Octopus Bar and Restaurant

Octopus is an impressive restaurant with an equally impressive view over Havelet Bay, St. Peter Port on the island of Guernsey.

 

We met with French-born husband and wife team Delphine Pesrin-Auder and Mickael Pesrin, to find out more about their new venture.

 

OK, so it’s a husband and wife team. Does this work well and how did you two meet?

Yes, we do work well together. We met at catering college and it was soon apparent that we both wanted the same things from life and ultimately, we wanted to open our own restaurant.

When did you move to Guernsey and what are your favourite things about living and working here in St. Peter Port?

We moved to Guernsey about 15 years ago and realised very quickly that one of the best things about living on the island from a personal perspective, is how safe it is! When you have two young girls, this is very important.

From a business point of view, the best thing would be of course having a great business with such magnificent views. Not a bad office window is it?

What was the inspiration for the sleek and modern feel of the restaurant interior? Have you achieved what you set out to create?

Both the name and the interior of the restaurant are inspired by the Octopus villain in Victor Hugo’s novel ‘The Toilers of the Sea’, which he wrote during his exile on Guernsey – an island he fell in love with, in the same way that we have.

Although we opened last July, we have spent many years getting to this point. We are pleased with the finer details and the little touches throughout the restaurant, not only how it looks but the ambience we have created.

Is it difficult to offer an international menu whilst making sure ingredients are locally sourced and sustainable?

Not really! There is an abundance of food here. We can see the scallop divers from the restaurant window. There isn’t any dredging and all our fish are line caught – straight from the sea and into the pot! We love the sustainability of the food we source on Guernsey.

 

octopus Bar and Restaurant

What seasonal changes do you have to make to your very extensive menu?

In the summer we introduce things like edible flowers, which always look beautiful when incorporated into any dish. During the shooting season, we receive fresh meat every day. We forage for food ourselves, things such as berries and natural herbs. We also started a greenhouse as a bit of fun for the girls and now we grow our own pumpkins and butternut squash, which we use in the restaurant. Guernsey really does gives us the best quality ingredients to work with.

You have a large team working for you. Is this important for the restaurant?

It takes up to five years to train our kitchen staff and we have around 15 in our team at present. To be able to run a restaurant of this size, you need a large and enthusiastic group of people to make it work.

A lot of time is spent with our team, building relationships and increasing their knowledge. We have BBQs together or go to gin tasting events, this all helps to build a good team spirit.

There is a high expectation from our customers on Guernsey, so we always have to be at our best. When you start each day with a breakfast menu from which you can serve 150-250 covers every Saturday and Sunday, you need a good team around you.

If you could choose just one thing, what are you most proud of so far?

Our two daughters! Family is very important.