About Le Nautique Restaurant
Chef Proprietor Günter Botzenhart
Günter Botzenhart began his culinary career in his home town of Ulm in Germany, serving his apprenticeship in a popular Mövenpick Restaurant.
Once qualified, he moved to Geneva in Switzerland, again working for Mövenpick. In 1981, he arrived in Guernsey, where after a short time he became Head Chef at the renowned Frégate Restaurant. In 1999, after fifteen years at La Frégate, Günter left to become Chef Proprietor of Le Nautique Restaurant, which has been in his ownership ever since.
Günter, who has lived continuously in Guernsey for thirty-three years, is married to a locally-born wife and has five daughters . . . . something of an achievement in itself!
Le Nautique - Cuisine
Günter has a reputation for producing classical cuisine with a modern twist. Although taking his inspiration from the classics, he adapts old recipes to create something truly original and authentic. His style is simple and honest, often the hardest thing to achieve in a restaurant. This ethos of originality and excellence is is held by the entire Le Nautique kitchen brigade, who take real pride in, and are passionate about, the cuisine they produce.
Günter uses only the freshest possible produce in the creation of his dishes. Fish and shellfish caught in Guernsey's fertile waters are purchased on a daily basis. Fresh, organic, locally-sourced ingredients are used wherever possible, and the 'chef recommends' section of the menu is constantly updated to incorporate seasonally available produce. Both the wine list and the menu are extensive, the latter offering not only fish but mouth-watering meat and vegetarian options also.
Le Nautique - Decor
Le Nautique has recently undergone a complete refurbishment. From both of its floors, there are fantastic views over the harbour, Castle Cornet and the islands beyond through full-length picture windows. The decor is sophisticated and contemporary, with a distinct nautical flavour. The combination of modern flooring and retro-style lighting with organic rounded wooden features evokes a feeling of harmony and comfort, reminiscent of 1930s Art Nouveau style. See more in our Gallery.
Le Nautique - History
Le Nautique Restaurant occupies a former Guernsey warehouse which was used for the storage of wines, spirits, tobacco, and other goods from the late 1700s. It is known to have belonged for a time to Sir William Collings, a leading Guernsey merchant and shipowner, who lived between 1781 and 1854.
During the eighteenth century, St Peter Port was a major international trading port and a centre for privateering. Local shipowners imported wine and brandy from France, rum from the West Indies, and tobacco from Maryland and Virginia. They also brought back prize cargoes of similar goods captured from enemy shipping during the many eighteenth-century wars. These goods were stored in vaults such as the Nautique's while awaiting onward sale to clients in England. Some of these were bona fide commercial customers, but the majority were smugglers from the south coast, for whom the Guernsey merchants would decant their wares into portable wooden kegs, which could easily be deposited in secret coves or carried up steep cliffs, as the need arose.
For a period after 1765, Guernsey and Alderney became the main depots for contraband bound for the whole of Britain and Ireland. The trade only ceased when the British government extended anti-smuggling legislation to the Channel Islands in 1805 and 1807. Sir William Collings, whose firm had a branch in Rotterdam, appears to have continued in business after the end of the smuggling era, importing commodities for the Guernsey market until the early 1820s. The building continued to be used as a warehouse for many decades after Collings' death.