In Nottingham for a short and brief visit, my boyfriend and I decided to stop off somewhere really close to our hotel for a very quick lunch. A search using Google Maps took us to this place: French Living.
Seen to very quickly, I opted for one course of steak frites on the lunch menu (one course £9.95, two courses £13.95, three courses £15.95) and my boyfriend knowing he had to leave halfway, a chicken baguette (£5.95). I was asked how I wanted the steak. Medium rare. The waiter gave us a basket of bread with some butter to have whilst we waited and enjoyed the decor.
This small restaurant was adorned with vintage french art, blackboards with french quotes and recipes. At the front, there was also a cheese counter brimming with French cheeses. Beside the counter, there was a big display cabinet showcasing a selection of French wines, snacks, patés and many other jars of foods for sale.
The steak arrived exactly how I wanted it, still pink in the middle, covered in a shiny and flavourful red wine sauce. Every single one of my fries were light, slightly crispy, and they were all salted just right. The vegetables I had were mashed, white and creamy, from the taste I suspect it was celeriac. The accompanied salad had a light tangy dressing drizzled over it. I loved every bite of this meal, whether combining all the foods together or eating them separately. Everything on my plate was seasoned to perfection – I didn’t even need to add any seasoning myself! I think even adding ketchup to the fries would’ve discredited the sauce. The portions of everything were balanced, and not too heavy for a lunch time meal.
I would say the staff kept out of the way but were observant and attentive. When I finished my meal, the waiter approached me to ask if my “friend” was coming back, it must’ve looked like a really sad meal. But I enjoyed taking my photos and savoured every last bite. I said no and asked if I could take the rest of his baguette away, adding more sadness to this “failed date” narrative. The baguette tasted good though. The bill arrived tucked in a French book, how different, it added a nice finishing touch to the meal, in my opinion.
All in all, I felt like I had a really tasty, well seasoned and authentic French experience minus any feelings of pretentiousness, sometimes tied with French cuisine.