I think that one of the best things about living in London is the easy access to the many different types of cuisine from all over the world, and although France may only be a fairly short hop across the channel, Clapham is home to one of the most charming and authentic French restaurants you will find this side of Brittany.
Draped in a smokey Gallic allure, Gastro decorates the pedestrianised Venn Street like a Christmas bauble, and with the sunlight illuminating the dark wooden interior, it is not hard to see why this place has remained popular for the last 16 years.
The food is just as charming as the aesthetic, with a live lobster tank and fresh produce ensuring quality.
The menu is also authentic, with petit dejuner and casse croute including croissants, croque monsieur, pain au chocolat and good coffee, as you would expect. The evening menu is also suitably appetising with a range of meat and seafood options available. I opted for the steak, which was cooked to perfection and melted in the mouth. My companion had the mussels, which were also excellent.
I was expecting the service to be typically surly and brusque, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be friendly and prompt.
The prices are not cheap, but then the quality of the food is worth the extra money. As you walk through the quaint and aged wooden doors of Gastro, you feel as if you are just discovering a genuine Parisian treasure, and when the food arrives you are certainly not disappointed. Bon Appetit.