Modern French cooking for vegetarians? Yes, it does exist ...

The Admiralty

Admirable the way they treat vegetarians at Nelson's former headquarters in Somerset House. Gracious and a little bit groovy, the dining rooms create a sense of occasion. As does the food. Gnocchi and artichokes with cherry tomatoes and basil is one of four dishes on the five-course Garden menu for £37, then everyone shares a choice of puds.

Somerset House, The Strand, London WC2 (020-7845 4646)

Restaurant Martin Wishart

One of the best restaurants in Edinburgh. Cooking is complex contemporary French. Unusually, there's a menu for vegetarians which echoes dishes on the à la carte. Same seasonal ingredients, same techniques, but no meat or sense of deprivation in velouté of celeriac with wild mushrooms, and braised endive tarte with parsnip purée and chive butter sauce. These two courses: around £22. An all-veg tasting menu is £48.

54 The Shore, Edinburgh (0131 5533557)


What this pricey Belgravia better-than-local lacks in soul, it makes up for with attention to vegetables. At £50, the Garden menu offers attractions like summer vegetables with truffles and balsamic dressing. For dessert, join the omnivores for French cheese, and apricot soufflé with dark chocolate and herb infusion. On the £18 lunch menu, one of three choices is vegetarian.

16 St Barnabas Street, London SW1 (020-7730 5550)

The Vanilla Pod

An intimate restaurant where the cooking's suffused with skill and imagination. Polenta cake with ratatouille or boulangère potatoes with etuvée of vegetables sound plain but saucing means the choices on the £34.50 three-course veggie menu scale the heights. Carnivores can taunt with outstanding rib of beef.

31 West Street, Marlow, Bucks (01628 898101)