Banish the Winter Monday Blues @ Le Restaurant de Paul, Tower 42

19 Nov 2017

You’ll have spotted the Paul bakeries dotted around towns across the UK, and now they have two restaurants in London. The site I visited was located on the ground floor of Tower 42 in the city of London, and it certainly brought a splash of France to London’s financial district. I have to admit, for some reason I thought that Paul Hollywood owned the brand, and that he egotistically named the brand after himself. However, I was delighted to find out that Paul is in fact a family affair, which has been running for over 100 years and I loved seeing old black and white photos dotted around the venue to add to the Parisian chic effect. The restaurant was sophisticated and refined, although still warm and welcoming, which felt somewhat fitting to the French way of life.

Have you ever browsed a menu and wanted to eat every single thing on it? It’s definitely a good sign, right? Well that’s how I felt when I visited Le Restaurant de Paul at Tower 42. I instantly knew I was going to love it, but also realised that I would most definitely have to come back in order to try the whole menu!

After reading the menu for the umpteenth time, I eventually opted for a charcuterie board to start, as I knew that this meant I would be greeted with an array of meat, and I was not left disappointed. Melt in your mouth Coppa is to die for; every last mouthful must be savoured! I particularly liked the addition of the smoked duck and port pate, which gave the board a slight French twist. My fiancé ordered the Scottish oak smoked salmon, (of which I obviously nicked a mouthful or two of) and I have to say, it is definitely worth a try too, especially if you are a fan of horseradish for that extra little kick.

We’d ventured out to eat on a cold and dreary Monday evening, and so it seemed only right to order something warming so I chose the Cabillaud Provencal for my main. Essentially, it is an oven baked filet of cod served with Provencal stew and chorizo, served in a scorching hot skillet, it remained extremely hot for a VERY long time, and was too hot to eat for a good 10 minutes, but once I got stuck in, it was worth the wait.

If you have a sweet tooth, you need to save room for dessert. Opt for the mousse au chocolat Paul and you will be in for a treat – extremely rich, this is one indulgent dessert and not for the faint hearted! But, fear not, if you are more of a savoury lover, then the petit fromage board is for you. However, I have to let you know that this is not just any old cheeseboard, and no, it’s not an M&S style cheese board either…it’s way better!

Those that know me are aware of my love affair with cheese…and I am often so disappointed when I order cheese boards for dessert (often at a premium price) to be greeted with a few tiny slithers of cheese that could be devoured in seconds. So, to my surprise, I was understandably made up when I saw copious amounts of cheese with grapes and honey….and a basket full of amazing freshly baked bread to accompany it! More often than not with cheeseboards, I find eateries tending to offer a few crackers to simply make the plate look good, rather than to actually be eaten with the cheese, so it was refreshing to see some large hunks of fresh doughy bread – there really is nothing better than a simple bread and cheese pairing! Five types of cheese were on offer, which again is more than the usual three or four that I’m used to: Reblochon, Fourme d’Ambert, Tomme as well as Camembert and mini Rocamadour, and I’m ashamed to say that after two other particularly large courses (well it was a Monday night!) it was actually a little too much for me to eat. The fact that I could not finish cheese truly saddened me, and good cheese should NEVER be wasted, so I was delighted when the waiters gave me a box to take my cheese home in…and yes I did have a midnight snack that evening!

This place is a one stop shop  – there’s an in house bakery to grab your breakfast and as well as an eatery, Le Restaurant de Paul is a destination wine, Champagne and cocktail bar – perfect for after work drinks, especially when happy hour is from 4-7pm where cocktails are just £5 – a bargain in Central London.

Clare

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