Summer season has descended upon Covent Garden, the theatres are packed with school kids and coach parties, even the Opera house has been handed over to the tourists – securing your cultural fix is hard work in the holiday months!
However, for those who don`t want to abandon their love of the arts I recommend taking refuge before or after a show at local French restaurant `Mon Plaisir`. The oldest Gallic dining room in London has been dishing up pre and post performance supper for years.
Steeped in nostalgia, it considers itself a ` little piece of England that remains forever France`.
Never was a truer word spoken, from the rustic smells discernible even outside its entrance on Monmouth street to the restaurant`s famous eclectic Parisian décor – this place is the real deal.
Once inside sit yourself down in one of their eccentrically decked out salons and tune in to the thick French accents, admire the Moroccan tapestries, art noveau lamps, forties posters, flea market bric-a-brac and novelty statuettes that all jostle for space in a gorgeously intimate interior
My dining companion and I feasted on bloody steak and thinly sliced frites, shared garlicky green beans and picked at spicy calamari. Hunks of French bread mopped up every last morsel and we saluted their efforts with a fruity red.
Out of the corner of my eye I noted a couple of well known art critics deep conversation working their way through a bottle of champagne – entirely appropriate behaviour for a Mon Plaisir afternoon. On our way out, the waiter pointed to the beautiful pewter topped bar that once graced the lounge of a Lyonnais brothel, `viva la France` indeed…..
Go, drink, eat and escape the London tourists in this little corner of ‘Paris’, you won`t be disappointed.
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