Brasserie Zedel, Piccadilly

Zut alors… How have I not discovered this fantastic french underworld before? Brasserie Zedel is neighbours with the busiest tube station in london and yet once inside you forget you are even in Britain. From the street this venue looks like just another mock-Parisian restaurant, but what you will find inside will fill your imagination with french fantasies and romantic anecdotes.

There is a coffee shop on street level, and if you follow the memorabilia-filled walls down the stairs you can watch cabaret at The Crazy Coqs, sip cocktails at Bar Americain, and dine at the greatest french brasserie in london.

Walking away from the quaint upstairs cafe I could hardly believe my eyes as the venue unfolds. It is a beautiful palace of Art Deco design and an exhibition of authentic french culture. They have got the atmosphere just right. We spent most of the evening in the restaurant where friendly chatter between guests replaces the usual dissatisfying and distracting musical soundtrack.

I chose the dishes that I am so fond of from my summers spent in Provence. In France the tomatoes are sweeter, the meat is juicier, and the desserts are just so SO much better. So for me it was tomato salad to start, Rib-eye steak with french fries for main, and an exquisite Creme Brûlée for dessert. The food was all delicious – simple and classic, reasonably priced and a menu with good variety to choose from. My guest tried the extra garlicky snails, and we both enjoyed the hearty steaks which were grilled perfectly to our preferences and served with ultra thin crispy fries. Creamy smooth very vanilla Creme brûlée was a highlight with a crunchy sugar layer on top.

A deep rich red wine matched our steak well and after dinner cocktails in Bar Americain are a must… We loves the sweet and refreshing ZL Cobbler (No 2) and the martini style Bel Ami, a spicy tangy concoction.

Now for the best bit…Anyone who turns up on Bastille Day –14th July (this Sunday)– in a striped blue and white Breton top and a beret gets a free ‘Formule’ menu on us.  Full details and T&Cs here:

Moustaches optional…