Top 50 Gastropubs

The French House

Soho, London

If the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list was to have a wildcard, the French House in Soho, London, would be it.

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Not because the venue’s cuisine is untrusted, but because the whole vibe and existence of the gastropub is so unusual.

For example, following its entry onto the list in 2020, we discovered the venue frequently plays host to a glamourous and artsy crowd including actors, writers and artists who, it is claimed, rub shoulders with royalty and the bohemians alike.

The pub’s online description details a “fabulous and entertaining spot to raise a glass in London, the French House truly deserves its reputation as the best-known pub in the world’s naughtiest square mile”.

What’s more, the French House’s no music, no machines, no television and no mobile phones rule makes it “a haven for conversationalists” and a firm favourite among some of the best-known names in showbusiness.

Wine, particularly Champagne, is a staple, with the French House boasting no fewer than 30 Champagnes and wines by the glass.

Food, however, landed this pub on the Top 50 Gastropubs list, and this is what we’re here to talk about…

The team keeps it simple with a near daily changing menu that’s written by hand and includes dishes such as Carlingford oysters with grated horseradish; confit garlic and goats’ curd on sourdough; and pâté grande mere with spiced plum chutney.

Previous mains have included pumpkin beetroot and pickled walnut salad; Cullen skink; and a selection of steaks in various cuts and served in different sizes.

It’s about time you treat yourself to something a little different, so why not begin with the French House. You never know, you too could be rubbing shoulders with a celeb or two while ordering your pickled walnut salad and sipping a glass of Champers.

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