There is little in life I love more than a weekend in Paris. Jumping on the Eurostar for a night or two lends itself as the perfect opportunity to soak up some gallic atmosphere and, perhaps more importantly, to spend 48 hours consuming as much as possible in the shortest amount of time (calories don’t count when you’re away, right?)
My only bugbear, in fact, with our French chums, is that they know how to savour a good glass of wine like grown ups and see 125ml as an appropriate measure. Nevertheless, a French gastronomic experience is something I look forward to at least a couple of times a year.
Until, that is, I discovered Le Patron Cave a Manger – a wine shop and Deli bar, offering a handpicked selection of cheese, charcuterie and exceptional fine wines, which literally does bring a slice of Paris to Kentish town, NW5.
Sister restaurant of the original, Le Patron, a few doors down, it is a boutique style eatery oozing with french charm and authenticity.
We started with a charcuterie and cheese board – including jambon de Bayonne, chilli salami and petit basque and a generous glass of Domaine des Soulie before heading to the Le Patron to try the steak tartare – fabulous and finished perfectly with raw quails egg, frogs legs, of course, and green garlic escargots. Keen to reenact a Parisian dinner i.e. one that never ends, I chose steak frites for main, done to perfection and rounded it off with cafe gourmand, a trio of mini deserts, including creme brûlée and chocolate mousse.
Yes, I really did.
Both Le Patron Cave a Manger and Le Patron itself, are, without question, the nearest to a taste of France you’ll get in the capital – totally Parisian without being naff and, without the obvious efforts of checked table clothes and Edith Piaf playing in the background, but simply through fantastic food and delicious wines, a genuinely awesome eating experience.
Reasonably priced and with some of the friendliest staff I’ve come across for some time (and not just by Parisian standards!) I enjoyed the experience from beginning to end – whether it’s a dinner with friends, a romantic meal for two or a quick glass of wine at the Cave a Manger with the papers on your own, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
My only one concern is that it’s now about 100 meters from my front door – and how’s a girl to say no?
16 & 26 FORTESS ROAD, KENTISH TOWN
LONDON, NW5 2HB
+44 207 813 2540