Only eighteen months ago, the Palmeira Square area of Hove was home to several French restaurants (see blog of 5 August 2018: La Place Palmeira). Since then, both La Cave à Fromage and Pâtisserie Valérie have closed their doors. Now we have to say adieu to Café Rouge in Bartholomews which closed on 19 January 2020.
It was so good to see all those correctly used accents: Salon de thé and à toute heure. Fortunately, the branch of Café Rouge at the Marina is still open and carrying on the good work.
Another ‘French’ loss is the Paris Wine Bar at 119 Church Road, Hove. However, according the Argus, the restaurant was “not as French as its names suggests” – but for all the best reasons. The wines served in the bar came from all corners of world and not just France. Is this adieu to the Paris Wine Bar or merely au revoir? Hard to tell. Let’s look forward to its renaissance.
It’s not only food outlets that like to associate themselves with la France. Cycling and bikes are also often associated with our French neighbours. The bike shop, Velo Ami, at 73 Portland Road closed its doors in early 2019. A result of the harsh economic climate for retailers? But where oh! where was that accent on vélo?
When you have been out and about in central Brighton, you might have seen this fascinating French vehicle.
Arnold Rose and Judy Bow are co-owners of two such wonderful vans, UUI 8789 (a venerable 52 years old) and his partner, LUI 8785 who is a mere youngster at 41.
These little vehicles are Tardis-like and are hard workers. The Citroën H-series van was originally intended as the workhorses of French farmers and more generally in French villages right up until they went out of production in 1981 … and well beyond. A careful piece of astute bodywork and interior fitting and hey-presto! Two mobile crêperies.
Within 400 metres of Palmeira Square you will find a flurry of French restaurants and French-inspired catering establishments.
Let’s start with the nearest: Le Bistrot Nantais, owned and run by Pascal Benamari. Continue reading
Tucked away just off the seafront, you will find Petit Pois, a French restaurant run by David and his wife, Ivana. This is David’s story.
“I trained as a chef in France, mostly Michelin-starred restaurants: L’auberge de l’Eridan (Annecy 3*); le Domaine de Bournissac (Provence 1*) and Le Pastel (Toulouse 1*) After travelling in several countries, I decided to give it a go in England to discover a new lifestyle. And to improve my English. Continue reading