Tom dives into the menu at Mill Lane Bistro

Popped into the bistro for some well-earned dinner… Starters took a fair while – the place was busy and buzzing as usual – but that gave us a chance to savour a fine Languedoc wine, a Picpoul de Pinet that had a mineral edge to it that somehow reflected the ominous end-of-summer weather (not quite sure how, but it did!)

I kicked off the fun with deep-fried Camembert on a beetroot and walnut salad. Very nice, though the “home made” croutons were absent (not that you’d expect bought-in croutons this side of Garfunkel’s?!). Tried the baked cod next; an elegant-looking dish, perhaps could have come out of the oven a fraction earlier, but the firm texture worked well on the bed of spinach, I thought. Potatoes too – in a sort of caper butter or something (delicious). The bread was satisfyingly chewy, but comically tiny – I would happily have had three baskets of it – with butter too preferably.

I do love this place as it feels like a proper little slice of France right there on Mill Lane. I find it particularly gratifying to be referred to as “monsieur” (I’m easily pleased!).

Grabbed profiteroles for dessert – wonderful! Two tennis ball sized gems with gorgeous ice cream and chocolate sauce; also a glass of Burgundy that had a really intoxicating nose – next time I’m going to tan a whole bottle of that, been meaning to for a while actually.

Nice to see this place such a success; it’s a cheery and uplifting way to start the weekend.