE SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO? 

In these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, who knows what’s in store for Paul Rothe and Son. We had to close our shop for five weeks due to the lack of trade in the area. My grandfather and his sister kept the shop open all through World War 2. Things are picking up slowly for us, And we must all adapt to the new times we find ourselves in.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MARYLEBONE VILLAGE? 

The things I love most about Marylebone? That’s a tricky one. As it’s a family business and my grandparents used to live above the shop, I’ve been in the area all my life. Coming to work with my Dad as a school boy walking from Baker Street station. Seeing all the changes that have happened between now and then is quite amazing. I was always desperate to do more in the shop than I was allowed to do. Wanting to clear several plates and cups and saucers as an eight year old, but only being allowed to carry one cup and saucer at a time.

I love the fact that walking up Marylebone Lane and in to the high street there is never a time when there isn’t someone to say hello to. Whether it be a customer, a shop owner or a neighbour. Faces that I have known for years and ones that are new in the village. In the times we find ourselves in at the moment, it’s important we keep up the community spirit, do what we can for one another, even if it’s a hello and a kind word!

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT

Well that’s a tough one! So many to choose from!! Only having Sundays off, most of my spare time is spent seeing my family and my adorable godson.

A firm favourite of the Rothe family has always been the Golden Hinde fish and chip shop. Childhood memories of collecting take away from the beautiful old counter they had and taking it back to eat with my grandparents in the flat above the shop where I now live. Special times. It’s changed hands a couple of times, but still remains a great venue and definitely part of what makes Marylebone so special. Mixing new businesses with old ones like ourselves is what makes Marylebone such a unique and beautiful village.

Adnan Mohammed Co-founder of Mr and Mrs Small

MR AND MRS SMALL


TELL US ABOUT MR AND MRS SMALL?
We are an independent local dog friendly business which provides the ideal spot for dog owners or dog lovers. We have a dog friendly coffee shop, with well priced artisan coffee; the area is designed to not only be enjoyed by humans but also their dogs. You don’t have to own a dog to come and enjoy the coffee and cakes we serve; you’ll often be greeted by our house rescue dog “Obi-Wan”. We have a dog day care service where owners can drop their dogs off for an hour or two up to a full day so they can have some time to themselves to explore the area or run errands. The Westminster 5 star day care facility is a secure indoor play area where dogs can socialise with each other and they are always under the supervision of our staff. We also have a boutique with dog accessories – everything from clothing, harness and daily essentials. We also sell a selection of healthy dog treats. Finally, we also have a dog grooming service in store where the ethos is to provide a relaxing, non-rushed and comfortable environment for dogs to be groomed rather than have a conveyor belt approach.

WHAT MAKES MR AND MRS SMALL SPECIAL?
We are the only store in central London of its kind which provides all the 4 services above under one roof. Our love for dogs is very evident in what we do and we always put the dogs needs first – they are part of our extended family – we have a wall with photos of each dog that joins our family. We pride ourselves on being a truly local community store. We genuinely love what we do!

WE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE A COFFEE SHOP INSIDE AS WELL, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ITEM ON THE MENU?
Our daily freshly made ice teas are becoming extremely well known and appreciated locally and our coffee is rather good too!

IS THERE ANYTHING NEW WE SHOULD LOOK FORWARD TO? 
We have a wonderful community of dog and non-dog owners supporting us and we plan to hold more dog related events. We work with dog charities and we hope to continue and to increase our work in that area.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY IN MARYLEBONE VILLAGE? 
We love the community feel that the area generates; we have a diverse community and those who are visiting from outside the area often forget how close we are to the Oxford Street. There so many hidden gems to discover in the area! It really is a Village.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY IN MARYLEBONE VILLAGE?
We love the summer and Christmas fair that the Howard De Walden estate sponsor every year. Since we are a new business, we have not had the chance to be present in the previous fairs but we certainly hope to involved in the next fairs.

www.mrandmrssmall.co.uk

To see a full list of shops in Marylebone village visit: www.marylebonevillage.com

You can see these retailers and more in the My Independent Marylebone campaign by clicking here.

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