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One of the most distinguished business and culinary addresses in Vietnam, the Hanoi Press Club was founded in 1997 by a group of French investors led by Eric Merlin and the Vietnamese Journalist Association. Merlin envisioned the Press Club as Hanoi’s premier meeting and fine-dining venue, a timeless face in the capital where dignitaries, entrepreneurs, businessmen and expatriates could interact and dine in a comfortable, elegant setting.
French interior designer Brigitte Dumont de Chassart was called in from Paris for the task of creating an old-world aesthetic throughout the Press Club’s seven-story building.
Well-versed in French colonial design from previous stays in Vietnam, Chassart worked closely with architect Francois Magnier of Archetype. Their goal: to evoke the splendid hotels of Saigon in the 1920s, where journalists and travellers would meet and share the latest news.
As part of the Press Club’s range of meeting, dining and business facilities, the building was outfitted with four levels of prime office space, a ballroom, banquet room, bar and library, tea counter, bookshop, deli, and open rooftop terrace. The heart of the new venue would be its 86-seat continental restaurant, replete with two private rooms and a beautiful red and white wine cellar.
Together with symbolic details from old Hanoi and Saigon, Chassart blended polished wooden furnishings, timbered floors and warm lighting to create an inviting, East-meets-West atmosphere reminiscent of Indochine-era Vietnam.
In 1997, the Press Club Hanoi opened its doors for the first time, and was soon recognized as a singular player in the city’s culinary landscape. In 2004, following the arrival of Swiss-born Chef Marcel Isaak as executive chef, the Restaurant at the Press Club was named “Best International Restaurant” by the Vietnam Economic Times for four consecutive years.
In 2007, a decade after opening, the Press Club underwent a partial renovation to refresh its décor, revitalize its menu and upgrade its technology.
Today, the Press Club Hanoi still enjoys a reputation for offering unparalleled gourmet dining in splendid surroundings at the heart of one of Asia’s most charming cities.