Four hundred years ago in a cobbled Farringdon courtyard, a society beauty was torn limb from limb by a jealous lover. When they found her, her still‐beating heart was pumping blood onto the cobblestones. Since then, the courtyard’s been known as Bleeding Heart Yard and the story is absolutely, completely, 100 percent true. Or maybe it’s gibberish. No‐one knows, if we’re honest.
Still, this solid French bistro knows a good story when it hears one, so all its menus bear the legend. One of three venues from the Bleeding Heart group – the tavern, and fancier restaurant proper are all nearby – the interior here is a tad like a French farmhouse by way of a Victorian workhouse: the bare wooden beams and metal pillars of this ex‐ warehouse space are pepped up by nineteenth‐century French wine posters and big stoneware flagons saying ‘beaujolais’ or ‘vin blanc’.
Food is hearty French bistro fare: soupe de poisson topped with big goopy spoonfuls of cheese and garlicky rouille; perfectly pink steaks; and rich beef cheek bourguignon – although be warned, the potato dauphinois is a slightly disappointing couple of chunks of the stuff rather than the bubbling skillet you might expect.
Service is super‐attentive – every time our table wobbled a waiter would shoot over with a prop. One thing surprised: the largely middle‐aged clientele. After all, with all the low lighting, you’d think it’d be the perfect location for a romantic meal. But then again, given the area’s history with that, maybe they decided not to put their hearts (literally) on the line.