He UK remains incredibly close to France. Though separated by the sea, there are only about 33 miles of sea between Dover to Calais. That’s about as close as central London to Gatwick Airport! With such proximity between the two countries, it’s no wonder that there’s been such a close relationship over the last few hundred years. Whilst wars have indeed raged, whether medieval or Napoleonic, there has also been plenty of cultural integration between the two. Whether it’s cuisine, art or style, the French and the English retain a strong bond which is only strengthened by the proximity of the two nations. As the modern world becomes even more connected, it’s even easier to find the influence of France within the UK Capital.
Whilst both cultures are incredibly different, there’s plenty they can bond over. For starters, both the UK and French are absolute food lovers. With thousands of years of history shared between them, the cultures have been given the chance to grow and cultivate their individual cuisines over many years.
It’s fair to say that in this realm, the French reign supreme, and the evidence of this can be seen in the eating habits of Londoners. With so many restaurants in the UK capital, much of the creme de la creme is focused on French-inspired menus. To this day, the best restaurants in the UK capital are serving everything from a simple Steak Frites to succulent oysters.
Food loving guests at the Barbican Rooms London are well situated to enjoy the city’s mouthwatering French cuisine. Here are some of the top eateries to try on your visit.
Taking inspiration from bustling New York City bistros, this busy French restaurant in Covent Garden is a glitzy, red leather seated restaurant full to the brim with onion soups, duck filled shepherd’s pies and mouth-watering french desserts. Taking the best of quick US customer service and the allure of French vintage decor, this is the perfect spot for an energised full-hearted French dining experience.
Bleeding Heart Bistro
Named after a particularly grisly London legend from 400 years ago, the French menu at the Bleeding Heart Bistro is far less off-putting than the still-beating heart said to have haunted the historic cobblestones outside. The bleeding heart group of venues in this Farringdon courtyard all have their own unique personality, but the French bistro of the trio serves up a delectable menu of hearty French meals.
Marc Boulestin was the author of a number of French cuisine cookbooks that made french cooking accessible to the English speaking world. Having spent a lot of his life in London, it’s no surprise that the Boulestin restaurant is inspired by the foodie innovator. Based in the historic St James area, this restaurant is one of the best spots in town to find moules mariniere and some surprisingly versatile vegan options.
Blanchette is one of the most well known French restaurants in London and is located in the Shoreditch area, as well as having an outlet in Soho. With its trendy high streets and beautiful interior, Blanchette fits in well with its intelligentsia aspiring and cultured neighbours, bringing a taste of Paris in an accessible and fun way.
For Shaftesbury Hotel guests looking towards the south, this Wandsworth and Clapham based French eatery is one of the best in the borough. With its focus on good food robustly cooked, Hatched brings the best of French cuisine to the busy high streets of South London.
Gauthier is a health-savvy French restaurant that puts customer versatility first, perfect for te wordly and weight-conscious guest at the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International. Based inside a West End townhouse which offers up vegan tasting menus and weight watch savvy dishes, Gauthier blends Gallic style cooking with the health and ethics of the London local consciousness.
Upstairs at the French House
This intimate dining room is located just above one of the most popular pubs in Soho and is famed for attracting many respected faces from the West End arts world. With its no-nonsense approach to Gallic cooking, this wholesome restaurant offers up a cheese menu unrivalled in London. Whether you’re after ox cheek, Cumbrian rock oysters or a Jamaican rum infused chocolate mousse, the French House really puts its own twist on the cuisine it’s inspired by.
Highbury’s local French foodie hang out, Westerns Laundry offers its guest terraced seating surrounded by olive trees, offering a quintessential European feel right in the heart of North London. With its open kitchen putting customers right in the heart of the action, Westerns Laundry has a simple and charming approach to its decor, adding rustic allure with its chalkboard scrawled menu.
Six Portland Road
Another no-frills approach to French dining, this Holland Park-based restaurant is a local favourite and promises a broad range of back to basics yet certifiably French-inspired meals, including decadent desserts and vegetable-festooned mains.
Growing from the Covent Garden-based Terroirs, Soif is a Clapham Junction eatery that finds interior inspiration from 50’s Paris, whilst also ensuring a simple french menu of charcuterie favourites and shareable French twist tapas. With its organic wine-list, Soif has become one of the staple restaurants in South London for not only its menu but its unique drinks selection.
Based in Stoke Newington, Primeur is one of East London’s best-kept secrets and promises up a vast range of seasonal French dishes. Located inside a converted garage, the large wooden tables add a french rusticity to proceedings, as well as a communal dining experience that proves a far cry from the private dining of many more high brow French restaurants.
Easy to reach for central London hotel guests, the Orrery offers a placid and calming dining experience bolstered by its delicate French decor. With full flavoured menus that remain at a fixed price, the versatility and high regard for presentation make this the best in high-end French dining. Based in Marylebone, this is the perfect spot for a romantic meal out.