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French House

(formerly York Minster)

49 Dean Street
Soho
London
W1D 5BG

View on Map
  • No real ale Real Ale is NOT Available

Social Links

Opening Times

Regular

MondayMidday - 11.00 pm
TuesdayMidday - 11.00 pm
WednesdayMidday - 11.00 pm
ThursdayMidday - 11.00 pm
FridayMidday - 11.00 pm
SaturdayMidday - 11.00 pm
SundayMidday - 10.30 pm

Meal Times

12 - 3.30 Mon
12 - 3.30, 6 - 9.30 Tue - Thu
12 - 3.30 Fri
No Service Sat & Sun

Operator

Independent

About the Pub

Originally 16th century but rebuilt in 1936, and one of the most iconic Soho pubs, Grade II listed. Landlady Lesley Lewis celebrated 30 years here in mid-2019.

Wine outsells beer and it is claimed that more Ricard sells here than any other UK outlet. No real ale but house lager is available on keg; half-pints only are served, except once a year at the pub spring annual fundraiser when you can get a pint!

The venue is a famous one and often becomes crowded but the bar staff are good at spotting waiting customers. Occasional art exhibitions are held in the bar.

Evening meals now available mid-week only. The upstairs restaurant is small and reservation is advisable; meal prices reflect the very central location. The restaurant contains an interesting collection of black & white photos of regulars past and present. The French House was listed in 2020 and 2021 in the Estrella Damm national Top 50 Gastropubs awards and in the ED National restaurant awards.

NB mobile phones are banned in the venue!

Historic Interest

Famous as the unofficial headquarters of the Free French in World War 2, and for its long-serving landlord Gaston Berlemont. On VE Night near the end of World War 2, more sophisticated revellers headed here as other central pubs were rapidly running out of beer and here the "red wine was flowing in torrents" and "a French sailor kissed Mummy and changed hats with her" according to diarist Joan Wyndham! The pub was featured in the famous Maurice Gorham postwar book about London pubs, "Back to the Local". Subsequently the usual Soho list of boozers including such as Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon and Peter O'Toole are reputed to have drunk here. Francis Bacon performed a useful service here by introducing the artists Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, leading to a subsequent fruitful artistic relationship.

Regular cask ales

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Features

Facilities

  • LunchtimeMeals Lunchtime Meals

    Not weekends.

  • EveningMeals Evening Meals

    Tuesday to Thursday only.

View on Larger Map

French House

49 Dean Street
Soho
London
W1D 5BG

Sat Nav Reference

51.5127, -0.1317

Transport

  • <Station Close to Railway Station
  • <Underground Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

Nearby Station (700m)

London Charing Cross

Nearby London Underground/Overground/DLR (300m)

Leicester Square

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Photo date: May 2013

French House

49 Dean Street
Soho
London
W1D 5BG

Pub Features

  • No Real Ale
  • Quiet Pub
  • Historic Pub Interior
  • Lunchtime Meals
  • Evening Meals
  • Close to Railway Station
  • Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

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