The French have long joked about the English being ‘roast beefs’ (rosbif), a term whose linguistic origins stretch back centuries. Since a British Sunday roast dinner is not complete without a slice of roast beef, this liking has come to characterise a whole nation, in the eyes of the French.
Despite this light-hearted mockery – which routinely extends to criticising Britain’s tendency to overcook their steak – the French are clearly enthralled by British cuisine, as the hugely popular new restaurant selling only traditional British food proves.
The City of Light is captivated by L’Entente, Le British Brasserie, whose menu whisks you away to the very best of the British Isles. Open just six months, locals have been enjoying for the first time traditional main dishes like ‘Sliced Ox Tongue served warm with Citrus Coleslaw’ or ‘Cauliflower Soup, Smoked Haddock with Dill Cream’ (reasonably priced at €11 and €10, respectively) and hearty dollops of Shepherd’s Pie.
If you’re stopping by for brunch with an empty belly, then you can enjoy the generous portions of ‘Earl Grey soaked Porridge’ for €10, a dish that’s sure to fill you up for the rest of the day. Or you can be more adventurous and opt for a vegetarian ‘Pumpkin, Barley, Kale & Yoghurt’ for €16, tuck into a healthy ‘Stilton, Apple & Toasted Walnut Salad’ for €11 or enjoy a traditional ‘Glenarm Organic Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs’ for €21.
Keen to fully immerse the customer in the gastronomic excellence of Great Britain, even the beverages follow this tradition with drinks like ‘Buck’s Fizz’ and ‘Fizzy Elderflower Cordial’ on offer. Nowhere else in Paris – a city saturated with wine, champagne and cocktail bars – will you find such treats.
‘So many people are telling me they are pleasantly surprised. I never expected to be le spot de weekend but last Sunday the champagne was still flowing at 5 pm’, Oliver Woodhead, the owner, told The Telegraph. He’s been working in the restaurant industry for 16 years.
‘The London restaurant scene is light years ahead of Paris. It’s groundbreaking what we’re doing here – there are 500 registered French restaurants in Britain and countless French-style establishments – in France, there is now one British brasserie’.
What’s more, they do not practice service continu (continued service) like many other restaurants in Paris do. Instead of offering the same menu throughout the day, they specialise in ‘all day dining’. This means different fresh and homemade menus are on offer that actually change throughout the day (lunch, tea-time, dinner, late-night dinner and their hugely popular weekend brunch).
As if that wasn’t enough incentive to drop by, there’s one more reason: unlike many French restaurants that close on Sunday and Monday, L’Entente offers all-day dining with open doors seven days a week. This also includes bank holidays and all of August, which is a rarity in Paris.
L’Entente, Le British Brasserie, 13, Rue Monsigny, Paris, France, +33 (0)1 47 42 92 35