The Gantry, Brockley Road

188 Brockley Road
020 8469 0043

French-inspired restaurant and bar The Gantry was an instant success when it opened in the summer, transforming a somewhat tired cafe (Toads Mouth Too) in to a wonderfully relaxed bar at at the front and a series of intimate dining spaces in the back. A collection of handsomely decorated rooms leads out in to the garden, the charm of which has been retained from its previous life.

We went last weekend as part of a group of seven, all of whom were pleased with the food. We had the mussels, which were the best we've ever tasted, served with authentically French fries and most of a bottle of Grenache Gris.

The vegetarian in the group felt spoiled for choice (which is rare in Brockley) and although there isn't a dedicated children's menu, there were plenty of options for them, and the staff were very attentive - at one point bringing a couple of stacks of printer paper for one of them to sit on as an improvised booster seat.

The banoffee cheesecake was the only slight disappointment, managing to be less than the sum of its parts. We managed to get our spoon on someone else's fondant, which oozed raspberry and more than compensated for our dessert.

The Gantry is warm and lovely and offers a true restaurant experience. It also has the best toilet in Brockley. Lit with 'natural sunlight'-effect lighting, it's a loo so pleasant we'd live there if it was socially acceptable.