Last year, I made it a personal obligation to eat more French food in London given that in 2018 I was too unwell to make my usual annual trip to the South of France or anywhere (I had planned) for that matter.
So here are my top 5 French restaurants in London for 2018
1. Les 110 de tailevent, Marylebone
What makes this restaurant so bloody amazing is the exquisite menu and the extensive wine list of 110 different wines. This Michelin starred restaurant is located in Paris and also serves a branch in London Marylebone which has meant that die hard Francophiles as myself could be treated to the finest of cuisines in London. Each food course on the menu is picked specially by the glass for you so all you have to do is order your size and voila!
A little stroll around Marylebone village is lovely in the summer, and then what makes it even more special, is the treat of Fine French Food.
Definitely worth a visit, at least for the concept.
2. L’Escargot, Soho, Leicester Square
So I had pre Christmas dinner at this restaurant with my partner and his family.
We had Beef Bourgogne and his sister, Lynn had a coq au vin. You cannot go wrong with these 2 classic French dishes especially for winter dinner. So there, we wined and dined at this gorgeous grand restaurant following the legacy of many celebrities.
This restaurant situated in the heart of Soho has hosted stars of stage and screen for many years - some of which include, Coco Chanel, John Gielgud, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Ralph Richardson, Judy Dench, and the late Princess Diana. It’s also a perfect restaurant for Pre-theatre and post theatre dining if you are heading out to London for a romantic date.
Speaking of theatre, someone was meant to book the Tina Turner play 100 years ago. I am still waiting.
Oh and don’t forget to try either the French onion soup or a kick of the crab spicy salad. The creme brûlée’ is magic.
Definitely recommend and of course its one of London's oldest restaurants.
3. La Poule au Pot, Chelsea
Situated in Chelsea, this is the most French restaurant I have ever been too in London. I loooovvve it. Getting a table here could take a bit of time because its a small intimate restaurant and quite popular too - I had booked 3 weeks in advance as most of the weekends were fully booked for dinners- so it was an anticipated and heightened crave to eat dinner at this place. I also like the fact that its situated in a quiet residential street in Chelsea (Ebury Street).
Neil and I were on a planned little date night to see Frida Kahlo's exhibition at the V&A after which we made our way for dinner there.
Its beautifully rustic and cosy, a romantic candlelit French farmhouse kitchen restaurant furnished with dried flowers, crumbly walls, and nooks and crannies all over the place. Perfect date night restaurant for food and an organismic feeling of satisfaction. The mussels, escargots and Venison were superb.
Neil ordered the wine, he is the best sommelier I know so I couldn't be bothered listing the name of the bottle but it was so damn good.
If you find yourself in Paris, there is a branch there as well in Rue Vauvilliers.
4. Le Relais de Venise, Marylebone
My mate from work recommended this place after he went on a weekend date night. So of course, we tried it.
With branches in Paris, New York, London and Mexico. They picked well. 4 cities, 1 specialty!
It’s all about steak here. However you want it cooked. Blue. Rare. Medium. Extra burnt. Just mention it.
You will get fries and a veg salad.
You know how they say the French cook the best steaks? This restaurant is truth. The profiteroles were a good choice. Make sure you order a bottle of red!
5. Balthazar, Covent Garden
I had a Christmas meet up here with my mate, Samantha. We had always agreed to meet up for brunch but had not pinned down a place so I came across this place from one my reads. It had a jazzy type setting and a feel of 1950s New York and Paris to it. It was bustling and overflowing with humans. and the cocktails, pure art.
It’s a lovely colorful brasserie popular for brunches and lunches with a typical French menu. I had the eggs royale which was really nicely cooked with an exclusive cocktail which wasn’t listed on the menu. Sorry, I never got the name as it was too noisy to hear the waiters. But ask for the waiter’s cocktail recommendation. We had creme brûlée’s for desert. It was creamy a.f with a little shortbread biscuit to go with it.
P.S the next time I visit with N boy, I will be trying the NYC pancakes. This place has a Parisian NYC feel to it and its amazing because we are right bang in the middle of London.
Oh the interior of the drinks bar and the oyster bar was absolute art. I loved the dark wooden panels, red leather seats, the chandeliers, the marble clad pillars. The waiters were very professional. The Dutch man who served us was hawt! Yum!
So here is to exploring more French food culture in 2019. As I get whisked away to the Caribbean to live as an island girl for a couple of weeks, Martinique and Guadaloupe is one on the list of Island hops so we will be making sure we get that dichotomy of Creole/Mediterranean and French Cuisines.
I also plan on taking N-boy to Gavin at Windows for his birthday. Hopefully in return, he will take me to Hawaii for my 40th. LOL
Anyway, my final words - the beautiful thing about enjoying food is the sense of taste.
The sense to close your eyes, feel textures, taste flavours and feel something, anything that speaks to you about the food- is what makes food enjoyable and sensational.
It could range from euphoria to desire, to adventure and satisfaction, to orgasms and even love.
I have learned not just to eat but to taste, to enjoy, to feel.
Eat, Pray, Love
Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.