The Handbook
The Handbook

Holiday to France cancelled? We’ve rounded up London’s top 10 French restaurants that’ll help you get your beef bourguignon and frog legs fix without having to quarantine for two weeks.

From Alain Ducasse’s famed three Michelin-star restaurant to the best apple tarte tatin in London, here are 10 restaurants that’ll transport you to France momentarily.

Alain Ducasse 

For a real blow the budget meal, head to Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. 

Ducasse is the one of two chefs to have earned 21 Michelin stars throughout his career, and the powerhouse restaurant nuzzled inside the grand hotel is a three-Michelin-starred success story. 

The restaurant specialises in contemporary French cuisine, boasting an impeccable tasting menu, as well as a la carte options too. Ingredients are seasonal and expect every bite to be just as beautiful as it is presented on the plate in front of you. Ducasse’s culinary approach has been perfectly integrated into the menu by Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet and the culinary team.

The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1QA
www.alainducasse-dorchester.com

La Gavroche 

Even if you don’t define yourself as a foodie, you’ll know who the Roux brothers are and will recognise Michel Roux Jr’s friendly face from his appearances on MasterChef and such. Experience the heat of Roux Jr’s kitchen for yourself at his famous Mayfair restaurant, Le Gavroche. 

Known for serving some of London’s best French food to the highest standards, book yourself into the Chef’s Library, a fun take on your typical chef’s table where instead of being in the heart of the kitchen, you’ll be able to watch all of the action on a televised screen. Seating up to six diners, it’s the perfect spot for a socially distanced dining experience away from the crowds. 

As expected, the menus pay homage to Le Gavroche classics and contemporary French cuisine, using only the very best of seasonal produce, and boasts an impressive eight course dining menu too for those who want to go all out. Highlights include seared scallop, fresh peas, parma ham and kampot pepper foam; fregola, crispy chicken neck and skin, broad beans and truffle; and strawberry and white chocolate eclair with vanilla and lime sorbet.

43 Upper Brook Street, Mayfair W1K 7QR
www.le-gavroche.co.uk

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Two Michelin-starred restaurant, Helene Darroze at The Connaught, underwent a major refurbishment late last year, bringing with it pink hues, blush shades and deep velvet seating that’ll certainly make you want to revamp your whole living room interiors. 

The famed French chef has crafted each dish around seasonal produce from the farmers, makers and growers close to her heart. The chefs work closely with you with every menu created with your personal tastes in mind.

Carlos Place, Mayfair W1K 2AL
www.the-connaught.co.uk

Galvin La Chapelle

As the name suggests, Galvin La Chapelle is tucked inside a chapel, originally built for the parish of Bishopsgate and the Central Foundation School for Girls back in 1890. Of course nowadays it’s known for being a renowned Michelin-star French restaurant, part of Chris and Jeff Galvin’s foodie empire. 

The arched windows and high stone ceilings pair perfectly against the modern French menu, that’s still steeped with traditional cooking techniques and flavours. Make sure you leave room for their apple tarte tatin and Normandy crème fraîche. 

35 Spital Square, Spitalfields E1 6DY
www.galvinrestaurants.com

Pied a Terre 

A Michelin-star experience with a difference. 

Pied a Terre, now one of the oldest Michelin-starred restaurants in London, is built on its independent branding, and produces gourmet French cuisine using locally sourced ingredients from small, independent suppliers. Throughout lockdown Pied a Terre has been delivering three course vegan feasts to Londoners doorsteps, so if you fancy indulging in a plant based banquet this weekend this resto spot might be for you. Otherwise the restaurant is hoping to reopen on the 2nd of September, and we cannot wait. 

34 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 2NH
www.pied-a-terre.co.uk

Balthazar

Originally opening up shop in New York City, Balthazar London blends together classic French cuisine with a splash of American charisma. 

Interiors wise, expect a mix of red leather booths, distressed style mirrors and martini trolleys – think French brasserie-meets-NYC bar. On the food front, the menu consists of an all-day menu of French brasseries and bistro classics, and focuses on using the traditional cooking methods to create authentic dishes. Menu highlights include onion soup gratinee; lobster spaghetti; and filet de boeuf.

4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5HZ
www.balthazarlondon.com

Coq d’Argent 

Part of the D&D group, Coq d’Argent is renowned for its Christmas après alp-inspired chalet pop-up and glorious rooftop terrace overlooking the city. 

Right now the rooftop restaurant has partnered with premium rosé brand, M de Minuty to bring us Londoners a rooftop inspired by the summer tipple. Alongside the Rosé on the Roof partnership will be their new Saturday brunch menu too (another weekend essential). Executive head chef Damien Rigollet has created a menu of French classic dishes, drawing inspiration from the sunny South of France, so if your holiday to France has been cancelled here’s the best spot to get your authentic rosé fix.

1 Poultry, Bank EC2R 8EJ
www.coqdargent.co.uk

Brasserie Zédel

Inspired by the city of love, Paris, Brasserie Zédel serves up traditional French fare and encompasses the heart and soul of the famed city’s culture through its live music and cabaret. 

Serving an all-day menu, begin your meal with French onion soup or try your hand at frogs’ legs with confit garlic mayonnaise, before tucking into braised beef and bacon in Burgundy wine sauce with mashed potatoes. Delicious.

20 Sherwood Street, Soho W1F 7ED
www.brasseriezedel.com

La Dame de Pic

Tucked inside the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, La Dame de Pic boasts two Michelin stars and serves contemporary French cuisine from Anne-Sophie Pic. 

Drawing on Pic’s French culinary heritage from four generations of chefs, there are three tasting menus on offer that, all which can be paired with wine, as well as an a la carte menu too.

Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, 10 Trinity Square EC3N 4AJ
www.ladamedepiclondon.co.uk

Le Garrick

For a traditional restaurant experience head to Covent Garden’s Le Garrick. Slotted alongside exceptional service, the menu boasts beautifully thought out regional French food. Enjoy a traditional boeuf bourguignon or the authentique cassoulet de Toulouse, a traditional dish from Toulouse made up of duck confit, pork belly and Toulouse sausage with beans.

Bookings available from 9th September

Slotted alongside exceptional service, the menu boasts beautifully thought out regional French food.

10-12 Garrick Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9BH
www.legarrick.co.uk


Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here