There’s no need to give window seats a wide berth here, for Côte is a chain restaurant you won’t mind being spotted at. The heritage paintwork, retro tiles & bentwood chairs exude Paris-inspired charm, even though its mini empire (from the folk who launched Strada) has grown to 30 (& counting). Côte’s French brasserie menu is more ambitious than most high-street Gallic homages (few others dare to offer steak tartare for example) & the house’s popular pissaladière, duck confit, & crème brûlée are better than many you’ll find across the Channel. The £10-ish ‘plats rapides’ (perhaps steak-frites or moules marinière) arrive speedily, delivered by slick, smart staff. Côte is obviously no substitute for a weekend in gay Paree, but it’s a good call for a ‘pre-something’ dinner.