Bastille Day is an annual celebration held on 14 July to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 – the peak of a revolution that had begun two days earlier. Recognised as the French National Day, it’s the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with some of London’s best French restaurants and pop-ups
1 Le Meridien Piccadilly’s French Riviera
Le Meridien Piccadilly has partnered with its sister hotel Le Meirdien Nice to create a French Riviera pop-up bar inspired by the 70s. The Terrace Grill & Bar will host three months of Summer Soirees on the terrace, which has been decked out with a promenade lined with parasols, palm trees and deck chairs. One of the only outdoor spaces on Piccadilly, there’s even a traditional village square complete with petanque, plus cocktails like the French Riviera Mojito and exclusive Bastille Day cocktails on 15 July. Enjoy the delicious antipasti created by Le Meridien Piccadilly’s Executive Chef Daniel Ayton in collaboration with Le Meirdien Nice’s Eric Brujan. Open 7 days a week from 12noon-10.30pm until 20 September 2016.
21 Piccadilly W1J 0BH; 020 7734 8000; lemeridienpiccadilly.co.uk
2 French-inspired cocktails at Little Social
The bar at Jason Atherton’s Anglo-French restaurant, Little Social in Mayfair, is set to launch a menu of playful, French-inspired cocktails just in time to mark Bastille Day. From the light and floral From Provence With Love (Bombay Sapphire, dry vermouth, peach and lavender) to the rich and heady Café Francais (a French take on an Irish Coffee) and the Grown up Carambar (Bacardi 8, P.X. and Amontillado with salted butter caramel), the new menu pays homage to French spirits and ingredients.
5 Pollen Street, Mayfair W1S 1NE; 020 7870 3730; littlesocial.co.uk
3 Les Deux Salons’ French twist on the Happy Hour
Parisian-style bistro and restaurant, Les Deux Salons in Covent Garden, is celebrating Bastille Day in true French style with fine food and drink for a très bonne Bastille. As well as offering a menu that showcases classic bourgeois dishes based on regional French cooking, including Breton-Style Fish and Shellfish Stew, Lapin à la Moutarde and Côtes de Veau, Les Deux Salons will also be offering complimentary, much-loved French treats in celebration of the French National Day. For a French twist on the traditional Happy Hour, those after an early evening aperitif can enjoy a complimentary Pastis with every Grand Aperitif – a votre santé!
40-42 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DD; lesdeuxsalons.co.uk
4 Tour du Vin at Le Pont de la Tour
To celebrate Bastille Day and the Tour de France all in one, Le Pont de la Tour will be offering guests a chance to sample some of the dishes and wines from the regions the cyclists will travel through. Head Chef Frederick Forster has created a five course tasting menu, paired with wines selected by Head Sommelier, Jean-Marie Contestin. Dishes include salad of crab, courgette puree, spring onion beignet (paired with a 2014 Vouvray, Vincent Raimbault ‘Bel Air’), roasted monkfish, braised oxtail (paired with 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc, Domanie Le Conte de Floris ‘Arès Blanc’) and the classic Tart Tatin, sweet Roquefort and vanilla ice cream. The menu is available until 24 July 2016, priced at £85 with wine pairings and £50 without.
To book visit: lepontdelatour.co.uk
5 Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly
Brasserie Zedel, a baguette’s hurl from Piccadilly Circus, is very much in the traditional mould and has been described as ‘the only real brasserie inn London’. Fast service, beautiful Belle Epoque décor, cheap prices, fairly tightly packed tables, a vast menu with all the greatest hits, all cooked very well indeed. No wonder the place is constantly rammed. But fear not, they are keeping some tables for walk-ins on Bastille Day.
20 Sherwood Street W1F 7ED; brasseriezedel.com
6 Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Baker Street
The ever-brilliant Galvin Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street is a place where our resident food expert Tom Parker Bowles has never had so much as a mediocre bite. Terrines, escargots and Romney Marsh lamb with couscous. Superbe.
66 Baker Street W1U 7DJ; galvinrestaurants.com
7 Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common
Bruce Poole and Matt Christmas have been serving up top-notch modern food based loosely on classical and regional French/Mediterranean cuisine for years in this south London go-to restaurant.Expect home-made charcuterie, slow-cooked braises, warm and cold salads and classic desserts.
2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common SW17 7EG; 020 8672 0114; chezbruce.co.uk
8 The White Onion, Wimbledon Village
The White Onion in Wimbledon Village serves exquisite yet accessible contemporary French cuisine using quality, professional cooking and friendly service. Head chef Frederic Duval also has an Instagram account to die for…
67 High Street, Wimbledon Village SW19 5EE; 020 8947 8278; thewhiteonion.co.uk
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