A bright spark in an area not blessed with great hangouts, this bar/café at the culturally inclined Institut Français is something of a find in London’s ‘Little Paris’. Recently reconfigured in nouvelle vague black & white, it's the kind of smart, middle-class space that bon chic, bon genre taste demands. A central self-service buffet boasts 15 different salads, traiteur's delights, charcuterie, quiches, soups, patisserie & viennoiserie charged according to plate size. To drink, there’s a selection of by-the-glass wines from pays d’Oc to superior Chablis, plus Kronenbourg, Peroni & a selection of spirits & aperitifs that, naturellement, includes Provence’s alcoholic lifeblood, Ricard. Le Bistrot opens at 11am for strong coffee & stays open until 8.30pm, by which time it’s assumed that debate & discussion surrounding matters existential will move on elsewhere.
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