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Music and Food Lovers Unite


Experience a unique mix of music, food and feelings with innovative fare and luxury shopping at Montreux Jazz Café, Harrods in London.

The world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival has launched a new experience – the Montreux Jazz Café. The new hybrid café cum retail concept, which opened in September 2012, offers the brand’s first premium experience with F&B services and premium to luxury merchandising. As the brainchild of music legend Quincy Jones and Montreux Jazz Festival founder and general manager Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Café has become a place where the Montreux Jazz Festival experience is offered to music and food lovers alike.

Located on the third floor of London’s Harrods department store in the capital’s high-end neighbourhood of Knightsbridge, the Montreux Jazz Café features 2,500 sq.ft. of space divided into three areas: the main room of the café, a restaurant with a 70-seat capacity and an open kitchen, and on the merchandising front, a Montreux Jazz Shop offering festival classics. There is also a Funky Claude’s Lounge for those looking to relax.

From a café serving a Swiss-inspired range of drinks and light food, to including a small retail space selling festival-related products such as archive material, DVDs, and Montreux Jazz-branded clothes and fashion accessories, posters and seminal graphic art, the aim of the café is to bring people closer to the true experience of The Montreux Jazz Festival – the magic of live performance, and a catalogue featuring over 40 years of iconic musical moments.

The exclusive luxury boutique is dedicated to a collection of Claude Nobs and aptly named ‘Claude’s Collection’. The focal piece here is a Parmigiani Tourbillon Wood Rock watch featuring a wooden dial engraved with a Gibson Union Jack guitar. It is priced at over £200,000, and is one-of-its-kind in the world. Limited edition guitar cases have also been unveiled within this collection.

The menu at the London location includes dishes such as Montreux Gazpacho, Trip Hop Salad (sweet and sour lobster salad), Funky Claude’s Pancakes (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).

Portland Design Associates has assisted Montreux Jazz Café in the development of this 3,000 sq.ft. café cum retail space. The design concept was inspired by a Swiss chalet owned by Nobs, as well as the musical heritage of the festival. The area is completely refitted with new walls, flooring and ceilings, and includes a stainless steel serving counter, granite clad fireplace and a chilled display unit.
All of the work was completed while Harrods continued to trade as usual; in fact, a customer walkway running through the site had to remain open throughout the development. Some of the work such as installing the air conditioning units and lighting had to take place after store hours so as not to disrupt business.

The restaurant has been specifically designed by a team of acoustic engineers to offer the very best in sound technology. Viewing screens placed all over the area broadcast the best moments of the Festival. The themes and colours (in purple tones) harmonise with the existing Montreux Jazz Café locations.
The almost entire bespoke fit out of the space with a number of unique design elements reflects the truly international flavour of the venue. Portland expects the flagship store to serve as a springboard for further global expansion of the brand, and that the new concept will represent the next generation of Montreux Jazz Cafés. In fact, the café’s launch in London’s iconic luxury store signals the start of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s international expansion. Another Montreux Jazz Café is set to launch at the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris in 2013, followed by another in Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2014.