Delphine Pesrin-Auder and Mickael Pesrin are no strangers to the hospitality industry. They continue to run Le Petit Bistro (hereafter ‘PB’), a firm local favourite nestled in St Peter Port which Delphine describes as ‘a little piece of France in Le Pollet, a celebration of French cuisine.’
Octopus, which is situated on the south side of Havelet Bay (on the east side of the island), is perfectly positioned for far-reaching views of the entire bay, majestic Castle Cornet and further across to Herm, Jethou and Sark. The new restaurant, with its sleek and modern aesthetic, could seem far removed from the traditional nature of PB. However, the naming of the restaurant itself is a nod to Delphine and Mickael’s dual heritage.
It was inspired by Victor Hugo’s The Toilers of the Sea, a gripping tale set in Guernsey. Hugo wrote the entire story in the island after he was banished from his native home of France, dedicating the story to ‘the noble little nation of the sea.’ ‘He found solace in the beauty of Guernsey despite his exile and fell in love with the landscape,’ said Mickael. ‘We feel proud of Hugo’s take on our island, particularly as French-born inhabitants of Guernsey. We were moved by his ability to align the two nations that we equally call home. We named Octopus after Hugo’s villain in the tale - an enormous octopus who fights the protagonist Gilliat and the restaurant opening coincided with the 150th anniversary of the novel which is very close to our hearts.'
The Eating Experience
So let’s get to the important bit - the food. Octopus hosts a diverse international menu, with a strong focus on locally sourced produce. Delphine and Mickael are passionate about working alongside local suppliers to ensure their ingredients are as fresh as possible, whilst highlighting the best Guernsey has to offer. This is evident from the live lobster tanks and vast range of local seafood, potatoes and other island produce on offer, which is both seasonal and sustainable.
‘We wanted to provide something for everyone with the food but also incorporate the highest quality ingredients possible - there is nothing we love more than making the most of the local produce which can always be found on the menu,’ said Delphine.
‘The ethos at Octopus is very much that anyone and everyone is welcome, it’s a friendly and relaxed atmosphere - and there is strictly no dress code.’
The mouthwatering menu includes bar snacks, street food, ramens, soups, casseroles and steaks alongside an extensive seafood selection featuring a local catch of the day. PB fans will also be pleased to see a classic bouillabaisse incorporated into the mix.
The inclusivity of the philosophy and open menu at Octopus sets it apart. Making it the place to be for any occasion: breakfast, morning coffee, an afternoon tipple, ice cream with the kids, a long lunch or special evening dining experience.
The building itself is a testament to the landscape that surrounds it, complete with south-facing terrace and glorious views across Havelet Bay - the ideal location for a sundowner throughout the year. The outside of the building, which is clad in wood with glass fronting, creates a light and open space inside, with a nuanced seaside feel featuring hand-painted wood and nautical roping, kept smart with modern lighting and clean, minimalist decor.
Hugo’s octopus is present throughout the interior, on bronze door handles, wrapping his way around the fully stocked bar and of course boldly at the entrance and on the restaurant’s logo. The overall design is memorable and modern yet comfortable.
‘We are so pleased with the look and feel of Octopus, we wanted to create a place that is welcoming and family friendly but also modern and exciting - the perfect setting to take part in some good eating.
Our amazing team of chefs and front of house help to complete the experience and make it all possible,’ said Mickael.
It is safe to say that Delphine and Mickael have created something special in the heart of Havelet Bay. Drawing from their many years of industry experience and the success of PB to create another restaurant that islanders can both enjoy and be proud of.