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 get your French fix 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. You and your guests will receive a complimentary glass of fizz when booking through us.
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 roast chicken and a hearty 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 last 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.
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 bistros 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, garlic snails and tarte tatin. Order a bottle of wine and a couple of dishes each and allow yourself to be transported to rural France.
9 Islington Green, Islington
This is the second Corbin and King brasserie on the list and like the duo’s other restaurants, it pays homage to the golden age of Europe’s all-day grand cafés. The interiors are straight out of turn-of-the-century Paris, with oodles of art nouveau glamour, and the traditional menu focuses on the hearty staples of Alsace. There are warming pots of coq au vin, sausages and schnitzels and every visit should include one of the signature tartes flambées. Also pictured top
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.
4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden
Located just off Covent Garden’s main square, this is almost an exact replica of restaurateur Keith McNally’s New York original. Subtle overhead lighting gives the large dining room a warm golden glow and its yellow walls, antique mirrors, polished brass fixtures and red leather booths perfectly embody the classic Parisian brasserie look. In the kitchen, chef Robert Reid oversees the pass and is in charge of a long menu brimming with hearty bistro classics.
Last updated on 14 March 2017