Loulou Jane Marbella having made their mark in Puerto Banus decided it was time for change and have now relocated to new larger premises with the exact same concept as Loulou Jane Marbella but with beautiful English terraces in the prime location of Benavista with the new name LoulouJane @ The Terrace.
Owners Simon Craig, Gill Newton, master cake baker Kirsty Craig have now been joined by their new business partners Joanne Pitcher and Marcus Hewitt. The Terrace has been established there for many years but closed a couple of years ago. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be introduced to their first restaurant Loulou Jane Marbella by my dear friend and business partner Donna Jensen. A treat of a lifetime as I am quintessentially British. I have always stood by my initial quote on my first visit to this glorious country – you can take the girl out of England but never England out of the girl! Therefore it made my year when I discovered from Gill and Simon about their recent expansion.
Loulou Jane is regarded as a home from home for many Expats. Although not officially opened yet due to continuing renovation works LoulouJane@TheTerrace have already secured a Costa Women event this coming Friday. 30 women are attending for afternoon tea. Once their redevelopment is complete they will be fully operational by the middle of June. There is going to be a bar inside with a restaurant area and The Terrace outside will be colonial – like old England with hog roasts and barbeques. They will be catering Loulou Jane style afternoon teas on the lush surroundings on the top terrace throughout the day.
Said Gill, “We are looking to entice a completely different and slightly older clientele (many of whom live in the area) together with those ladies who lunch or people who simply want a nice afternoon tea.
We will be serving breakfasts, as before, served right the way through until 2pm. Our menu includes the Loulou Jane Full English, Little Lou Full English for those with smaller appetites and lighter bites including Popeye Eggs – a unique combination of smoked salmon poached eggs on a bed of spinach with toast, Eggs Benedict, Babe Boast – scrambled eggs on a bed of spinach with fresh avocado and toast and also a range of healthy options.
Our lunch including sandwiches, finger sandwiches and beef pasties now has additional offerings such as spit roast chicken a selection of salads and steak ciabatta sandwich amongst a medley of other mouth-watering dishes. We have a new English ‘comfort food’ dinner menu including shepherd’s pie, steak, lamb, chicken, burgers, pies, as well as gluten free and vegetarian options. On Sundays we serve Sunday Roast just like your Mums! We also pride ourselves on our cocktails including the popular mixed berry mojito served from a teapot. That is part of our theatrical cocktail experience together with live entertainment from regular singers, musicians and Lazy Sunday Jazz events”.
Simon continued, “Our resident entertainer is singer Sam Anderson. She came over here with a view to making her name here as a vocalist. She is perfect and it is a lovely marriage for us and gave her a Launchpad to perform. She has a fantastic voice and a year on she is now renowned as one of the best entertainers on the coast amongst her genre”. Having listened to her myself she certainly emanates the vibe of this quintessentially British establishment.
There is also a big function room there where we can host small weddings, parties, events, christenings etc.”
LoulouJane @ The Terrace is not just simply a heavenly British gourmet jewel in the crown but they also specialize in outside catering including bespoke cakes suitable for all ages. Indeed whilst we were visiting Loulou Jane Marbella prior to our lunch there, co—owner Simon brought over two trays demonstrating their prowess of catering for special occasions. One tray had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, for delivery to a lady called Sylvie who was celebrating her 60th birthday beautifully inscribed with Sylvie 60 on the top. These were being delivered to Serafina Restaurant and the other tray for a baby shower. These were vanilla cupcakes topped off with the inscription of the somewhat unusual name Baby Wild.
Their menu is extensive, even more so now having LoulouJane @ The Terrace, but my love for the archetypal British tea-time treats made my lunch menu choice at Loulou Jane Marbella in one word, ‘rapid’. It was the Afternoon Cream tea with bubbles or wine which is served throughout the day. Donna opted for the smoked salmon salad. Following a short interlude enjoying our welcome drinks, a beautiful tiered cake stand was delivered to the table. I was overwhelmed. On the bottom tier was an English Finger Sandwich Selection including egg Mayonnaise, cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese and hand carved ham & English Mustard. On the same tier were also my all-time favourite sausage rolls which were positively melt in the mouth and sunkissed Mediterranean frittata with peppers, red onions, tomatoes and spinach on an egg base – a first for me but certainly not the last. Simply delicious. Having been to many hotels who serve finger food they could never replicate the excellence of Loulou Jane’s exquisite epicurean selection together with their outstanding presentation.
Before moving onto the second tier, I decided to take a short break from my simply divine gourmet journey to glean from Simon the history behind Loulou Jane and bubbles. Firstly their bubbles. “Our signature house champagne is Marie Stewart Cuvee La Sommelier Brut Reserve. Another one is Champagne Nicholas Feuillatte Cuvee Palmes D’Or served from a bottle with a stunning iridescent finish”.
They also serve numerous other bottles of bubbly all presented in a large silver bowl. These include Moet & Chandon, Lanson and of course for those with a slightly larger budget the doyenne of champagnes Dom Perignon”.
Now back to the inception of Loulou Jane, Simon. When did you open? “Middle of June last year. It was quite challenging as it was mid-season and we had to hit the ground running. We were very fortunate as we were not actually looking to open a second Loulou Jane, our first one being in leafy Lingfield, but when we were out and about we saw this great location with a facade that did not need too much structural work and fortunately it was available. It was obviously meant to be”.
How did you come up with the name and concept of this quintessentially English tea room? “LouLou and Jane are both of my daughter’s middle names. Kirsty’s middle name being Jane and her sister Amie whose middle name is Louise but always known as Loulou since she was a baby. They both ran it with Gill and myself our first Loulou tea room in England which started as a cake shop three years ago. The logo was designed when we were developing the first shop by Kirsty who was doodling on a piece of wood which we sawed out and delivered it to the graphic designer.
I gather you serve other British tapas apart from the aforementioned finger foods. “Yes we provide Yorkshire puddings with roast beef, small bellies of pork on sticks, especially in the evenings”. We also hold numerous events here including children’s parties, hen parties, Cocktail masterclasses, small weddings, private events and a Father Christmas event. Our outside catering has incorporated canapes for opening events (we recently provided 500 canapes for Amber nightclub opening) company logoed personalised cupcakes etc. We also organise afternoon tea delivery including to boats in Puerto Banus”.
Please give me an insight into your background. “I had a completely separate business and ran a Company employing five hundred people working on cable engineering, Sky installations and cable TV incorporating entertainment, media and events. Therefore with any business I get involved with we don’t just want it to be a one little teashop in Marbella, but to create a brand, build and expand on it. Personally I have always had a great interest in cooking and found it relaxing so I helped in the kitchen work with Gill and Kirsty. We all learned from each other at our first Loulou Jane, meeting wonderful people at the loveliest restaurant and trying to make our wants and needs communicated to the customers”.
Why did you choose Marbella for your second Loulou Jane? “We had a place in Marbella for 17 years and for the last few years having been coming here frequently, we decided to take the plunge and settle here permanently. The lifestyle and the sun and of course because of the large Expat British community here being able to get a good cup of traditional English tea is a massive draw. Amongst our tea brands are The English Breakfast tea (Yorkshire tea) which is the most favoured and although we have tried many different types we always revert back to that, especially if our visitors are feeling a little bit homesick they can just pop down and enjoy a little piece of England. We never want to be too fanciful but just serve what people love from their homeland. We obviously also serve other teas including Twining’s, Green teas, chamomile and mint all poured from their fine bone china teapots”.
Onto Kirsty – the master cake baker. You are renowned for your cakes for weddings, christenings, birthdays and other special occasions. Do you make them all yourself? “Yes and I was self-taught. I started when my daughter had her first birthday and did not want to buy her a cake but wanted to make one myself. It has developed from there as I thought I am quite good at this. It has now been eight years since I started making cakes.
What sets your cakes apart from your other competitors? “I think that there are a lot of cake designers here and their cakes look lovely but the feedback I have always had is that they do not taste that good and as far as I am aware their taste should be as good as their appearance, which is integral with my cake making. I put as much time into the cake making as the decoration. That is the main key”.
What is the most demanding cake you have ever had to make? “The most difficult and demanding time wise was that I had to make and deliver a wedding cake for a friend of mine who used to be in a boy band ‘JB’ from JLS who featured on X Factor (no less!) and his wife Chloe. This happened two years ago when I was based in Surrey. I had to drive the wedding cake alone to the Isle of Bute just off the coast of Scotland. It was a long drive and I then had to get on the ferry with the seven tier cake. On reaching The Isle of Bute the drive along a very bumpy track to this beautiful castle was even more challenging and then with the cake thankfully still intact having to set it up on arrival. However it was in ‘Hello’ Magazine so it was definitely worth it in the end”. Wow. What a girl!
It was now time to move onto finishing off the rest of the goodies on the cake stand which incorporated freshly oven baked pastries and pasties and the second tier with a homemade cake selection and the top tier fresh scones with cream and jam. It was now time to book an advance session with my personal trainer in the next couple of days as nothing was going to stop me finishing off this heavenly gastronomic experience.
Everything on their separate menus are all reasonably priced including my most loved afternoon cream tea which I know I have mentioned on a few or more occasions but hand on my heart I could vacate my flat and sup tea, wine and dine there morning, noon until dusk. I can now do so at their new premises.
Finally what is your ultimate vision? “To franchise Lou Lou Jane across Europe with the same strategy.
The LoulouJane concept is an outstanding example of the ultimate British all day and night fine dining experience, not only in England but now with LoulouJane @ The Terrace in Benavista. Without a doubt the brand will expand across Europe and far beyond. We wish the Craig family, Gill Newton, Joanne Pitcher and Marcus Hewitt all the best for a glorious future ahead. On that note roll on the middle of June for their official re-opening.
LoulouJane @ The Terrace, Calle de Violeta Claire, Benavista 29680 (5 minutes’ drive from Puerto Banus) near Neli G, Robin Hood, Golfriends, Senator Banus Hotel. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.