French cuisine at The Balcon this spring

The French have been Europe's self-styled arbiters of taste for centuries, and the tradition of the Goût de France - a special meal every spring to celebrate all that's to be enjoyed about French culinary tradition - has been going since 1912. This year, on 19 March, The Balcon restaurant in the Sofitel St James's hotel will celebrate the Goût de France with a special seven-course menu.

Executive chef Vincent Ménager has put together the menu, which kicks off with a Champagne-and-canapé reception, before taking guests on a culinary tour of L'Hexagone. Dishes will include starters such as a delicious salad of cockles, clams and fennel salad, and oeufs en meurette, followed by loin of Scottish venison. The meal will, of course, feature a cheese course, and a spectacular dessert of rhubarb-and-white-chocolate soufflé will round off proceedings. Each course will be paired with a matching French wine from The Balcon's cellar.

The Goût de France menu costs £120. To book, call 020 7389 7820, email the restaurant, or visit the hotel's website.