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Westminster | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
Westminster | © Herry Lawford/Flickr
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The 10 Best French Restaurants in Westminster

Picture of Christina Dean
Updated: 7 September 2017
From rustic country-style kitchens serving traditional fare like bouillabaise and coq au vin, to sleek and shiny restaurants putting a modern spin on classic flavours, these are the top ten places to eat French food in Westminster.

Roux at Parliament Square

Restaurant, French, none
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If you want French food done to a very high standard, then you want a Roux to be involved. Michel Roux Jr is your man at this Parliament Square restaurant. Together with head chef (and Masterchef: The Professionals winner) Steve Groves, they have given classic French flavour combinations a modern twist, though simple menu descriptions – dry aged duck with cherry, peas and Grelot onions or English strawberry, white chocolate and pistachio – belie the amount of skill and technique on show. The restaurant itself reflects the approach in the kitchen; modern touches sit alongside period features in the listed building, which was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect behind the Natural History Museum.

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Mon - Fri:
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Mon - Fri:
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Fine Dining

La Poule au Pot

Restaurant, French, none
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Little has changed over the years at La Poule Au Pot, which only adds to its charm. The rustic décor gives the feel of a country farmhouse and the menu is classic French through and through, with escargot, bouillabaisse, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon and the namesake poule au pot all making an appearance. Naturally for such a traditional place, the wine list is all French too.

Sunday lunch

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Mon - Sat:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Traditional

The Other Naughty Piglet

Restaurant, Wine Bar, French, European, $$$
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This wine bar and restaurant is the result of a union between Brixton’s Naughty Piglet and Victoria’s Other Palace theatre, which is owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Natural wines are the focus here and the wine list is extensive, with an especially strong collection of French bottles plus some from Lloyd Webber’s own private cellar, in case you feel like splashing the cash. The small plates offering is more broadly European than French, with plenty of Asian influences thrown in for good measure, so you could move from burrata and confit onion to cod with Scottish girolles and courgettes to BBQ pork belly with Korean spices depending how the menu changes.

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Mon:
5:15 pm - 11:30 pm
Tue - Sat:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Tue - Sat:
5:15 pm - 11:30 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Brasserie Joël

Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, French, European, Asian, $$$
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Brasserie Joël is the in-house restaurant at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel. It’s a modern brasserie so traditional French dishes like ratatouille, chicken supreme with sweetcorn and Moulard duck with cherry sauce appear on the menu albeit with contemporary touches, as well Asian-inspired plates and charcoal grill dishes. If you dine on a Monday you can bring your own wine and there’s no corkage fee, which is very rare to find in a restaurant of this standard.

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Mon - Fri:
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Mon - Fri:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Sat:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Sun:
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sun:
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Aster

Restaurant, French, Northern European, Finnish, $$$
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Scandinavia meets France at Aster, one of the restaurants in Victoria’s Nova complex. Chef Helena Puolakka combines her Nordic background with her French training, which results in dishes like confit Arctic char with Greenland prawns, and pickled cucumber and duck liver with smoked eel apple salad. The sleek and stylish space, full of marble, copper and rich colours, adds a sense of luxury to the Aster experience, even if you’re just popping into the downstairs café and deli for a quick bite.

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Mon - Fri:
7:00 am - 10:45 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 10:45 pm
Sun:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Modern, Stylish, Relaxed

Vincent Rooms

Restaurant, French, European, none
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The Vincent Rooms is a bit of a hidden gem as it’s actually run by students training at Westminster Kingsway college, though under the guidance of experienced chefs and front of house staff. Their tasting menu is more French-European in style, with dishes like lobster and crayfish terrine and iced strawberry parfait, whereas their brasserie offers more from French styles – duck egg with seared foie gras or halibut with garlic butter clams – to Asian plates. Not only do you get great food at great prices (significantly lower than what a restaurant would charge for the same dishes), you might find yourself eating food made by one of the country’s top chefs of the future.

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Mon:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tue - Thu:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tue - Thu:
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Colbert

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Colbert is inspired by the grand cafes and brasseries of Paris, and its location next to the Royal Court Theatre only adds another layer of elegance to the place. The classical menu covers everything from omelettes to oysters and steak hache to patisserie, so you’re catered for all day long. The long French wine list, with many varieties offered by the glass and the carafe, ensures you won’t be going thirsty either.

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Mon - Sat:
8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Ebury Restaurant

Restaurant, French, European, Gluten-free
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This wine bar and restaurant may be broadly European but the food and drink of France is well represented. French bottles feature throughout the wine list, which also covers the rest of Europe and there are distinct nods to France in the kitchen with dishes like roast guinea fowl with baby gems, peas and bacon, duck breast with butternut and shallots and glazed lemon tart with crème fraiche. The Ebury may feel like an old-school place with its trompe l’oeil murals and white tablecloths, but they have both gluten-free and dairy-free menus, which is not something you’d usually find at a traditional restaurant.

First work lunch 😋 #isthisreal #yumyum #londonfood #diningout #lambsalad #champagnepop

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Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Boulestin

Restaurant, French, $$$
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The original Boulestin, which was opened in 1927 by food writer and the world’s first television chef Xavier Marcel Boulestin in Covent Garden, was one of the most famous restaurants in town and stayed open right into the nineties. This Boulestin, now in St James’s, pays homage to its predecessor with dishes like oeuf en gelée and soupe de poisson on the menu, with more modern plates like rack of lamb with wigmore panna cotta and black olive soil and tuna tartare with avocado mousse. It’s as smart and as elegant a place to eat as the first incarnation of Boulestin was, with a charming private courtyard for the warmer months too.

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Mon - Fri:
7:00 am - 10:30 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 10:30 pm
Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Villandry

Restaurant, French, European, Mediterranean
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Villandry, with another location on Great Portland Street as well as this one in St James’s, is named after the Chateau de Villandry in the Loire Valley and is inspired by the food of southern France. That means Mediterranean dishes like pan-fried sea bass with a nicoise garnish to seafood linguine sit alongside the likes of endive salad with pear and Roquefort and confit de canard with red cabbage. Villandry is smart but in an understated way, making it suitable for any occasion from bottomless brunch, to afternoon tea or a relaxed dinner.

Bottomless brunch with some beauties! @danzlaw @kimc0690 @leonieseek

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Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Relaxed