Where to find French culture in London

12.11.15
2 minute read
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We may be too proud to admit it, but Brits love a bit of French culture - whether we’re gazing at a Monet, or enjoying steak frites with a glass of merlot.

In London you’re only ever a short train ride from France, but you don’t even need to go that far to find French culture. We’ve put together a list of places that show France really is right on our doorstep.

L’institut Francais

Petit France forms the cultural centre for London’s French community.

It's the home of L’institut Francais. Teaching the French language is at the centre of the institute’s mission, but if you’re not feeling very studious, don’t worry, you can also enjoy world-famous French cinema at the Ciné Lumière, or get involved in a wine tasting.

La Fromagerie

There are over 100 varieties of cheese available to buy.

Whether you’re a fan of cheese or not, you have to marvel at the sheer number offered at La Fromagerie in Marylebone. You can sit in the café and enjoy the daily-changing menu, featuring produce sold in the shop, with a nice glass of wine.

Maison-Bertaux

Claims to be the oldest French patisserie in London.

Inside you’ll find mismatched tables, an eccentric accordion playing owner, an old piano and lots of old French memorabilia. If you’re lucky you may even get to see a small French-language production, put on by the Maison-Bertaux Theatre Club.

Balls Brothers

Try the popular French past-time Pétanque.

It’s a bit like bowls but with smaller, heavier balls that players toss rather than bowl. You may have seen old men playing it in the town square when you visited France, but it’s not just old men who can play, and, thanks to Balls Brothers, it’s not just in France.

The French House

This pub in Soho played an important part in French history.

It served as a centre for the French Resistance during WW2 and Charles de Gaulle’s famous letter ‘a tous les francais’ is said to have been written here. There is a selection of French wines, beers and ciders on offer. And an endless supply of Ricard.


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