7 places to enjoy a taste of France in the UK this winter
PUBLISHED: 13:45 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 11 December 2018
When it's cold outside, indulge your love of French food and drink at one of these stylish pop-ups and events closer to home
Fortress Road, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2EU
A cosy new French-inspired drinking den is bringing a taste of Paris to London. Tabac has been created on the site of an old tobacconist shop and has kept the original sign along with a glowing new neon sign from France. It will serve wine, aperitifs and spirits along with a snack menu of cheese and charcuterie boards, pâté, olives, nuts and saucisson. It is the brainchild of Londoner Tanzi Ellison and Frenchman Jean-Francois Pioc, whose past successes include Soho’s Café Gourmand and Patron Cave à Manger which sits a few doors up from Tabac.
Many of the furnishings have been sourced from France and Jean-Francois brings with him an eye for design, having previously worked for Chanel before moving into restaurants.
Tabac is open Monday to Thursday 5pm to 11pm; Friday 5pm to midnight; Saturday 10am to midnight and Sunday 10am to 10pm.
Lady Celeste’s Rooftop
Queen of Hoxton, Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Step back in time to 1900s surrealist Paris in this cosy rooftop wigwam at the Queen of Hoxton. With the help of Fables Creative, Lady Celeste’s has been transformed into a music hall theme dripping with velvet, where you can sip on a tarte tatin rum at its cabaret tables. It is serving a menu of raclette, Bayonne ham, a Henri Toulouse burger and The Moulin Ooze, a toasted sandwich with gruyère cheese, along with hot chocolate, wine cocktails and a sharing fountain of absinthe.
It is open Monday to Sunday from 4pm to 10pm until April 2019.
Piste at The Potting Shed
Dormy House Hotel, Willersey Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LF
A new pop-up alpine dining cabin has opened in the heart of the Cotswolds. Piste at The Potting Shed, at Dormy House Hotel, can accommodate groups of up to 30 people for a snug celebration with an après-ski atmosphere. Courses include a cheese fondue and roast pork loin and it costs £39.50 per person, including a three-course dinner and a hot G&T on arrival.
Piste at The Potting Shed is open for lunch and dinner for groups of 10 to 30 people until 21 December 2018.
The France Show
Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London, W14 8UX
The France Show 2019, the UK’s greatest celebration of all things French, returns to Olympia London in January. Be inspired by top French chefs on the Flavours of France stage and pick up some authentic treats at the French Market.The Wine Theatre offers a range of tutored tastings of fine wines and champagne where you can learn all about France’s wine-growing regions and grape varieties with experts including Susy Atkins, The Sunday Telegraph’s wine columnist. The France Show also offers holiday ideas and language tips in the Language and Travel Forum as well as property advice for those ready to make the move across the Channel.
The show takes place from 25 to 27 January 2019 and tickets cost £12.
FEST Camden Roof Gardens, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London, NW1 8AH
FEST Camden has converted its roof gardens and 200-year-old stables into a warming Winter Chalet. Take shelter from the wind and rain and soak up some festive cheer at this pop-up which is offering mini hot water bottles, candle-lit tables, fleece blankets and crackling fire pits. There is also an on-site snow machine to add to the alpine vibe and big screens showing Red Bull’s finest snowboarders. A hearty winter food menu offers delicious cheese boards, soups and burgers. There is also a winter cocktail menu featuring toasted apple and maple syrup martinis, as well as hot cider and hot chocolate.
The Winter Chalet is open every day from noon to late. There is free entry until 10pm.
Café Forty One
La Suite-West – Hyde Park, 41-51 Inverness Terrace, London, W2 3JN
London’s first vegan French pâtisserie, Café Forty One, is offering a comforting winter menu full of French-inspired dishes. Breakfast includes brioche French toast with roasted plums served with vegan yoghurt and sliced almonds.Its Unbelievably Vegan Lunch features sweet potato dauphinoise with crispy pulled aubergine and truffle polenta with wild mushrooms. Head Chef Clarisse Flon’s signature dish is alpine ravioles with fresh slaw, a speciality from the French Alps where she grew up. Usually made with Tome, a hard cow’s milk cheese, Clarisse has developed a delicious vegan version which is hard to resist.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am; lunch from noon to 3pm and all-day desserts are served from 8am to 5pm, seven days a week.
Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9PA
Internationally-renowned artisanal French bakery Poilâne also has a branch in London, located behind Sloane Square. The 80-cover restaurant serves a wide range of sweet and savoury freshly-baked goods, sure to entice you in from the street.
Guests can brunch on fresh croissants, seasonal fruit salads, eggs mouillettes and breakfast tartines and everything is served on Poilâne’s handmade bread, a natural sourdough fermentation which is baked in a wood-fired oven.
Lunch options include savoury tartines, from classic cheese to chicken and tarragon, each served with a complimentary soup or mixed leaf salad with mustard dressing. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try their famous spoon-shaped biscuits, homemade apple tart or a host of irresistible patisserie which is also available to take away.
Comptoir Poilâne is open from 7.30am on weekdays and 8.30am on weekends until 8.30pm Monday to Friday and 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
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