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Tour de France fans should try our favourite Scottish French restaurants

Make it an authentic experience with cassoulet for dinner

Published: July 12, 2022
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When you read this, the bionic Tadej Pogačar may still have the yellow jersey. Or maybe not.

Anyway, the Tour de France runs until July 24, at which point you may want to celebrate or commiserate that the longest bicycle race has come to a conclusion.

Before they reach the final stage in Paris, here’s our selection of Scottish French restaurants and delis to visit. Allez allez!

Chez Roger

Ditch the Prosecco and toast the yellow jersey with cremant d’Alsace from this Holy Corner deli. which is owned by Gaelle and Frederic Roger. In this Francophile’s dream of a shop, the shelves are piled high with Normandy cider, as well as French cheese, condiments, nougats and pate de fruits and other goodies. And there’s news:

“We have launched our very own branded selection of classics in collaboration with French artisans including meat, fish/shellfish and veggie pâtés/rillettes and gourmet ready-meals to start with,” says Gaelle. “And we are also about to launch our very own apéro French-style grazing boxes, including a selection of the finest artisan cheese, charcuterie and pickles from France”.

11 Colinton Road, Edinburgh www.chezroger.co.uk

Cafe St Honore

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One of our favourite restaurants in the capital is keeping the Auld Alliance alive, with Scottish produce served in romantic Gallic surroundings. We say oui to fennel tarte tatin, Lanark Blue ewe’s cheese, endive and candied nuts, followed by a chocolate fondant or local strawberries with creme fraiche sorbet. They also still do their takeaway Cafe at Home menu, and you’ll find chef patron, Neil Forbes, manning his stall, selling bridies, shortbread, tarts and more at Edinburgh’s Farmer Market on Castle Terrace every Saturday from 9-2pm.

34 Thistle Street NW Lane, Edinburgh (0131 226 2211, www.cafesthonore.com) 

L’Escargot Bleu

We were sad that this restaurant’s sister venue L’Escargot Blanc closed recently. Even more reason to celebrate their original 13-year-old venue on Broughton Street, which now has a downstairs wine bar that serves fondue and vino, among other things. Their chef patron, Fred Berkmiller, won the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s Sustainable Chef of the Year at the recent Royal Highland Show, and they’re the first restaurant in the UK to receive Pasture for Life certification, for their commitment to using meat from animals raised on pasture. The menu might include guinea fowl roulade with morels, asparagus and morteau sausage.

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56 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, www.lescargotbleu.co.uk

The Kilted Frog

The people at the Singularity Sauce Co tipped us off about this family run delicatessen. We like that they offer a ‘cheese of the week’, which you can taste at the counter. Previous varieties have included mimolette and fourme d’Ambert, from the Auvergne region. Also, sherry educator and chef Annie B or Annie B’s Spanish Kitchen tells us that their haggis and emmenthal toasties are legendary.

8w High Street, Inverurie Instagram @thekiltedfrogdelicatessen

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La Bonne Auberge

This restaurant has a loyal clientele and is in the heart of theatre-land, which may explain why it’s survived an incredible four decades, through Covid and beyond. In order to move with the times (which may also explain the unusual new Thai influence on the food list), they’ve just launched a new brunch list, though the dependable a la carte features dishes including their classic starter of French onion soup with port and red wine and gruyere croutons, and their steak burger for a main course, with an extra lardy Normandy version that’s topped with baked brie and bacon.

161 West Nile Street, Glasgow (0141 352 8310, www.labonneauberge.co.uk)

Beaumartin The Cottage

We love that this restaurant does a School French Taster Menu for £15. It introduces tiny gourmands to classic French food thanks to a buffet of escargot, beef bourguignon, frogs’ legs, spiced couscous and gratin dauphinois, among other dishes. Or, leave the pesky enfants at home and try their seasonal menu or Sunday lunch, which might include country style pork and chicken terrine followed by roast beef with the trimmings.

156 Milngavie Road, Bearsden (0141 258 1881, www.beaumartinthecottage.co.uk)

Wee Paree

Fancy tartine, crepe, croissant or French toast? Try this convivial and very chichi little cafe, with outdoor seating for when it’s feeling chaud. They offer these dishes as part of their brunch, served from 10 until 4pm, then it’s Small Plates, including steak au poivre and baked camembert, which are available from 4pm until late. We would visit purely for the Lady Apricot cocktail, which contains tequila, creme d’apricot, lime, all served in a glass that has its rim dusted with chilli.

240 Crow Road, Glasgow (0141 334 6171, www.weeparee.co.uk)

Cafe Boheme

This place calls itself a “Parisian cafe by day, a relaxed fine-dining French restaurant by night”. It also boasts a new Wine Room private dining space, and says it’s the only place in Aberdeen to offer a vegan tasting menu, with dishes including the wild mushroom pithivier. Times are changing. Their meatier options might include ox cheek and black pudding rissole, black truffle pomme puree and Madeira jus.

23 Windmill Brae, Aberdeen (01224 210677, www.cafebohemerestaurant.co.uk)

The French Fox

Get your profiteroles or rissoles aux poires (pear and vanilla compote in puff pastry) from Pierre - this turquoise Peugeot J7 van, which is currently stationed in Brodick from Friday to Sunday. Or, go for something savoury like the croque epinards with creamed spinach, confit tomato and cheddar cheese or the jarret de jambon, aka braised ham hock in a honey and Dijon sauce with an egg on top.

1 Auchrannie Road, Brodick, Isle of Arran Instagram @thefrenchfoxfood

Chez Roger interior

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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