It turns out that you don’t have to hop on the Eurostar for something Parisian, because there is a spot of France below the ground in the heart of London – and it goes by the name of Brasserie Zedel.
I met the boyfriend at Picadilly Circus – always a spectacle in itsself (“Where are you? Oh – I was there a moment ago – now I’m where you were – …errr – just stand still…”) – before our somewhat last-minute dinner.
Neither of us knew exactly what to expect next, but as the doorman swung open the entrance to the petite French-style cafe and we descended into the (enormous) cinema-esque basement complete with movie posters and kiosk, I was basically certain that I had been transported onto the set of Midnight in Paris. Which also happens to be one of my absolute all-time favourite films. So I suppose you could say that I was sold on the place pretty quickly.
As we hadn’t booked, we were put into an (impressively efficient) queue system that involved 45 minutes of wine-drinking in “bar Americain” in the room next to the Brasserie. Not really a hardship. In fitting with the theme, a small bowl of popcorn was delivered to our table to accompany the wine. ALL of the wine options were French. I would normally moan about this but A) I never order French wine, and it’s good to have a nudge sometimes and B) I was in a French bar. And when in Rome, or in this case Paris…(/London)…
Ok, so anyway..
Next up was the brasserie – the enormous, flamboyant dining room with marble pillars, gold decorations and a grandfather clock. And, as our luck would have it, a Jazz band that were about to start playing. So there we were, underground and tucked away from the city, listening to jazz and drinking French wine – and feeling incredibly pleased with ourselves.
On the negative, I was enjoying myself (or more specifically my glass of Merlot) too much and failed to take out my DSLR…soo the photos kind of suck. You’ll have to visit.
Food-wise, everything was great and there was even a special vegetarian menu (I know!). And so I basically made peace with French cuisine following my recent breakfast disaster. Service was even better (big shout out to Fernando for being awesome).
And then to top off an excellent night? The bill arrived – and the bank wasn’t broken (!) Which was quite amazing, all things (and jazz bands) taken into account.
And so to paraphrase one other famous film, Je reviendrai! *
*according to Google translate, this is French for “I’ll be back” – and since we’ve already booked, I do mean this literally.