With St Paul’s mighty edifice casting an imperious shadow over proceedings, this City branch of Raymond Blanc’s user-friendly brasserie chain still manages to holds its own and deliver what it promises. Against a clubby backdrop of red drapes, candelabras and dark-hued woodwork, tourists, sightseers and local workers enjoy reasonably priced helpings of French bourgeois food with a seasonal accent. Get things started with a plate of Burgundian snails in garlicky herb butter or ‘Maman Blanc’s miscellany of salads’, ahead of robust mains including steak-frites, cod brandade croquettes with spiced lentils or beef stroganoff with pilaf rice. For afters, why not try an Anglo-French alliance of steamed treacle sponge with Cointreau sauce. Two-course set menus (from £10.95 lunch, £14 dinner), various kids’ deals and a slate of Gallic regional wines direct from the producer are further reasons to be impressed.
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