France and England haven’t always been the best of friends, but we can all use a little mettre du piment every once in a while. Here are three of the best bistros on ol’ Blighty, so you can sip your Champers like a true Parisian.
Pierre Victoire, London
Just a stone’s throw from Craft Gin Club HQ, this London mainstay has been the site of many a long lunch – more often wine-soaked than not! Kick off your meal with a glittering Kir Royale, enjoyed outside at a table on the pavement of trendy Soho or inside with the regulars in the cosy dining room. A carafe of wine is called for; then feast like the Sun King on mussels drenched in garlic butter, luscious duck confit, rich tart tatin or any number of French classics off the set menu. Three stunning courses clock in at less than £15.
Wilde’s Wine Bar, Leamington SpaSince the mid-1970s, a beautiful basement bistro has been delighting the residents of beautiful Leamington Spa. Wilde’s Wine Bar and Restaurant, strung up with twinkling fairy lights and bathed in the warm glow of candlelight, boasts a 50-strong wine list and international cuisine whipped up from local ingredients. And, with live music and warm, welcoming service, this is a wonderful place to while away an evening. They take their founding principles very seriously at this special spot: good wine, good food, good company!
The Bon Vivant, Edinburgh
This Gallic haunt on Edinburgh’s stylish Thistle street offers a regularly changing menu stocked with eclectic dishes made using locally-sourced produce, plus a comprehensive and accessible list of Champagne. Opened in August 2008, owner Stuart McCluskey was aiming to create a spot with continental flair, in formal dining and flawlessly delicious food. Needless to say, he succeeded – and The Bon Vivant is now the perfect Edinburgh bubble bar for anyone in search of la vie en rose.