France Gall. Françoise Hardy. Sylvie Vartan. Brigitte Bardot. Anna Karina. French cultural mastermind Serge Gainsbourg. These figures of the yé-yé pop phenomenon yé-yé and the upstarts of the nouvelle vague form the backdrop – and the soundtrack – to London’s swinging restaurant and bar The French House, whose second outlet (the other’s in East Dulwich) is set to bring bagloads of Gallic charm to the Crystal Palace triangle centred on Westow Hill, Crystal Palace Parade and Anerley Hill.
In proper French cafe tradition, you can rock up to The French House’s Westow Hill address for simply a pint of beer (all sourced by crafty co-owner Robbie O’Neill) or a glass of wine, or indulge in co-owner and executive chef Audrey O’Neill’s native Alsace cuisine, whether for breakfast or a typically late London brunch, a long and languorous lunch or dinner. All the gastronomic action gets served up on communal wooden, farmhouse-style tables, making The French House’s social vibe all the more enchanting and adding a certain amount of rural French character to dining at this unique Crystal Palace venue.
Breakfast at The French House is classic petit dejeuner. Croques monsieurs et madames, savoury and sweet tartes, or a simple French brekkie of croissants and coffee are set to be a hit among Crystal Palace locals looking for something a little more refined than the English counterpart. Late on in the day when the restaurant opens up for lunch and dinner, London’s fans of Gallic gastronomy can have themselves charcuterie and fromage in a degustation format, classic French entrees and plates, or – the specialty of the house – Alsatian tartes flambees matched with Les Princes Abbes riesling from the region. With a backing band of French pop stars of yesteryear, The French House is French dining a la mode.
Overall the food was quite good and the staff very friendly
Great food, great service! People need to know about it. Highly recommended! Will be trying the one on Dulwich too! Hi and enjoy the fondue!
Very enjoyable first visit to the French House, along with a French friend for extra authenticity. Great ambience and excellent service - helpful and friendly and well timed. Delicious food and will definitely be going back, particularly as I will be able to take my dog next time!
Perfect service. Plentiful, high quality cheese and charcuterie. Delicious wine (but relatively steeply priced). Good coffee. Real pastry. Excellent ambience. I would return again to try their cooked dishes - this restaurant clearly cares about its French roots and makes it possible to enjoy a slice of France without picking up the tab of a Michelin starred restaurant. In the context of Crystal Palace, it is neither cheap nor expensive. If you're reading this review, deciding whether to visit or not, then I would recommend giving it a shot. At worst, it won't be your thing. At best, you'll have found a charming French restaurant that is admirably trying to be different. In any event, I cannot envisage being served a bad meal here. I live locally.
The ambience was very nice with Ye Ye music laying. The music playing was not, sadly, what was being shown on the TV, old French music programmes in black and white. Sad. Nice posters on tne walls. Staff friendly and knew the menu, very helpful. The starter, a charcuterie board, was very nice and tasty, good choices. The mains were a tad disappointing. The menu didn't fully reflect what was on the plates. The coq au vin was on noodles yes, but there was also chargrilled veg. Or that's what it looked/tasted like. It's difficult because I rather like my own coq au vin made the traditional way. My Wife had a salmon a la nicoise. Well, we know what a nicoise is, or do we. This was, sadly, very overcooked salmon fillets on a bed of charlotte potatoes d green beans. The pudding, well, we both had chocolate fondants with ice cream. Rather delicious. A pint and a vodka tonic all for just over £60 was good value. Would we return, not sure, I may spend an evening dr king their wine and having charcuterie.
We had a lovely birthday meal here last night. I recommend the large charcuterie platter for four people. If you love cheese, this is certainly the starter for you. So many delicious flavours. The service was lovely and friendly and we always had a drink (or two) on our table. Please try all the tarte flambes. Between us we tried three different flavours and the toppings were very generous. I can't wait to go back to try the desserts. We ate too much and couldn't fit them in!
Overall we enjoyed our visit. However, it is overpriced for what it offers. Also the music was via a soundtrack in the background whilst the TV which played 60;s video music was not linked to the sound system. So we saw silent video which bore no relation to the 'muzak' soundtrack. Disappointing as this was a main reason for our visit. Staff were friendly and the food was fine, if overpriced as mentioned. Could be 25% cheaper and it would be a different experience. Expectation = high, delivery = medium overall. Not sure I would go back though as there are many other restaurants in Crystal Palace. Stiff competition needs a great offering and this did not deliver.
Went mid week with a group of girls, atmosphere was lovely, wine choices were good with options for glasses, carafs or bottles. Shared a raclette and a fondue plus one other meal between 5 and it was more than enough food for us. Food did take quite a long time to come out but we were informed and they were apologetic. Company and atmosphere was good so this didn't matter. Will definitely return.
Great restaurant, been a few times and it's always a good atmosphere and lovely food. Friendly service too.Only drawback was they didn't have the kirsch digestif that was on the menu. French onion soup was tasty and good tarte flambees for me and my friend. She enjoyed her duck pate too. Also like that they do wine by the carafe as well as by the bottle and glass.
Great food, friendly staff, good service. Good choice for a Father's Day lunch for a French dad. Will definitely come back. The tarte flambé was yummy, and the confit de canard was judged by our 14 year old to be the best duck he had ever tasted (and he's tasted a few!). Merci beaucoup.