With its offer of “sublimely traditional French cooking”, this extraordinary little Michelin-starred restaurant proves that size really doesn’t matter. Occupying a converted 15th-century weaver’s cottage, Apicius mixes charming old beams and floorboards with fashionable high-backed dining chairs and white-clothed tables. Here is a genuinely unstuffy set-up known for its “terrific vibes”, friendliness and highly accomplished food. Faith Johnson is a “fantastic hostess”, while husband Tim’s cooking adheres to a classic French blueprint. He learned his trade with the likes of Andrew McLeish (Chapter One, Locksbottom), and refined simplicity is the key to his style, with tip-top seasonal produce defining his highly affordable fixed-price menus – witness dishes such as warm confit sea trout with pickled cucumber salad and hollandaise sauce or slow-roast shoulder of Kentish pork with braised fennel, prunes and confit shallots. To finish, try wild strawberry bavarois with white peach sorbet and strawberry chutney.