Breton Cidre at The French House

Or should I say ‘Cidre Breton au Maison Francais’?

Ok, let’s stick to English.

Cider doesn’t sound like the usual French drink, not being wine and all, but along with the Brits, and the Norse, the French do make a lovely cider, the clever chaps. Well, the gallic peoples of Brittany, Wales and Cornwall share common roots, and apparently, a  liking of cider-making. In true French style it usually comes in classy green bottles, (like Merrydown, but posh).

Being treated to a free binge (courtesy of Ruark Audio, Cheers!), the hardcore drinkers stumble into The French House. A nice little pub on Soho, which prides itself on its bohemian culture and having numerous artistic patrons over the years, like Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon.Cidre

I wondered why it’s called the French House, so looking this up on the old Wikipedia, turns out it was opened by a German in 1910, but he was kicked out when the Great War began, and it was then run by Belgians until 1989 and was named the French House in 1984 from the nickname it had received. Considering this, it’s possibly ton a par with Americans calling a pub run by some Scots, ‘The English House’. Thankfully those jolly Belgians didn’t glass the customers for their faux pas.

Doubting the presence of a cider in this continentally influenced bar, I’m very happy to see a Breton Cider bottles in the fridge, they even have litre bottles! I stick to the small one. Several of them.

This Breton cider by Ets Guillet Frères, from Guenrouet, France, has a bit of a cloudy look to it, 5%, and with a merry peasant sitting on a barrel, getting lashed, printed on the front, this is warming up to be a good one

It has a dry, warm, woody taste. Just a little bubbly and lots of tannin, like the trees of the sun-drenched French apple orchards, it came from. In fact, there’s so much wood, I think there’s bits of the barrel, still in it. Now, I’m cycling through the fields of Brittany with my string of onions and a basket full of cidre (1 litre bottles) on my way to meet my inebriated peasant friend before he falls off the barrel.

However, as there’s a no technology rule in this pub, I do feel a bit rude typing in notes on my phone, beneath the ‘No Mobiles’ sign behind the bar (it’s detrimental to conversation), we’ll, I’ll shut up now.