Bloody French, 149 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS

There’s nothing like a stroll around Notting Hill on a summer’s day to make you wonder why on earth you live in Streatham/Hackney/Acton and not this oasis of pavement cafes, market stalls, marble columns and parks.  And then you remember why – you can’t afford it, fool – but its still a lovely place for lunch or dinner.

And so we cooed our way round the streets of Notting Hill and headed to Bloody French, the wonderfully-named French bistro on Westbourne Grove.  You share long wooden tables and the low lighting makes it tres romantique.  On the plus side there were plenty of French people and staff there to make it seem authentic; on the minus they had run out of the good shizzle at 7.30pm – no confit, no foie gras, boo. 

I should also caveat this review by saying I was ill – I sounded like Janis Joplin and it was the first time I can remember that I’ve left dinner before the cheese course – so I want to go back and try it again when I’m better.  But what I ate was good, just not mind-blowing.  For starters I had the filo pastry of St Marcelin cheese and pear, with salad (Croustillant de St Marcelin) which was light and delicious, and the other girls loved the salad of pear and apple with bleu d’avergne and walnuts.  We also got a lovely bottle of cab sauv for around £20.

For main, I would have had the confit and was tempted by the moules (which looked lovely) but instead I had the lamb shank with bulgur wheat and vegetables.  Here, I may blame me being ill because my friend Pixie loved hers, especially the sauce, but I found it a little dry and would have liked the meat a bit more tender.

I would like to go back with some friends or El G for a walk round Portobello Road market followed by a nice boozy French lunch, and to try the CHEESE.  Its also BYO on Sundays to Tuesdays (restricted to one bottle between two apparently, just in case you were considering bringing a spare bottle of vodka or similar, you bloody Brits) although what a shame not to try that lovely French wine.   I left £30 before I scuttled off to Brixtonia for lemsip and TLC, but reckon it would be only marginally more if you went for 3 courses and shared wine. 

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