Feeling a little French?

Hey you lovely people! What’s up? I hope you are enjoying the sun and hot weather that decided to grace us with their presence! Today I’m feeling exhausted, as I finally (Finally!) finished with the move. Everything’s in boxes at the moment, but there’s still time to adjust and make this lovely flat a home! I am feeling a little bit apprehensive and nervous, but a lot of excited! This is going to be awesome, I am telling you! I will be able to focus on my blog more and give you all a unique taste of London; experiences that have made an impression to me and are the reason of this blog in the first place!

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Speaking of experiences, I had recently one of the best food experiences of my life! And it happened in central London of all places! I know that central is considered a bit bourgeois for a lot of people, pretentious and boring, but I can tell you that there are places that you can enjoy sitting and eating or having a glass (or bottle? Who cares?) of chilled wine with a sharing plate. One of these places is Brasserie Zédel, a true Parisian jewel in the heart of Piccadilly! Just by looking from the outside, you get the feeling that it has a lot of promise, but you cannot be prepared for what is inside!

Brasserie Zédel used to be part of the Regent Palace Hotel, built in 1915. Back then, this hotel was the largest one in Europe. By 1930s, it was re-designed in Art-Deco style that is still prevalent even now. The building fell into misuse until 2003, when it was renovated and restored to the beautiful inside you can see now. The brasserie is where the ballroom used to be, and you get that feel of opulence and elegance of decades gone by. However, I can tell you that is not stuffy and impersonal, rather offers you the opportunity to talk and socialise with whoever is sitting next to you.

As soon as we arrived, we were seated at a small booth (or rather two comfy and spacious armchairs with a table), even though we were probably 30 minutes early! Inside there are corner sofas with tables and chairs that can accommodate a lot of people. The host and our servers were dressed to the nines, however as I said before the whole atmosphere (and dress code) is quite relaxed. So, after we were seated, our server came with our menus and after that, she delivered some of the freshest bread with butter we have tried in our lives! Let me tell you, it was pure and unadulterated happiness! It tasted heavenly and was a nice portion to share between us.

We selected the three course menu for £13.75, because we didn’t feel like experimenting. I am somewhat familiar with French cuisine, but my boyfriend is not, so we agreed that this would be the best for now. That doesn’t mean though that next time (and for sure it’s going to be a next time!) I’m not going to try the world-famous French onion soup or the boeuf bourguignion! I’m sure that they will be as tasty as I imagine them. So, for the starter we had carottes râpées, a simple carrot salad with dressing. To be absolutely honest, I was afraid of it, as I know that carrot is sweet. But no fear, it was simply delicious!

For main, we had the steak haché, with a peppercorn sauce and simple potato fries. This was well-cooked and even though we both wanted it well done, it was melting in the mouth. Steak haché is like the meat patty in a burger, but it is not that solid, as you can easily cut it with a fork. The peppercorn sauce was heaven and accompanied well the meat and the fries. For dessert we had the délice au chocolat noir, as they call it, which as you can imagine has dark chocolate in it. Again, I was afraid of it, as I’m not really a dark chocolate person, but again it exceeded my expectations! It had a richness to it, but didn’t make you feel overwhelmed. It was the best way to finish this exquisite meal!

For drinks, my boyfriend had citron pressé (basically a French lemonade) and I had a glass of the sweetest kind I’ve tried here in the UK. My merlot of 2017 was tasteful and rich and ideal in my opinion for the meal we had. Both of our drinks, the food and the whole atmosphere was incredible. Bonus point? Sometime during our meal, it could have been around 3 in the afternoon I reckon, a pianist started to play! It was truly the best thing after our Sunday lunch.

I really want to be back, not only to the restaurant mind you. I’d really like to pay a visit and enjoy a cocktail at the Crazy Coqs, which is like a French boîte, with comedy nights, cabaret and live music. As I said before, I want to try other signature French dishes and maybe bring my family there. I fully recommend Brasserie Zédel for a nice lunch or dinner. You can book a table or pop in with no reservation; I am sure you will enjoy your food!

Till next time,
Sofia-Maria

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