Diary: Let's do Lunch - Le Beaujolais

Reviewed by Vivien Hepworth, chief executive, Grayling Political Strategy.

Le Beaujolais is a corner of London that is forever France. The restaurant is underneath the ground floor wine bar of the same name in Litchfield Street, just off the Charing Cross Road. Push through the anonymous door beside the wine bar, walk down a deep staircase to the basement and step into a room whose aroma and atmosphere are unmistakeably French.

My affection for Le Beaujolais began years ago. I remember seeing the crisp white tablecloths, the short but appetising menu - and from the corner of my eye simply the most amazing cheeseboard.

I learned about the curiosity of its club membership - now £75 a year - which stems from days when the rules around drinking alcohol in clubs were more liberal. That first lunch there, enjoying the Soupe du Poissons and the Cassoulet was enough to persuade me I should find my two nominees.

This is not a place to rush - so choose with care for those occasions when a longer lunch and proper conversation are on the menu.

Choose a la carte if you wish, but the set menu - usually around £21 - provides good value. There is an agreeably varied wine list. I always enjoy the fish - try the seabass or the panfried salmon - and on no account miss the cheeseboard.

Where: 25 Litchfield Street, London, WC2H

Contact: 020 7836 2277

How much: £21 for the set menu

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