Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

Following on from our brunch at the Wildflower Cafe and our tour round Portobello Road, I’d like to share with you a couple of other eating places that our daughter Mlle took us to during our few days in London. It certainly pays to know a local in a place as large as the metropolis and since Monsieur Le Chic and I haven’t lived there for nearly 25 years now, we appreciated Mlle’s insights!

First stop an independent cafe with an Aussie twist – Beany Green in north west London. Mlle and I had a quick morning coffee/tea break one Sunday morning at the Beany Green Little Venice/Paddington Central branch (they have set up a few branches around London now and you can find out all the details here). It is Aussie owned with an emphasis on healthy eating. Just to allay any doubts, everything we had from the banana bread to the raw coconut balls tasted delicious. We only breezed in for a quick snack as Mlle was on her way to work (unfortunately we had left Monsieur Le Chic languishing back at the hotel stricken with the flu). The website promotes the Aussie connection, come to Beany Green to hear, “familiar Aussie accents” and it has certainly become one of Mlle’s go-to London eateries. Everyone is assured of a friendly welcome though, not just those from the Antipodes! The Little Venice branch is a stone’s throw from Paddington Station and Underground – you just follow the footpath along the canal.

 

 

We had a quick walk along the adjacent Regent’s Canal before Mlle had to leave for work. If you are looking for a cafe with fresh, wholesome produce in a funky arty setting, give Beany Green a go!

 

The pathway along Regent's Canal Little Venice. Beany Green is just a little further along from where this photo was taken on the left!

The pathway along Regent’s Canal Little Venice. Beany Green is just a little further along from where this photo was taken on the left!

 

A Β couple of nights later with Monsieur on the mend we went to one of Mlle’s favouite restaurants and bars in the heart of Soho – Cafe Boheme. As its name would suggest, Cafe Boheme is a “traditional French cafe in the heart of the West End’s creative district”. We were lucky to get the last available table as we hadn’t got a booking (note booking is strongly advised!). You really feel as if you’re walking into a traditional French bistro when you step inside – you could well be in France. The furniture is dark and moody, the lights dimmed with burgundy lamp shades and the paint the sort of pale mocha/honey coloured hue that I remember so well from previous trips to France. Please excuse the quality of the photos – it was not easy at night to get good photos in the dusky light.

 

 

Cafe Boheme specialises in authentic French food with such classics as Soupe de Poisson (fish soup) and Escargots (snails!) on the menu. They also offer their Plats du Jour (daily specials), which are highly recommended. Here is the menu in more detail complete with light reflections!

 

Cafe Boheme Menu

Cafe Boheme Menu

 

Since by now I was coming down with the flu and not feeling overly hungry we opted to share a selection of dishes including the charcuterie platter, the haricots verts (green beans), cheeses and salads. Monsieur, who fortuitously had his appetite back, ordered the Toulouse sausage with frites (chips). Naturally in French style we ordered a fine bottle of red wine (Le Versant Pinot Noir Pays D’Or 2013) to accompany the food.

 

 

Fortunately I did feel up to dessert – we had a mouth-watering selection of sorbets and macaroons with coffees and tea (for me) and Monsieur tried out the calvados (apple brandy from Normandy). Cafe Boheme is an authentic French experience in the heart of the capital and is highly recommended!

 

Macaroons and sorbets followed by coffee and calvados - desserts at Cafe Boheme!

Macaroons and sorbets followed by coffee and calvados – desserts at Cafe Boheme!

 

Finally I had to give a mention to Covent Garden – somewhere I always head back to whenever I’m in London. Mlle did not need to guide me here – I already knew it well and have always loved the little cafes and restaurants in the Piazza area. Yes, it is crowded and touristy but you can often find a seat just when you need it and this is what happened to us when we popped into Chez Antoinette late one afternoon in search of a good cup of tea. Styled as a “tartinerie”, Chez Antoinette is a charming French cafe in the basement area of Covent Garden just opposite the Punch and Judy pubΒ (another of our favourite haunts). A “tartine” is a sort of posh French open sandwich and the owner of Chez Antoinette, Aurelia Delclos, who comes originally from Lyon, has based her recipes on those used by her maternal grandmother (the original Antoinette and inspiration for the cafe). We only wanted a cup of tea, which was no problem (we were there around 5pm) so I can’t tell you any more about the tartines there but they do sound delicious (see here for more of Chez Antoinette’s story). However we were able to enjoy afternoon tea served on some items from the extensive collection of antique china that Aurelia has collected over the years. It was a charming and delightful interlude and we’ll go back one day to sample the tartines themselves!

 

 

You can find further information about cafes and restaurants in the Covent Garden area here. Au revoir and “bon weekend”!

 

Packing my Suitcase

Copyright Β© 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

38 thoughts on “Mlle’s Guide To London Eateries

  1. Love the sound of all of these places Rosemary. We always head to Covent Garden when we’re in London and I like the sound of those tartines. The French restaurant in Soho sounds great too, definitely another one to try as we usually find ourselves in that area too. Clicked through to the Beany Green website as well – right up my street!! Thanks for all these great suggestions, they’re all going on my list. Bon weekend to you too!!

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    1. Great I’m glad you could find out some new places Joy – Beany Green is so good lots of fresh organic products and healthy sweet treats it was a good find and Mlle loves it! There are so many places to choose from it’s hard to know where to go sometimes but these were all places I’d happily go back to. Hope you’re having a “bon weekend” too – raining here but we really need the rain and it’s good for the gardens and water dams! πŸ™‚

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      1. I think it might rain here too Rosemary – we don’t need it so much though!! Still, at least it’s the weekend!!

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        1. We’ve just been watching the cricket at Lords – looks a nice sunny day there but they were talking about rain tomorrow. Hope it stays fine for you though! πŸ™‚

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  2. restlessjo says:

    I rarely visit London without sticking my nose in Covent Garden, even if it’s only to catch the entertainment, Rosemay. The atmosphere’s always good, isn’t it? Thanks for the other recommendations. πŸ™‚

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    1. Yes I love Covent Garden Jo – always went out that way when we lived in London too the ambiance and entertainment is always fun:) Eating places abound in London – these are just a few suggestions and Mlle has visited them all a lot and always rates them! Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

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  3. avibrantday says:

    Wonderful! I would love to visit Cafe Boheme! It all looked *so* delicious! And, we stayed in the Covent Garden area… I would have loved to have a cup of tea at this quaint spot. It’s the one experience missing from my quick one-day trip to London. Thanks for sharing your discoveries!

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline I’m glad you enjoyed the little gastronomic tour – all highly recommended! You’ll hopefully go on another visit and have a bit longer to explore next time too! πŸ™‚ Hope you have a lovely weekend ! πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m heading to London next week for work. Thanks for giving us some ideas for dinner!

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    1. That’s good to hear Jennifer and thanks for visiting me here! Have a good trip to London and enjoy some lovely dinners! πŸ™‚

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  5. Oh poor Monsieur got flu again? Glad he’s on the mend. Cafe Boheme is also one of my favourite haunts in Soho – one of many! But I used to go there a lot catching up with fiends as my office was in Soho. Lovely to see you had a good time and the food is delicious!

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    1. He actually got the flu in London Ting, then we flew to Munich where I went down with it 😦 The posts about my recent trip are a bit out of chronological order – I started back to front! We visited the Uk first then Germany. I still have more German posts to do but wanted to mix it up a bit. Cafe Boheme is lovely – I wish I could go there more often still it was a great treat for the last night of our UK trip. We used to eat out a lot in the Covent Garden area when we lived in London and now our daughter loves it! Hope you’re having a lovely week! πŸ™‚

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  6. Mouthwatering! One to remember next time I visit London.

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    1. Thanks Susan – there are so many great eateries in London this is a just a small selection of ones we enjoyed! All very different and excellent in their own way! πŸ™‚

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  7. So happy to have you once again on #MondayEscapes!
    Ohhhh I think one of my favourite parts of travelling is eating πŸ˜€
    So many wonderful tips for London! I have to save this because I might be going there soon!

    Hugs from Germany!

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    1. Thanks Allane – I thought it was time for a “Monday Escape” again! Most of my recent posts seem to be about food! As you say eating out is one of the best parts of travelling – I feel we missed out a bit in Munich as we were feeling so ill at first and not up to eating out much though we did make up for it by the end of our trip! We will just have to come back again and try out some more Bavarian restaurants πŸ™‚ Hope you do get to London soon – it’s a wonderful city and all these eating places are highly recommended! Hope you’re having a lovely week too! πŸ™‚

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      1. hahaha don’t worry, posts about food are always amazing! I am always happy to read about food πŸ˜€
        Awnn, I hope you both come back someday.. there are still many things to do and try around here!
        I’m hoping to be in London in November, if everything works out πŸ˜€
        Thank you dear!!

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        1. Thanks Allane and yes we hope to come back to Munich! Hope your travel plans work out for London too – so much to see and do there! πŸ™‚

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          1. Thank you dear πŸ˜€
            I hope it does, it’s been a while since I last visited London.

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  8. I think eating is always a big part of our holiday as well πŸ™‚ It’s always good to have some address. In Leeds, i’m still struggling to find a decent french bistro πŸ™‚ Do you have recommendation for food in Leeds ? :-):-)

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    1. I know quite a few good places to eat in Harrogate with a French feel Gin but not really in Leeds. If you go to Harrogate I can recommend Le Jardin on Montpellier Parade, the William and Victoria on Cold Bath Road, The Tannin Level on Raglan Street or the Old Bell Tavern on Royal Parade. Le Bistro Pierre is a chain but a good French style bistro – they don’t have a branch in Leeds though – I checked (they do in Harrogate and Ilkley). I will ask some friends and see if I can get any recommendations for you. I’m usually passing through Leeds rather than stopping, though have eaten at the Art Gallery there (not really a French bistro) or the Fox and Grapes out on York Road (English pub style food). I’ll let you know if I come up with any other suggestions! πŸ™‚

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      1. Harrogate is not that far away ! It’s always good to have good addresses ! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve written them down :p:p

        But if you have good addresses, feel free to share, I’m really interested πŸ™‚

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        1. Of course Gin – if I find out anything more about Leeds restaurants I’ll let you know! Hope you get out to Harrogate too – it’s a very attractive town and has lots of great eating places! πŸ™‚

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          1. We are going there on Sunday ! There is car boot sale and we are planning to do a hike as well πŸ™‚

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            1. Hope you have a lovely day out in Harrogate tomorrow Gin – it’s a very pretty town and there are some great walks around there too (my dad does quite a lot of walking and know some of the trails). We did a lovely one from the top of the Valley Gardens through to Harlow Carr, had morning tea at Bettys there (not the one in the town centre) and came back again. There were some great view across to the Moors! I’ve asked a friend for some restaurant recommendations for Leeds so will let you know if I get any! Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

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            2. We looked at Harlow Carr and we will probably do it as well if the weather permits it (the weather doesn’t look that great tomorrow). Thanks for the recommendation !! And it’s nice if you to have asked you friend πŸ™‚ keep me posted πŸ™‚ enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

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            3. Pity that the weekend is not looking good weather-wise. When I spoke on Skype to my dad yesterday he said it had not been great this week – we worked out the daytime temperatures in Harrogate at present are like Perth in winter though our nights are much colder at the moment (we had 2 degrees again a couple of days ago and 4 last night). Harlow Carr is well worth a visit any time of the year! My dad is a National Trust member so I can go in as his guest when I’m visiting. I love the gardens and they are very well managed and set out. They’ve done quite a bit of renovation work there over the last few years too round the lake area especially. You can go to the cafe and shop separately without having to pay to go round the gardens. My friend is going to ask her friends for recommendations, as she usually eats out in Harrogate too! I will keep you posted though! Have a great weekend and would love to hear how you get on in Harrogate if you go there πŸ™‚

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            4. Oh the weather today has been horrible, we had to change our plan a little. We went to the Pannal Car Boot Sale in the morning, and found two nice pots. It came from Australia. It was from lady who has lived there for a while. Then we drove to Harrogate and went to Valley Garden first. We had a close look at all the flowers displays, it was so gorgeous and well maintained. We brought a picnic with us, so we ate in the park. After lunch, we were ready to go to Harlow Carr, but it has started raining… so we decided to go home and explore this garden another time 😦 The weather looks bad for the whole week, it is disappointing !

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            5. Oh that’s no good about the weather 😦 At least you could get to the Pannal Car Boot Sale and the Valley Gardens. We stayed at a little apartment on Valley Drive on our last trip and looked out onto the Valley Gardens. Have been going there for years and they are always lovely πŸ™‚ Have some restaurant recommendations – not too many for Leeds though. Sous Le Nez seems to be the standout and Kendells has been recommended too. Sorry don’t know the contact details but you should be able to find them. Also there is a little French style cafe/deli on Park Row opposite Piccolinos though I don’t have a name for it except that it sounds French! My friend recommends Le D2 as the best French bistro in Harrogate (and they took us to the William and Victoria plus the Old Bell Tavern when we were there, so I imagine Le D2 must be excellent!). Le Box Bistro in Boston Spa was also recommended plus in York Le Rustique. Not all in Leeds but hopefully gives you a few more options! Hope you have a good week in spite of the rain (due to rain here too but we need it more than you!) πŸ™‚

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            6. Oh wow, thank you for all these recommendations !! πŸ™‚ I really love Harrogate, I love the atmosphere, it’s quite charming. I wouldn’t mind having a house over there. In the garden, people were really chatty if felt nice, nicer than in Leeds where no one reply to you when you say hello in the building where I live πŸ™‚

              Please, take all the rain, we don’t need it :p:p

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            7. I think we’ve taken a lot of your rain it’s been pouring down for the last couple of days – we need it though so it’s good! Great that you liked Harrogate – it is a charming place and I’m lucky to be able to visit it quite a lot πŸ™‚ Let me know if you go to any of the restaurants and how you find them! Have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

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            8. I will ! Thank you !

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            9. Bon appetit! πŸ™‚

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  9. Mitzie Mee says:

    London is such a nice city and i love all the cute little cafes and eateries. The French cafe looks really nice and very French.

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    1. Thanks Mitzie πŸ™‚ Yes the French cafe is French owned – there are a lot of French ex pats living in London so there are many authentic French eateries around town! πŸ™‚

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  10. Looks like a great place to eat! I will have it noted for when I go back to London πŸ™‚ Great to have reccomendations like this πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Hanne – I always think it’s good to have some local recommendations when you visit somewhere. Really there is so much to choose from in London it can be a bit difficult to choose a place to go to! πŸ™‚

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