As the supremo behind Michelin grandee Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Raymond Blanc talks a good game on his TV show, The Restaurant, but more to the point, he also delivers in the marketplace. His informal chain, Brasserie Blanc, brings gastronomic joy to a select few towns (the list continues to grow), courtesy of classical & regional French food that is ‘elegant & appropriate’ rather than earth-shattering. Smoked Lyburn cheese soufflé or ‘Maman Blanc’s miscellany of salads’ are highly original ways to get started, ahead of robust mains of steak-frites, rack of Cornish lamb with rösti or Cheddar cheese & onion tart. Dessert isn’t the usual mousse au chocolat; instead, try buttonholing a date or buddie into sharing a flamed baked Alaska. French wines direct from the producer & three menus for kids are further reasons to be impressed.