Diary: Let's Do Lunch - Poule au Pot

Reviewed by Chris Cartwright, director of Brands2Life.

Hidden between Victoria and Sloane Square, the Poule au Pot is probably better known to locals than to PROs looking for a business lunch venue.

Reputedly the most romantic restaurant in London, it is big on atmosphere - charmingly French or Gallic theme park depending on your mood - but not so big on room, as diners jostle elbows over the eponymous chicken in a pot, foie gras, and other staple French fare.

Surprisingly, this does not really detract from the dining experience (if you can put up with the occasional waft of smoke from a Gitanes) as the charm of the place captures you. Despite the proximity of other diners, it's actually a good place to have an (unromantic) meeting with clients or journalists: it is so crowded, the noise volume discourages eavesdropping.

The lighting is low, decorated in a trad-French style. Think stripped wooden floors, brick walls, rustic wooden tables and chairs. Some of the waiters' accents are so thick they could have marched off the set of 'Allo, 'Allo. Service seems to vary from the charmingly attentive to the disdainfully snooty.

The food is traditional brasserie, nothing fancy but tasty: garlic-fried mushrooms, foie gras, skate, steaks frites and a textbook creme brulee.

Where: Ebury Street, London, SW1W 8UT

Contact: 020 7730 7763

How much: £17.50 for three course s

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