Diana and I had spent a rather lovely morning at the National Portrait Gallery, pretending that we were part of that rascally Bloomsbury Group. Gloomily brooding like Virginia Woolf, albeit sans stones in the pockets. But art does make one hungry, or it makes me hungry, so we headed over to Paul for a light lunch.
Le Restaurant de Paul’s dining room is very 1780s France, with grey and blush pale wallpaper and an air of regal elegance.
We were celebrating Diana’s birthday and whilst she was looking at the menu I sneakily ordered Gougères and Champagne. Gougères are my current oh-I-just-knocked-these-up that I roll out to friends who pop by for drinks on the terrace. Choux pastry is terribly easy to master if one has the nous but just don’t tell anyone how much cheese goes into these. The ones at Paul are utterly delightful and were all gone by the time we had taken our first sip of Champagne.
Lunch thereafter was a jolly Chicken paillard salad and a tremendous Croque monsieur with a spiky green salad. There is a great selection of sandwiches – proper French jambon/ fromage or salami/gherkin baguettes and more robust dishes of Coq au vin too.
We accepted mint tea but declined a dessert because no one becomes a Bloomsbury waif by eating éclairs. But then as we were leaving we clocked the Paris Brest and the Tarte au framboises and we were lost. Merrily we left with delicate boxes in our hands and broad smiles on our faces. The Bloomsburys can keep their waifs.
- Le Restaurant De Paul, 29 Bedford Street www.paul-uk.com/covent-garden- restaurant
Get your tickets now for Matthew Broderick's West End debut in May at the Wyndham's! Also starring Elizabeth McGovern from Downtown Abbey. The Starry Messenger is an incredibly moving play by the writer of Manchester-By-The-Sea, Kenneth Lonergan. 🎭
Want to eat your way to fitness this January? Rugby star James Haskell's got all the answers (and recipes) in his new book.
RELAUNCH DAY. And our IN Covent Gardeners are out on the streets of Covent Garden London offering our FREE new look magazine. Pick up the January/February issue at our special dispensers in the Piazza.
Luisa Guerreiro Samantha Smallwood...