Harden's survey result
“Get snuggly” at this “engaging if somewhat faded”, “typically Gallic” 1960s-“throwback” in Pimlico, whose “dark”, candle-lit interior and “cosy tables hidden away in nooks and crannies” make it “one of the most romantic restaurants of all time” (it’s Londoners’ No. 2 for romance in the survey this year). Foodwise, “there’s no nonsense, no surprises” – just “very traditional French classics” that are “still passable” (“cuisine grand mére” – think calf’s liver, coq au vin, cassoulet), served by “the most colourful French waiters”. Top Tip – “idyllic terrace for long lunches and dinner al fresco”: “you could imagine yourself in a little French marketplace having a simple bistro-style lunch”.
“Soft lighting, snug and hidden tables” and “the whole full-on Frenchiness of it all” imbue this “dated (but that’s part of the joy)” Pimlico classic with a “dark and seductive ambience” that for many years won it the survey’s nomination as London’s top spot for a date (and it still ranks at No. 2). “The solid French regional food has always been unspectacular” (“it’s not why you come”) while ultimately how much you enjoy the experience often comes down to how well you hit it off with the “colourful”, very Gallic staff.
“The deliciously dark and candle-lit interior is romance personified”, at this “sensual French delight” in Pimlico, whose intimate nooks and crannies have made it a famed trysting spot for as long as anyone can remember. The food “has come off the boil” in recent times: “just in case you notice it, it’s old fashioned, bistro fare, and not particularly cheap, but no-one cares”. Service meanwhile is very Gallic – “they respond more favourably to Francophones!” Top Tip – “fab outside space in summer”.
“Romance is in the air” of this “extravagantly French” Pimlico veteran, especially “after dark in the magical candlelight” of its “secluded and dim-lit dining spots” (and also “on the pavement, under umbrellas in summer”). Foodwise, its stolid, “rustic” classics are “OK, but nothing special”, and delivered – “with a Gallic shrug” – by service that’s “haphazard” but generally “friendly, colourful and accommodating”.
La Poule au Pot has been a Belgravia institution for as long as anyone cares to remember. The alluring interior, with its intimate nooks and festoons of dried flowers and bric-à-brac has changed little since the 60s and offers an authentic re-creation of “paysan” France. It is no surprise that La Poule has been voted “best for romance” in the whole of London in Hardens guide for the nth year in succession.
Alongside the wonderfully atmospheric ambience, the menu is classic French too: excellent ingredients, generous portions and fine cooking, presented with exuberant panache. The wine list is honest, thoughtful and interesting.
In warmer months, the extensive outdoor seating area makes the restaurant
one of the most desirable alfresco destinations in the capital.
|Wine per bottle||£25.00|
231 Ebury St, London, SW1W 8UT
|Monday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|