Despite various trends emerging on the London dining scene in recent years – burger joints, Japanese izakayas, detox cafés – our members’ love for classic French cuisine is as strong as ever. We take a look at some of the best places to enjoy coq au vin, steak tartare and more in the capital.
66 Baker Street, Marylebone
This restaurant was the Galvin brothers’ first and was an overnight success. Dishes such as the Black Angus USDA bavette paired with a fine wine list along with impeccable service have led it to win many prestigious awards from AA and Harden’s. The dining room is typically Gallic, complete with dark wood panelling, crisp white tablecloths and bentwood chairs. Pictured
20 Sherwood Street, Piccadilly Circus
Although unassuming from outside, this subterranean brasserie from Corbin and King (The Wolseley and The Delaunay) is an impressive space, with smartly dressed waiters gliding past the gilded rails and marble columns that separate tables. Despite the restaurant’s grandeur, main courses start around the remarkably wallet-friendly £10 mark – highlights are the choucroute Zédel and boeuf bourguignon.
9 D'Arblay Street, Soho
This upbeat bistro is known for delicious charcuterie plates and artisan cheeses best washed down with regional wines and organic cider. For hungrier diners, more substantial meals include roasted chicken and apple tart. The mismatched furniture and exposed brickwork create a rustic farmhouse feel, while our members also love dining at the counter at the front of the restaurant.
16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden
Chef Gregory Marchand’s Parisian neo-bistro Frenchie is one of the hottest reservations in the French capital, so we were understandably excited when he crossed the Channel in February. The menu is inspired by Gregory’s international culinary experience and the stripped-back decor oozes mid-century chic, brought into the modern day.
40-42 William IV Street, Covent Garden
With an early-evening menu of three courses for under £20, it’s no surprise that this is one of our most booked restaurants among theatregoers. French classics – think moules frites, Niçoise salad and tarte tatin – are tasty and well presented. And with a complimentary round of champagne for your table when booking through us, what’s not to like?
Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Road, Canonbury
Don’t be fooled by the workshop sign outside – the mechanics are long gone and in their place, David Gingell cooks up simple but beautifully prepared dishes like ox cheek with swede and cabbage and leg of lamb with creamed spinach. We’d recommend an early booking as items quickly disappear from the blackboard menu.
Bleeding Heart Yard, Hatton Garden, The City
Head into cobbled Bleeding Heart Yard and you’ll find this surprisingly rustic establishment, featuring high ceilings, wooden floorboards and vintage French wine posters. The 450-strong wine list and dishes like confit duck leg with Toulouse sausage cassoulet paired with friendly service make this the perfect place to escape the City for a casual lunch or dinner.
109 Bermondsey Street, London Bridge
This tiny restaurant and wine bar is one of many fantastic eateries to appear on trendier-by-the-day Bermondsey Street in the past couple of years. The menu changes daily, but typically you can expect authentic dishes like fillet steak tartare. Order a bottle of wine and a couple of dishes each and allow yourself to be transported to the French countryside.
4 Sydney Street, South Kensington
From its name – taken from the designer of the Eiffel Tower – to the red leather banquettes, cleanly laid tables and rich, meat-focused dishes, this venue offers a slice of Paris in South Ken. Yes, dishes like entrecôte de boeuf and chocolate fondant are exactly what you’d expect on a French menu, but the execution sets Brasserie Gustave apart.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge
Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud made the jump over the Atlantic in 2010 to open his eponymous bistro in the iconic five-star hotel. The French-American menu has people returning time and again for dishes like the moules à la crème and the infamous Piggie burger – which had earned legendary status even before the burger craze hit London a year or two later.
Last updated on 19 October 2016