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Picture of The French House
Image posted by john mcgraw
Submitted on Saturday, 25th April 2009
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The French House

49 Dean Street
W1
W1D 5BG
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The French House (Average Rating: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Quinno _ left this review about The French House

Been meaning to do this one for years, finally popped in at the worst possible time – Friday evening – and of course the place was rammed. However there’s a fair bit of charm in this L-shaped bar, what with its French resistance connections (see the all-encompassing description of the pub history below) as well as the huge amount of portraits of various back-in-the-day celebs (with an obviously hefty Gallic slant). Some proper artisan/luvvie/eccentric characters in here holding their own amongst the office workers - cravat and beret wearers, who despite looking like they didn’t have two pence to rub together obviously have some deep-seated source of income. No music, machines, television and mobile phones. Another ‘non’ is ale but there are bottles of Leffe (blonde and bruin, a pair of which set me back northwards of £8 but at least they made sure I got the right glasses) plus plenty of wine (the drink of choice here). There’s also some rather bland keg offerings (Kroney, Theakston Bitter and Guinness were noted as well as a no pint glasses stocked – halves only!). Worth mentioning the staff who are well-drilled and got me served quick despite being stuck behind a load of bar-blockers. As mentioned below, this is an interesting curio that’s worth the effort to sample once, possibly twice if you have a few quid on the hip and a gentle afternoon to spare.

On 19th February 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3435 recommendations about 3423 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Ian Mapp left this review about The French House

Been reading a lot about this place in recent books on the gentrification of soho. Thought I would check it out. Exactly as expected, down to the half pints of beer and most people drinking wine.

Worth a check out but wouldn't go more than once.

On 22nd January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 218 recommendations about 217 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The French House

Formerly known as the York Minster, this pub was taken over by a French speaking landlord shortly after the Great War and was casually known as 'The French Pub' until its current name was formalised in the 1980's. Famous for being the UK headquarters of the French resistance movement during WWII, it is reported that Charles De Gaulle wrote his 'A tous les Francais' speech in here. Other famous visitors include just about every notable alcoholic you care to mention, including Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Malcolm Lowry, William Burroughs and Peter O'Toole. Many of these regulars can be spotted in the many portraits that cover just about every inch of wall space in this remarkably compact pub, alongside images of revered French celebrities, many grouped according to profession. The pub has a bare boarded front bar area with the servery on the back wall. The dark wood counter has a lovely retro French coffee machine on the end of it and a smart matching bar back. Bar stools run around the counter and along a drinking ledge under the front windows, making it almost impossible to squeeze through at peak hours (i.e. always). I managed to grab a seat in a small recess to the rear left, where one long bench runs along the back wall serving a couple of tables in a space that is created behind a staircase. Alongside the photos are some collages and various posters and art works, all with a French theme, which rounds the décor off nicely.
The Francophile theme is continued at the bar, with a good wine list seemingly proving popular with most patrons. Beer is limited to a few keg lagers and I was surprised to see Theakston Best available on keg as well. As per any other French bar, the pint is an alien concept, so I had to make do with a half instead, which was no bad thing given the inferior quality of the beer.
This is a real curio and a place I'm glad I got around to visiting, if only for its interesting history and literary connections. In reality, this place is far to small to allow you to settle down for more than a swift half and the obvious restrictions caused by the lack of good beer provides a further setback. Worth a quick look and certainly a good option should you fancy a drop of wine in atmospheric surrounds.

On 2nd August 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1982 recommendations about 1982 pubs]


View more reviews of The French House (6)
This pub features in the following crawls:
A Perambulation of Louche Literary London by BobOs .
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Rex Rattus
Pub location
Latest updates View all updates for The French House, W1
10th Oct 2016, 17:42
Picture submitted by peter ashworth approved
 
10th Oct 2016, 17:25
Picture submitted by peter ashworth

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Child Friendly : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Darts : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Function Room : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Jukebox : No - Banned. - last updated 23 August 2016 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No - Banned. - last updated 23 August 2016 by Tris C
  • Live Music : No - Banned. - last updated 23 August 2016 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : No - Banned. - last updated 23 August 2016 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No - Banned. - last updated 23 August 2016 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : No last updated 02 August 2015 by Pub SignMan
  • Wheelchair Access : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
  • WiFi : No last updated 19 February 2016 by Quinno _
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