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“Taught How English Food Should Be Done By The French” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The French

The French
The Midland Hotel | Peter Street, Manchester M60 2DS, England
+44 161 236 3333
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Ranked #75 of 1,825 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $89 - $127
Cuisines: British, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The French strikes the perfect balance between heritage and progressive cuisine. While the restaurant is steeped in history, our current menu offers modern British food that delivers consistently excellent flavours by using the best seasonal produce and the very latest technological advances. Married seamlessly to its new contemporary direction, the breathtaking dining room of this historic restaurant encompasses both the new and old, with undeniable opulence and timeless elegance. Stepping boldly into the 21st century, The French offers outstanding levels of service, warmth and style, that in turn, create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere like no other in Manchester.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Taught How English Food Should Be Done By The French”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I visited The French last Saturday night with my Girlfriend and we were both very pleasantly surprised.
We'd not really done any research so when we were advised that they would be serving contemporary English cuisine I was a little thrown as I was expecting French food (from The French) but that wasn’t an issue.

If I’m honest, I’ve not experienced food of this kind very often and when I have it was always very pretty but not particularly exceptional in the taste department. The French was different, delightfully different.

We opted for the 6 course menu (which was actually 8 as they threw in some bread and a ‘surprise’ desert). The portions were of course small but all were beautifully presented and by the end of the meal I was pleasantly full (without opting for the additional cheese board).

The flavours in each dish were incredibly intense and all worked wonderfully together to ensure that each dish had its own character and style.

It’s certainly not fast food. We started dining at 7.45 and finished at 10.45. This is not a criticism and at no point did we feel we were being kept waiting, indeed the time taken to enjoy the courses (and the wine) only helped to make the evening more relaxing and enjoyable.

The staff were all very friendly and professional and seemed genuinely enthused by what the new chef was trying to achieve. The sommelier recommended a beautiful bottle of white to accompany our meal, all of which lead to an exceptionally fine dining experience.

It’s not cheap but then you wouldn’t expect it to be. I certainly felt as though the experience had been good value for money, we will certainly be returning and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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417 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cheshire
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Good food shame about the Midland”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

To get a table for a Friday evening, we had to book about 3 months ago, so this made me think that the whole experience was going to be amazing. I was to be disappointed!!! On entering the very old hotel, which is in desperate need of a refurb, in order to get to The French restaurant we had to go through a public bar, there was a wedding going on in a nearby function room and most of the guests had spilled out into the bar, so it was extremely busy and noisy with quite a few guests who seemed 'worse for wear'. The doors to the restaurant were open, so you are then straight into a large, brightly lit room. The very pleasant Maitre'd greeted us and she could tell by all our faces that we were a little shocked!!! It was nothing like I expected, very casual and sparsely furnished, there was no cutlery on the tables, no tablecloths, and it all looked very bare and unexceptional, for me the only redeeming feature was the 2 magnificent chandeliers. My friend described it as being like an airport business class lounge, and we all agreed this was a good comparison. In addition to this, we had a table very close to the door, and when we asked if there was an alternative, there wasn't, consequently it was beyond cold, as the main doors to the hotel were open and the draft was coming from there, we mentioned several times we were really cold but nobody thought to go and close the main doors, we asked if it was possible to shut restaurant doors, which one waiter did, but then they were opened again. The other reason they should keep the doors shut, is because of the noise coming from the wedding disco, we could hear it all night, not ideal in this kind of restaurant. Each time you wanted to use the toilet, you had to go through the bar area and pass all the people who were quite drunk!!! I would have thought a restaurant of this calibre would have its own toilets.
Now to the food!!! We opted for the 6 course menu, which was very good, however even though you expect the courses to be small, they were really really small, and when it got to the optional cheese course, we were all ready for this and we even asked for extra crackers!!! I don't want to review every course, but save to say it was all very good, but I didn't feel satisfied at the end, I think they could increase the portions slightly!!! The staff were all lovely and the service was very good, but our evening was spoilt by the very noisy wedding and the fact we were so cold. I was really shocked at how rundown the Midland has become, and I really feel that Simon Rogan is worthy of somewhere far better, I definitely wouldn't return whilst it is still at the Midland. So in summary, excellent food and service, just awful surroundings.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“What Manchester Does today, the rest of the world does tomorrow?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

This saying was coined in the Victoria era to describe the innovation and inventiveness that the most progressive City in the United Kingdom had to offer. Sadly The French has turned this statement on its head and followed rather than led.
Food is Good but not exceptional, atmosphere is Ok without being exciting or intimate, service is acceptable, all in all you get what you get when you pay a high price for an average dining experience; in short it is a mirror image of London “Quality” Hotels - Overpriced, over hyped, and without any form of, interactive dynamic. That is not to say that the dinning at the French is not good, in fact it’s very good, but that’s all it is, there is nothing to elevate the experience above that of many restaurants in Manchester apart from the price. Manchester is a vibrant City with many good and various eateries, many of them that are informal, sophisticated, and have great atmospherics so to consider the French at the Midland in Manchester's top five restaurants can only be the thinking of the pretentious.

The French
Food Good, Service Good, Atmosphere OK, seriously overpriced, for a special occasion why not, – Judge for yourself but it’s not worth taking the chance in my opinion unless you are staying at the Hotel. However if cash is not a problem then go for it; as for me I'm unlikely to visit again it lacks the ingredients of a really good night out. Its just not good enough.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Absolutely Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

We went to the French on 31st August, and had the most wonderful experiance. The staff were all very friendly and knowledgable and aswered any questions we had. We had the 10 course menu with wine flight . Each course was beautiful to look at and the balance of taste and textures perfect. Have heard that The French has won best newcomer in the Good Food Guide - I am not surprised. The attention to detail is remarkable and obviously comes from a team of dedicated and talented chefs. Thank you to all who made our night so memorable.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Great restaurant. We love to eat at great places and this is a great place. Different quality to most restaurants in Manchester. Real effort and time has clearly gone into each item and you can taste it with every mouth. I think it's the best fish I've had in a very long time. Will definitely be returning. Quality throughout.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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