Thursday, 21 December 2017

Bonjour Londres! Where To Find the Best of Paris in London

Because, if you can't be a Parisenne, you can be a fake French-Londoner, sans beret.

London truly has it all. And that even means a little bit of Paris too. The city of romance is full of charm, history, tradition, amazing food, fashion, wine - the list is endless. Paris is certainly fetishised through the lens of Instagram, and has its flaws of being dirty and expensive, but the city somehow remains magical despite all its faults. And in a world obsessed with perfectionism, isn't that part of the charm?

Paris is certainly evident in London. Indeed, there are more French people living in London than Bordeaux, Nantes or Strasbourg. And they're certainly making their mark on the capital, setting up a whirlwhind of French restaurants, bars, shops and more. So, here's how to get a real feel of Paris without hopping over the pond (though really - it is only a train ride away, how amazing!)


Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote, Marylebone


Instagrammable French restaurant with a cosy log fireplace and fairylights. Voted the world's most romantic restaurant, the modern French cuisine is accompanied by a notable wine list.

33 King Street, London WC2E 8JD

This Parisian-style, dimly-lit bistro serves simple sharing plates in a tapas style, perfect for groups.

9 D'Arblay Street, Soho, London W1F 8DR

The art-deco interior alone proves this is a firm favourite of London Frenchies. Though expect to see a modern British menu and a posh, pouty crowd.

195 -197 King's Road, London SW3 5EQ

Frenchie, Covent Garden

A classic French bistro that will transport you all the way to Provence with its candlelit tables and potted lavender.

231 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 8UT

A contemporary version of its Parisian original offering the very best of French food.

16 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8QH

It doesn't get any Frencher than steak frites. This is Paris' most-loved restaurant but with a London postcode.

120 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London W1U 2QG

L'Escargot, Soho and a corner of Mayfair

Founded in 1927, L’Escargot is the oldest French restaurant in London. Previous guests include Coco Chanel, Princess Diana and Mick Jagger. Yes, really.

 48 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 4EF

Make a trip to 1920s Saint-Germain-des-Près by way of Covent Garden.

4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ

A French-English authentic classic, expect to see red tablecloths and a menu of traditional dishes.

109 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XB

202 café, Notting Hill

Mon Plaisir
Drop by Mon Plaisir for a hearty French coq au vin or steak frites. The Covent Garden fixture is divided into four rooms with their own unique styles.

19-21 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9DD

Brasserie Zedel
Owned by the team behind The Wolseley and The Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel plates up French staples in an 1930s art-deco building. Post-meal, stay for the cabaret at their theatre venue, Crazy Coqs.

20 Sherwood Street, Soho, London W1F 7ED

Brompton Food Market
This little café and deli may not be French, but its Gallic clientele will tell you otherwise. Sit outside for the best seats in the house.

33 Thurloe Place, Kensington, London SW7 2HQ

Brasserie Blanc
A modern French dining venue from the much-loved Raymond Blanc.

8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LS

Brown and Rosie, South Kensington


A café/ restaurant loved by the large number of Frenchies living in South Ken. Don't let the bad online reviews put you off, this Australian eatery is full of contemporary charm, especially with the red checkered seats outside "en terrasse."

10-12 Exhibition Road, Kensington, London SW7 2HF

Chiltern Firehouse
Not necessarily somewhere for a grab-and-go, but a cosy little spot in the heart of Marylebone to sip on delicious coffee. With black and white checkered seats and suited waiters, this could easily be Ralph's in Paris. Check out my post here.

1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA

Le Pain Quotidien
A bakery-cum-restaurant and an all time favourite of mine. Enjoy baked goods as well as a fabulous dine-in menu.

46 Hampstead High Street London NW3 1QG

A French bakery/ café brought to us by Charlemagne Mayot, who also founded the beautiful Ladurée.

134 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4XB

Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
Daunt Book, Marylebone


An Edwardian independent bookshop specialising in travel books.

84 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW

Housed in an 18th century building, Foster Books sells old and rare books. A true must-see for that Parisian rustic charm.

183 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London W4 2DR

If it's good enough to be housed in Paris' Marais and Pantin districts, it's good enough for London's Mayfair. Check out my post here.

Ely House, 37 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4NJ

Parisians are well known for their adoration of art, sculptures and fashion so a trip to the world's leading museum of art and design should not be missed.

Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

The world centre for the study and display of British art with some swoon-worthy monochrome interiors.

Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG

London's version of the Palais Garnier. A 19th century venue for opera, ballet and performing arts in Covent Garden.

Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD

One of the UK's most-treasured buildings showcasing the very best of orchestral British music.

Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP

An innovative live cabaret show in Bloomsbury. Entirely classy and not tacky, you can also dine here too.

The Ballroom, Victoria House Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Place, London WC1B 4DA

Dance the night away in one of London's best-loved cabaret and burlesque clubs.

3 Coventry Street, London W1D 6BL

A prominent basement jazz club open since 1959, Ronnie Scott's features the world's top jazz and blues musicians.

47 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4HT

Everyman cinema
Lounge on red velvet sofas in this beautifully cosy cinema. There's also a café and cocktail bar for pre- and post-movie watching.

Baker Street, Marylebone, London W1U 6TJ
Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair and Daunt Books, Marylebone

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Mayfair


Need I explain? 

1 The Market, London WC2E 8RA

Pierre Marcolini
Renowned for its exotic and rare ingredients, this innovative haute chocolaterie is the perfect sweet haven in Marylebone for all chocaholics and macaron mavens.

37 Marylebone High Street, London

Pierre Hermé 
Rest your French Sole ballerines at this chic confectionary specialising in macarons.

13 Lowndes Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 9EX

Maitre Choux
Do as the Parisians do and grab an eclair, chouqettes or macaron at this chic patisserie post-lunch. I'll take the Tahitian vanilla and pecan eclair s'il vous plait.

15 Harrington Road, Kensington, London SW7 3ES

A luxury biscuit boutique and icing café loved by the Frenchies (and Francophiles) of Notting Hill and Battersea.

194 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2ES

Enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or a simple Parisian pastry at this French boulangerie.

275-277 Fulham Road, London SW10 9PZ

Pierre Marcolini, Marylebone

If it was good enough for Coco to sip on her favourite French wine, it's good enough for us fellow wannabe-bon vivants. See where to enjoy 'French fries, snails and lots of cheese' above for more.

48 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 4EF

An elegant basement bar with the UK's only indoor Pétanque court. 

115 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PP

A bar in Marylebone

With its original in Paris by a trio of French hommes, this speakeasy cocktail bar leaves the nostalgia to the décor, preferring to keep its cocktails as unique, modern and innovative as possible.

13a Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PS

As one of my favourite bars in London, this intimate 3-floor bar is utterly seductive and cosy. Just take your time in looking out for it - there's no signage or lighting outside, in fact its facade looks rather like a derelict building. Knock on the door to see the charm for yourself.

61 Poland Street, Soho, London W1F 7NU

Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, Covent Garden

Also brought to us by the ECC French trio, this restaurant, delicatessen and bar has an extensive 400 hand-picked wine list. 

8-10 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP

Come evening, the cosy courtyard is filled with Europeans sipping on wine in-between talking politics and why London is the best city in the world (promise they really do.)

1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA
Claudie Pierlot, Marylebone

Liberty London
Drop by this luxury department store on Carnaby Street to pick up small or big treasures for yourself and your home. The cosmetics and fragrance section is second to none, but something tells me you'd find all the chic Parisians in the fabric and upholstery department, searching for the perfect vintage Persian rug. Or where the Manolo Blahnik's are, naturellement.

Regent Street, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH

Bond Street and Mayfair
If it's Goyard, Chanel and Dior you're in search of, head to nowhere but the crème de la crème of London shopping that is Bond Street and Mayfair. Goodbye, Avenue Montaigne.

New Bond Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2UE and Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3NH

Marylebone High Street (Comptoir des Contonniers, Agnès B, Claudie Pierlot, Sandro, Joseph, French Sole)
For all your favourite French stores, shop 'till you drop down Marylebone. This is one of my favourite high streets in London and once you take a trip, you'll certainly understand why.

Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW

& Other Stories, Covent Garden

John Bell and Croyden Pharmacy
Avène, Bioderma, Embryolisse, Darphin, La Roche Posay, Klorane and Phyto can all be found at this French-inspired pharmacy.

50-54 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, London W1U 2AU

Caudalie Boutique Spa
A heaven of calm and wellness in the centre of Covent Garden. Treat yourself to this luxury French skincare brand's range of facials and pampering packages on offer for when life gets a little stressant.

39 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9DD

A wise Parisian woman once said: "a woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Yes, Coco, we'll pay Diptyque a visit if you say so. La vie est belle.

68 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5JH

Space NK
A luxury beauty retailer offering a bespoke curation of female goodies. Here, you can find Chantecaille, Diptyque, Hourglass and more. PS: The one in Notting Hill is the most Parisian of them all in a very Haussmann-esque building.

127-131 Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UP

Anne Fontaine
In search of that perfect white shirt? Look no further than Anne Fontaine.

14 Sloane St, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9NB

La Fromagerie
Say cheese at this authentic dairy shop in Marylebone, famous for its array of French cheeses, deli snacks and sandwiches.

2-6 Moxon Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4EW

Sézane, Mayfair

& Other Stories
A one-stop shop for timeless, elegant and all-around fun fashion.

431-433 Oxford Street, Mayfair, London W1C 2DA

Boho chic homewear, clothing and accessories. Be sure to check out their wide range of books and candles.

158 Regent Street, Soho, London W1B 5SW

Bella Freud
Those chic jumpers emblazoned with 'Gainsbourg is God' and 'Je t'aime Jane' all come from London-based fashion designer Bella Freud.

49 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 6LX

Beyond Retro
Parisian girls love anything vintage. Head here for vintage Levi's denim and floral tea dresses that scream 'summer in Provence.'

58-59 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JY

Catwalk Nearly New Designer Clothes
...but if it's vintage Chanel, Dior, Balmain and Balenciaga you're in search of, make a beeline for this Marylebone boutique selling 'worn-once' designer clothing. Très chic.

52 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7HY

Sézane Pop-Up
France's first online fashion brand brings a festive treat to us all with a pop-up in London's South Molton Street. Head here before it closes late January.

24-27 South Molton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 5RD

Dior, Mayfair
Goyard, Mayfair and Hyde Park


St James' Park, Regent's Park, Hampstead Heath
Forget the Jardin des Tuilieries or Places des Vosges, these parks are equally as quaint, enchanting and each brims with beautiful flowers and wildlife, with majestic views to top it off. Just avoid Hyde Park - that, my friend, is for tourists. Non, merci.

London SW1A 2BJ / Chester Road, London NW1 4NR / Hampstead Lane, Highgate, London NW3 7JR

London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Albert Bridge
The grandeur of Paris' 'Pont Neuf' bridge can be equally matched by some of London's most famous. They're undeniably rammed with tourists, but they're too pretty to pass up.

London SE1 3QX / Westminster, London SW1P 3PA / Chelsea, London SW3 4HS

Borough Market
For me, and most Londoners and Frenchies alike, there's no better food market than here, where everything is fresh and locally produced. Though Francophiles might want to taste the cheese and bread before anything else (please do try the doughnuts). Bravo if you head there on Bastille Day where the market gets a complete French makeover.

8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL

St. Paul's Cathedral
The beating heart of London, much like Paris' Sacré Cœur in Montmartre. In Spring, the surrounding pink roses bloom for the most beautiful sight in the capital.

St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD

Piccadilly Circus

Regent's Canal
I absolutely adore Regent's Canal, even after only seeing it for the first time this year. If you love the city of love's Canal Saint Martin or Seine river, you'll love this London version, albeit it more villagey and quaint.

Warwick Avenue, London W9 2PT

Chelsea, South Kensington, Covent Garden, Mayfair and Marylebone
These are the most-French areas in London. There are a large group of French expats living in Chelsea and Marylebone, and in particular South Kensington thanks to the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, the Institut Français and French embassy. In fact, South Ken is ridden with so many Frenchies, that one only has to read here to see how noticeable it is, or simply take a walk down Bute Street past the pavement cafés. They shop and party mostly in Mayfair and Covent Garden.

Camden Town
And while the expats reside in these glamourous West London neighbourhoods, the French tourists head to Camden Town. Personally, I strongly dislike this area, finding it terribly dirty and ridden with homelessness and crime. But it's a lively, young area that draws in the fun French crowd.

Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF
Oxford Circus and Cavendish Square
Et voilà! You got there. 

Seeing just how French-ified London truly is, can you really blame me for trying to act like Sabina Socol? I mean really, just look at her.

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