Sometimes, the clichés are just what the doctor ordered. Read on for your next no-fuss, full-French meal out: comforting dishes, laid-back bistrot vibes, French soundtrack…
Opened in 2013, this authentic snug bistro on Bermondsey Street is as French as it can get with chequered floor and tablecloths, golden fleur-de-lis wallpaper, vintage liquor signs and plenty of knick-knacks to look at.
Rustled up by chef Sylvain Soulard, the ardoise du jour beams with delightful bistronomic classics — think pissaladière or snails feuilleté, followed by a cassoulet or a deviled pork shoulder with mash, and beautifully finished off by a flan pâtissier or a mille-feuille. Wash it all down with some of the gems from the appropriately all-French wine list. Londoners, you can also collect or have their menu and wine delivered, all info here.
109 Bermondsey Street,
London SE1 3XB
020 7407 2140
Mon-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-5pm
The French House
A home to generations of artists and writers since 1900, the Soho institution where Charles de Gaulle is said to have written his ‘Appeal of 18 June’ speech has a very long history of good food. Clear up your afternoon and go up above the pub via the narrow staircase to the small restaurant where iconic chef Fergus Henderson (St. John) started back in 1992.
In 2018, chef Neil Borthwick took over to serve an absolutely brilliant menu that will make you linger on your Bentwood bistro chair long past lunchtime by the sun-drenched window. Amongst the favourites: the irreplaceable confit garlic and goat’s cheese on sourdough, beef tartare and crispy skin-on French fries, gooey Paris-Brest… Make sure you order extra freshly baked madeleines to bring back home.
The French House
49 Dean Street,
London W1D 5BG
020 7437 2477
Mon-Weds 12-3.30pm, Thurs-Fri 12.30 and 6-10pm, Sat 12-3.30pmfrenchhousesoho.com
Away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, this basement restaurant by Corbin and King duo is heavily inspired by the grand 1930’s Parisian brasseries. The place to go for a shot of Art Déco nostalgia sprinkled with monogrammed linen and crockery, it also offers one of the best value prix-fixe menus.
Go très très French or go home: egg mayo, onion soup, Alsatian choucroute, their classic steak haché with peppercorn sauce, profiteroles drenched in chocolate sauce...
20 Sherwood Street,
London W1F 7ED
020 7734 4888
Mon-Fri 12-2.45pm and 5-8.45pm, Sat 12-8.45 pm, Sun 12-6pm
Noble Rot Soho
Wine importers, magazine founders and restaurateurs Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew have just opened the doors of their second Noble Rot restaurant in the former site of the historic Gay Hussar in Soho.
Overseen by executive chef Stephen Harris (The Sportsman in Whitstable) and Alex Jackson from dearly missed Sardine restaurant in Old Street, you can expect a menu with a strong French accent: cold roast veal and anchoïade; palourde clams, turnips, saucisson and riesling; roast chicken, morels and vin jaune to share… If you still have room, indulge in the armagnac baba with whipped cream. Wine-wise, the expertly exciting selection includes many references from the Hexagon.
The Sportsman: http://thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk/
Noble Rot Soho
2 Greek Street
London W1D 4NB
0207 183 8190
Mon-Thurs 12-2.30pm, 5-8pm, Fri-Sat 12-8pm