Stepping out in London: Brasserie Zédel

May 6, 2013

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A touch of Paris in London.

Believe it or not, I am a creature of habit.  If I find a place I like, I stick to it:  I’ll patronize all my favourite establishments over and over and over.  Boring, I know, but I find comfort and stability in revisiting bars and restaurants that make me feel good.

However, this type of behaviour seems a shame in London, a city bursting with funky places to go out to and cool things to do.  Luckily, I have a number of blogger friends who often invite me to get myself out of my rut and try something new.  Such was the case with Brasserie Zédel, an upscale Parisian style bar located at Piccadilly Circus, in the very centre of London.

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I first heard about the place from my friend Adventurous Kate (she suggested we meet up there one day but we ended up going elsewhere), but it wasn’t until I went out to afternoon tea with Canuck Sarah and Milla months later that I heard the name mentioned again.  After stuffing our faces with scones at the Royal Horseguards Hotel’s afternoon tea we were looking for a place to chill out and one of the girls volunteered Zédel. Pourquoi pas?

We walked from Victoria Embankment to Piccadilly Circus, which is probably one of the most scenic short stretches in London. We crossed over the Strand, passed by Trafalgar Square then walked through the brightly lit streets of Chinatown, which happened to be celebrating Chinese New Year at the time. We braved the swiftly-moving traffic to cross Shaftesbury Avenue (anybody who knows London knows that this street is a pain to cross!), home of the city’s West End theatre scene, before finally finding ourselves before the brasserie.

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In the land of English pubs, Brasserie Zédel immediately transports you to Moulin Rouge-era France.  You know those old black and white movies where white-gloved, red-lipsticked French bombshells smoke skinny cigarettes from long black cigarette holders?  That’s totally Zédel’s vibe.  It’s art deco to the max: the dark lighting means everything has a slightly orange, fuzzy glow, the dark plush decor has a classy, lived-in appeal, like a speakeasy.

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I dug it.

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Brasserie Zédel is actually made up of three venues: The Crazy Coqs (which hosts performances), The ZL Café, and the Bar Américain, where we parked ourselves for a while. All seemed fairly spacious.

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Sarah and Milla ordered drinks, but teetotaler that I am I just soaked up the lush atmosphere (and noshed on the free nuts brought to our table).  We clinked drinks (I borrowed one of the girls’ for effect) and toasted being young and alive and living in a cosmopolitan city like London.  It was all very Sex and the City-like!
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I had to leave relatively early but would definitely come here again!
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Have you ever been to a brasserie or something similar? Do you have any favourite spots in London?

Brasserie Zédel

20 Sherwood St, London W1F 7ED

020 7734 4888

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay @ From There To Here May 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I am also a creature of habit – sometimes I just want a guaranteed good meal and when I know where to get it, it seems silly to leave it up to chance ;-)

You girls look lovely – perhaps next time I’m in town we’ll make it a date at Zedel!
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Naomi May 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm

The cheapskate/student that I am, getting free snacks with your drinks is the one of the biggest things I miss about Paris! The decor looks very Parisienne as well. If I have any sudden urges to go to Paris when I’m back home, this might be the more sensible/economic/feasible option!
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Roni Faida May 7, 2013 at 1:47 am

This place looks interesting, thanks for sharing! And your pics are beautiful as always.
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Alyssa June 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I’m putting this on my list, for sure! Just booked my flight to London yesterday and I leave on Tuesday–spur of the moment.

I totally have that “Roaring Twenties” flappers and all kind of vibe. Love!

Yours in Travel,

Alyssa
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Robert Etison June 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Thanks sooooo much! Going to London from USA in May on my dream vacation. I will def be stopping at Camden Market! I never even heard about it before. So excited!! If you have any other fun or tacky (besides Picadilly Circus)places that you would like to give I would love to hear them. Thanks again!!!

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