I visited Terroirs on a wet Friday evening in March after work. I had been looking for an informal but tasteful place to escape the elements and enjoy a glass of wine, with good but simple food, close to The National Gallery. Terroirs met all my expectations. It's the kind of place you could so easily walk past without giving it a second glance, and yet when you enter you realise you've discovered something special – a small piece of France just off Trafalgar Square, and importantly, seemingly undiscovered by tourists.
Based on other reviews, and wanting somewhere slightly quieter to be able to talk, I chose to book a table in the basement, which was cosy, nicely lit, and not too crowded for a Friday night. The restaurant has a real French vibe (at least to my mind) and is beautifully rustic, with exposed brickwork and little touches to the decor like an old fashioned record player.
With some assistance from a very helpful French waiter, we chose to share the charcuterie (duck rillettes, pork and pistachio terrine, and salami), paprika braised chickpeas, Lincolnshire smoked eel – and selected an excellent but affordable Sauvignon Blanc. All were delicious but I have to single out the duck rillettes, which melted in the mouth. I was pleased to see the eel had come from Lincolnshire, partly because that was my friend's home county (they didn't know each other), but mostly because it set the tone for the whole menu – although the style of food is Parisian tapas, many of the ingredients were best of British. The rhubarb tarte fine was the perfect light dessert and even got the approval of the person with a self-confessed sweet tooth sat opposite me.
I debated whether or not to write this review. Terroirs is the kind of place that once discovered you want to keep to yourself. Ultimately though, with so much competition around, restaurants need to stay popular to survive and I wanted to spread the word. I doubt anyone could be disappointed by this French idyll in the heart of London. Highly recommended.