In the 18th century, French peasants went flipping mad when they were revolted, storming prisons, destroying things and putting heads on sticks. When Londoners are revolted, they moan on social media. So in honour of 14 July 2016, we’re here to give you something more positive to slap on your social account: piles of French restaurant fancies, from aperitif to digestif and everything in-between. Bon appétit, mon amours.
Little Social, Mayfair
The bar at Jason Atherton’s Anglo/Franco restaurant has just launched a menu of playful, French-inspired cocktails. For something light and floral, go for From Provence With Love, a combination of gin, dry vermouth, peach and lavender. Like it rich and heady (yes we’re still talking about cocktails)? The Café Francais is a French take on an Irish Coffee, blending Comte de Lauvia (Armagnac from southwest France) with orange, vanilla, coffee cream and black walnut. À votre santé (cheers mate).
Le Pont de la Tour, South Bank
Head chef Frederick Forster has created a five-course tasting menu inspired by this year’s Tour de France regions. Paired with wines (hurrah), the selection includes crab, courgette purée and spring onion salad with a 2014 Vouvray. To finish, there’s tart Tatin with sweet Roquefort and vanilla ice cream. The menu is available until 24 July, priced at £50 or £85 with wine.
Fancy scoffing a regional cheese and wine pairing menu? Ooh la la. This selection is also inspired by Tour de France 2016 regions, including a glass of Champagne-Devaux’s Ultra D matched with Brie de Meaux. This menu is only available for a minimum of seven people, but we can’t imagine that being a problem once you’ve said the words ‘cheese and wine’.
Le Garrick, Covent Garden
On 14 July diners can enjoy two courses for £25 at Le Garrick, including a glass of French wine. This special La Fête Nationale menu showcases signature dishes, using French recipes passed down through the family; there’s coq au vin, naturally. Expect to see all the staff dressed up in traditional French attire, so don’t forget to bring your very best plastic comedy baguette.
Borough Market Bastille Day Festival, Sunday 10 July
The big B will be full of joie de vivre as, for the ninth year running, it hosts a free celebration (in association with Better Bankside and Français Du Monde). The whole day is dedicated to celebrating all things français, with festivities in and around the market from 12-8pm. From red, white and blue macarons to crêpes and croissants, the market will be bursting with traditional treats. Expect a French-themed demonstration kitchen, bilingual storytelling, Parisian folk music and pétanque playing. It's sure to be très délicieux.
Need more French to tickle your fancy? We’ve also plotted our dream French food crawl here, or check out our selection of the best French restaurants in London for more ideas.
In the words of Delboy, bonjour.
This article was published 8 July 2016