Opened in 1991 to rising competition from upscale French bistros like Francois and Le Metropolitain, the Boulcott has outlasted the lot and is doing well. They take no dinner bookings, so you may find yourself jostling with other hopefuls in the bar, many of them regulars since day one: the playlist of Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson is aimed squarely at this demographic. The fillet steak with bearnaise, fries and red wine jus still accounts for 35-40% of sales, but renowned Wellington chef and co-owner Rex Morgan (pictured) breathes fresh life into the menu with the likes of mushroom ravioli with white truffle dressing and grana padano. Like the menu, the interior of the Victorian Gothic cottage has also been refreshed, with interesting new artwork around the walls.

IN BRIEF City stalwart that continues to please