The Thames Valley isn’t exactly short of destination restaurants, so chef-owner Michael Macdonald and his small kitchen brigade have to try just that bit harder to attract diners to this cosy, characterful dining room in Marlow town centre. But attract diners they do, and the Vanilla Pod is fully booked most nights of the week – deservedly so. On offer is sophisticated Anglo-French cooking, with subtle twists favoured over showy modernisms: carpaccio of venison with rosemary & honey vinegar to start, then poached sea bass with basil mashed potatoes & pepper oil. Vanilla, of course, makes several appearances and is showcased in a seven-course menu gourmand (£50), which includes Tahitian Vanilla apple puree. Wash it all down with something special from the Francophile wine list.