Forget about Paris - authentic and delicious French food is readily available in a village-like setting in the heart of Mayfair. Le Boudin Blanc in Shepherd Market is a packed and lively lunch-time venue that transforms into a cosy bistro in the evening.
A pre-meal drink at the nearby Ye Grapes pub is recommended. Once inside the restaurant you'll not want to move. The food is fantastic and there's an extensive menu - from hearty classics such as gratinee a l'oignon to the delicate flavours of sole de douvres meuniere. Spinach is a favourite side dish.
The French owners clearly have a sense of humour in naming their restaurant 'the white sausage' in an area historically known for prostitution. Today Shepherd Market is clean and safe and there are few better places to spend a summer lunchtime than on a Le Boudin Blanc pavement-side table.
Be warned - a knowledge of French is useful. A recent embarrassing experience saw a client ordering 'pageone' with characteristic flourish in his best Franglais before realising his desired pigeon was in fact the page number on the bottom of the menu.
Booking is a must. But I keep going back and clients love it.
Where: 5 Trebeck Street, Shepherd Market, Mayfair, W1J 7LT
Contact: 020 7499 3292
How much: Three-course meal from £40