Patron’s 3rd Birthday is all set to be quite a party

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This weekend the acclaimed Gallic bistro on Fortess celebrates with free vino, food and live music


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Would ya believe it? The always community-minded French bistro in central Kentish Town is turning three years old this weekend – so we agree with them: let’s celebrate (with copious amounts of vin, naturally).

An independent ‘cave à manger’, it was the brainchild of a couple, French-English owners Tanzi Ellison and partner Jean-Francois, who had previously (and successfully) run Cafe Gourmand on Lexington Street in Soho.

When it opened back in 2015, it followed the then pioneering Shoe Shop, a little further up the stretch, in its laidback approach to serving quality neighbourhood cuisine with more than a Gallic whiff.

But while the latter, despite solid cooking, sometimes seemed difficult with limited opening hours and quite formal service, Patron has always been all smiles. Not to mention reliable scran.

Effortlessly chic. Photo: David Loftus.
Tanzi and Jean-Francois met fourteen years ago at cheffing college. “We moved to Kentish Town in 2013,” says Tanzi, who is also head chef, “and just fell in love with the area. We talked about how wonderful it would be to open somewhere and couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a French shop of some kind yet, with the school and all those newly arrived families.”

And, in case you don’t ‘get’ it, why the name? “It simply means both a regular customer and the owner of a restaurant,” she said at the time, “so we hope to create a friendly and convivial place for our locals.”

Most readers by now will be familiar with the rather sexy interior, and simple menu boasting classics from onglet to cauliflower gratin, not to mention the cute aperitifs and more-than-decent wine list (so popular they opened a second bar a few doors down in 2016.)

And as for this weekend’s birthday bash? You’ll be able to gulp down complimentary glasses from 4pm to 7pm, as well as free cakes and Jean-François’ Brittany classic, galette saucisse. The bar and restaurant will also be open until 9.45pm, with the usual Sunday live music too.

Salut, indeed.

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From 4pm, 8th April, 16 and 26 Fortess Road NW5. More here.

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