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Christmas The French Way

Friday 5 December 2014
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This week I’ve been feeling rather festive. On Monday I took a day off work, so I wandered down Oxford Street, saw the lights, bought some presents and went to Fortnum and Mason for the first time. Oh all those Christmas goodies, wow, if I could buy everything I would. 

With this festive spirit firmly upon me, I decided to head down to Boulestin for a little Christmas shin dig they were hosting. 

Boulestin has been open since September 2013, but it is not the first restaurant with the Boulestin name. The original was just near Leicester Square, opening in 1925! Owned by Marcel Boulestin; often called the first TV chef, it closed in 1994. However restaurateur Joel Kissin loved Marcel so much he decided to name is restaurant after him and 're-open' it in a similar fashion.

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Boulestin has that elegant Parisian restaurant feel to it. It's classic, refined, definitely something for a special occasion. It had that sort of old money vibe to it, so bring your winter fur with you. Oh go on, you know you like to dress up.

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My understanding of Christmas has always been typicaly British. Cracker's, turkey and multiple mince pies. However Boulestin does Christmas the French way, so I thought I'd go for a wander and see, as you do...

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They have a gorgeous private dinning room downstairs. If your house isn't big enough for your sprawling family, this would be so cosy and warm. If only my family lived in London...

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Back upstairs, we sat down to Christmas dinner the French way. Which apparently starts with Oysters, so a round of Duchy of Cornwall Native No 2 oysters were ordered. I have to admit I don't really see the appeal with oysters, but my own starter sure did get my attention...

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Fois Gras. Oh yes. Now I know Fois Gras divides people, but I'm firmly in the love category. Not even sorry when it tastes this good.

I really appreciated the fact that this was, what I call, real Fois Gras. I don't know about you, but I've had it at some places and it's just been pate. Real Fois Gras has a much silkier texture, with a crispy shell.

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After discussing Christmas traditions round the table, the mains arrived. Roasted Duck Breast, Duck ‘en Croûte’, with Spiced Red Cabbage, Pan-fried Duck Liver and topped with Cherry Jus. I'll just cut to the chase here, it was pretty epic. Duck is a rare treat for me, so it was a welcomed sight. Comforting, tender with a tang from the cherries.

In France, apparently the two main meats are Salmon and Duck, Turkey doesn't get a look in.

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Essentially there was a mini pie with it. Forget duck, they had me at pie.

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What I love about Christmas is the sharing and nibbling, so I'd recommend ordering a bunch of sides and start passing them round.

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Wine isn't a big Christmas drink at my parents, as they're not really drinkers (I know, I don't know where I came from in that mix), however the French do lots of wine, so being at a French Christmas dinner it would have been rude not to crack open a bottle or two. Sorry Mum. 

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We finished on desserts and coffees. A light Honeycomb parfait. Delicious, but I did wish I'd gone for the Chocolate pudding. Sadly no mince pies or Christmas Pudding here, but someone (me) did chirp up and try to sing a few carols. I think I know why my parents don't drink...

5 St James’s Street

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  1. I love the look of this restaurant… and the food well that looks pretty amazing too!

    Victoria x

  2. Hahahaha! I have a mental image of you serenading the table now! I bet they all loved it! Food looks super tasty. When we spend Christmas/NY in france we always have frogs legs and snails! The restaurant looks so beautiful! Love that dining room!

    Katie <3