In a modern-day gastronomic and architectural fairy tale, avant-garde Spanish designer Jaime Hayón and chef Antonin Bonnet, formerly of Mayfair’s The Greenhouse, have rescued a former pub on the Ile St Louis from a future of tourists and bad beer and turned it into a princess among restaurants. Stone walls and a medieval-inspired décor are finished with modern white and green touches that work with the changes in daylight, bright and clean during the day and romantic and sophisticated in the evening. Enormous mirrors shaped like suits of armour set the tone, and the rooms are open and spacious, with a glassed-off kitchen overlooking a dining room done out in handsome, solid wooden tables, banquettes and sofas.
The ‘carte blanche’ menus, where you are led by the whims of the chef (€65 or €95 at lunch, €95 or €145 at dinner), offer daring versions of classic French dishes. Cooked with ingredients carefully selected from the best producers, they have quickly earned the Sergent a Michelin star. On our visit, we had chicken liver pâté with a stunning celery jus, foie gras with rhubarb confit, perfectly cooked tuna and baby vegetables with mustard, asparagus with trout eggs, wild duck with spelt, then mango and herb ice cream and chocolate tart. Service is adroit and professional, making a faultless and memorable meal.