French Living was created in 1994 by husband and wife team, Stéphane and Louise Luiggi.
Stéphane, from the beautiful French island of Corsica, and his Nottingham-born wife Louise, longed to share their passion for the French way of living, so they opened a shop in Nottingham, aptly giving it the name of French Living. A restaurant in the basement was launched in 1996, continuing the Gallic life-style theme through the enjoyment of simple, honest, home-made food.
In 2004 Louise wrote a book, focusing on her journey towards a passion for food and towards a deeper understanding of her Corsican family. Come to the Table, an unusual memoir with recipes, was published by Piatkus Books in June 2004 with the Daily Mail praising it as “a seductive tale, deliciously told – unputdownable”. It is still available to buy on Amazon or from French Living’s Deli Corner. Today, Louise writes articles for the business blog French Living Diaries.
In Sept 2010 more restaurant space was created at ground-floor level, replacing the original shop shelves with tables and chairs, reducing the retail offering to cheese, wine and charcuterie. Diners could then eat at pavement level and keep in touch with what was happening out in the street, or alternatively, nip down to the basement for that feeling of total escape!
In June 2014, morning cafe and breakfast was re-introduced, serving savoury galettes and sweet crepes, alongside French Living’s favourite baguettes, salads and assiettes, available from 10.30am (9.30am on Saturdays), continuing on through lunch-time with the daily plats du jour.
The original French Living shop was also revived, with a fascinating deli corner, now packed full of French epicerie classics, farmhouse cheeses, unusual French wines and rare brocante finds.
Today French Living is more than a Restaurant, Cafe and Deli Corner. It is the Nottingham hub for advice and information on all things French. Stephane is on hand to assist with tricky translations, to create cheese boards, to recommend wine pairings or even to assist with celebration menus. French tunes set the tone for an informal and relaxed environment to eat, shop, chat and even practice your French.
French Living continues to be family run, continues to source genuine French products and ingredients, maintaining a high level of service and an unflinching commitment to the French dining experience – classic bistro food within set menus, all at reasonable prices.