A stone’s throw away from the centre of Luxembourg City , Come à la Maison has been delighting gourmets for 15 years now. But there’s far more to this concept restaurant than exceptional Italian cuisine…
As soon as you step through the doors, you’re blown away by the sheer vastness of the space. 3,000 m2, to be precise. And that’s not all. A vast 3,000 m2 of space brimming with amazing artefacts and too many quirky little details to take in on just one visit.
For Come à la Maison is, of course, a restaurant, but a restaurant like no other. “Just about everything you see here is also for sale,” says owner Séverin Laface, a former professional interior designer. “In 1998, I had a shop in the city centre, Peter Pin. By having our furniture, tableware and glassware etc. designed and made in Asia, we were able to grow the business to, in the end, seven shops across Luxembourg. We also supplied some 1,200 boutiques in Europe.”
From interior designer to restaurateur
It’s now 15 years since Séverin Laface chose the former Muller garage as the location for his showroom. “You can still see the parking space markings on the floor,” he says, pointing between two chairs. “We used to sit and chat and do business with customers at one of our countless tables; sometimes we’d even have a drink with them. That and the fact I’m a keen cook is what led to the idea of offering customers food, too, in this huge, welcoming space. And so I began preparing light meals. There were two of us at the cooker – right there in the showroom! It was a completely new concept: Customers could come in to browse, sit down and have a bite to eat, and then buy their fork, the vase on their table, even the chair they were sitting on!” The concept soon took off, and it wasn’t long before Séverin Laface was no longer able to keep up with demand. Within a matter of months, he decided to install a professional kitchen to expand his popular catering offering.
But the accidental restaurateur still retains his passion for interior design: “Nobody changes anything in here without my say-so,” he says with a smile.
An avid collector
It would be a mammoth task to list the entire inventory: There’s a yellow Fiat 500 from the 1970s bearing the “il mercato” logo, another of the owner’s gastronomic brands. Opposite, two Vespas are a dear reminder of his beloved native Italy. Driftwood sculptures designed by a friend who emigrated to Morocco catch the eye, as does a boat suspended from the ceiling. “I love collecting interesting old things. I used to travel a lot to Eastern Europe – Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic…” And so a splendid 1800s shop front from Romania now lives in this iconic gourmet landmark in Luxembourg, separating the self-service area from the entrance area.
Large salvaged industrial windows serve as partitions between a succession of rooms, each more extraordinary than the last. “They’re from an old railway warehouse in Arlon that closed down around 25 years ago.” Here and there, you’ll spot an old workbench, a weathered boat, a Jet Spin pinball machine from 1977, a draper’s table… “We still have some bric-à-brac and recycled items; we’re craftsmen at heart.”
And because he’s still very much passionate about interior design, Séverin Laface has, of course, taken the reins in the design of his three latest restaurants in the city centre: Piccolo Come, Dolce Come and Come Italia.
Come à La Maison
1, Rue Nicolas van Werveke — L-2725 Luxembourg
Tel. +352 / 23 64 11 21