All posts filed under: French

Tweetup at Brasserie Blanc, South Bank

A few weeks ago I was invited to a ‘tweetup’ at Brasserie Blanc on the South Bank. Brasserie Blanc is a small chain of French restaurants from renowned chef Raymond Blanc, with five restaurants in London and another 13 around the rest of the UK. I’d been meaning to visit one for ages as I’d heard good things, so this was a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the business and what it’s all about. The Southbank location has recently been refurbished and it’s been beautifully done, complete with an alfresco terrace decorated with olive trees. If the weather had been better we would have sat outside (typical British summer!), but we were all perfectly content in the bar area. The image below was provided by Brasserie Blanc – it was actually completely packed when we were there, always a good sign, especially mid-week! The focus of this event was on the bar and its cocktails, and given it was a tweetup, the photos I took were on my phone – it’s definitely …

A French Dinner at Blanchette Soho

French cuisine is one of my favourites in the world – it’s usually meaty, creamy, cheesy and decadent! But the techniques involved in French cooking are normally quite traditional. I’ve previously written about our visit to The Waterside Inn, one of the only UK establishments to maintain three Michelin stars. And while the food is absolutely superb, it’s very ‘old school’ in style. You can tell that Alain Roux has been cooking like this for a long time and it clearly works very well. So when I met Yannis and Maxime at a recent Teisseire event, I was intrigued to learn that at their French restaurant in Soho, Blanchette, they serve French cuisine ‘with a twist.’  I finally got round to visiting Blanchette last week with Ceri. It’s located to the North of Soho, a few minutes away from Oxford Circus tube station. I left it quite last minute to book and there was only room left to sit at the bar. I took this to be a good sign, as the restaurant was clearly …

The Canelé Revolution! Yvonne & Guite Review and Interview

In case you don’t know by now, I’m a bit of a Francophile, especially when it comes to food. Although I’m usually more of a fan of savoury French food than sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily tuck into a macaron or a croissant any day, but given the opportunity to snack on something at home, I would usually opt for something savoury. When I was approached by a new London-based baking business called Yvonne & Guite, asking if I’d ever tried canelés, I shamefully had to say no. But when I did a bit of research, I realised I had tried them, I was just unaware of the name. They’re very unusually shaped and as my experience goes to show, the name hasn’t quite caught on in the UK yet, but I truly believe they’re going to go down a storm in the British confectionery scene very soon! Yvonne & Guite is owned by Caroline Coutand-Gavriloiu, who has loved to bake ever since she was a child in her parents’ kitchen. Her grandmothers, Yvonne …

Making Teisseire Cocktails At Home

When I’m out at a bar or restaurant, I like to order cocktails. They were once very expensive, but I’ve recently found that they’re not that much more than a large glass of wine or a spirit and mixer any more. But so much more fun! When I’m at home, I rarely make cocktails – it feels a bit weird cracking out a cocktail making kit just for the two of us. However, I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make some cocktails when we eventually move into our house and have a house warming party (my friends will no doubt hold me to that, now!) I recently attended an event by Teisseire, which I wrote about here. They sent me some of their cordials to try out some cocktail recipes at home, to get some practice in before the housewarming! And because they were all 0% sugar, I was really keen to see what they would taste like and whether you would be able to notice a difference in the flavour. After all, cocktails …

Pétanque Players Assemble! Dinner at Angelus Restaurant

Dubbed the new ‘hipster sport’, Pétanque is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. I used to play it on holiday as a child and surprisingly (unlike most sports!) I was fairly good at it. I even beat Tim once, but of course, he’ll never admit to that ;). For those of you who don’t know, Pétanque is a form of boules where the goal is to throw metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally “piglet”) or jack, while standing inside a starting circle with both feet on the ground. This June (5th-7th), The Londonaise are hosting an International Pétanque festival at Barnard Park in Islington. And to celebrate, French restaurant Angelus is introducing a unique boules inspired main dish into their set menu, which I was lucky enough to preview this week. Angelus restaurant was formerly a pub and covert meeting place for political figures such as Winston Churchill, tucked away in a beautiful mews alongside Hyde Park, a couple of minutes walk from Lancaster Gate station. Upon …

Dinner at Les Gourmets des Ternes, Maida Vale

One of my favourite restaurants in the world has to be Les Gourmets des Ternes in Paris – the French team at 2K were lovely enough to take me there on a couple of occasions when we were hosting press events in Paris. Rather inconspicuous from the outside, the restaurant is in fact very popular and usually needs a reservation. I was always glad to have the French team there with me – even though I studied French at University, the experience at this restaurant can be quite overwhelming. The menu is all handwritten in French and the attitude is very much ‘go with the flow’ – on the occasions I’ve been there, big portions of terrines and pates have been passed around the restaurant and you just help yourself! The owner, Jean-Francois Marie, is a great character and attracts lots of celebrities – the tablecloths are printed with messages from famous people, from politicians to film stars!     So when I learned that Les Gourmets was going to open in London last week, I …