GLOUCESTERSHIRE

In marked contrast to most Cotswold eating, the Marsh Goose, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh (01608-652111) adopts an informal approach: staff don't hover, but assume you are quite capable of pouring your own wine. Sonya Kidney's ever-changing menu (re-written twice daily) might take in celeriac soup with coriander cream, crab and spinach roulade, and deep-fried lamb sweetbreads with beetroot and capers. If the famous black coffee jelly with clotted cream and butterscotch sauce is on, take it. Wines are helpfully arranged by style. Open Tues to Sun lunch, 12.30-2.30, Tues to Sat dinner, 7.30-9.45. Set lunch pounds 13.50 (pounds 18 Sun), set dinner pounds 24, plus carte

HIGHLANDS

J Gordon Macintyre has run the creeper-clad Clifton House, Nairn (01667- 453119) as a restaurant since 1952, although it still feels lived in, relaxed, and only mildly eccentric. The cooking puts Scottish ingredients through a predominantly French provincial mill, emerging as crab mayonnaise, onion soup, scallops with beurre blanc, or beef fillet with shallots. Cooking is accurately timed, simple flavours predominate, while British puddings, such as saffron honeypots, spoil the symmetry but add to the variety. Wines are excellent. Open daily, lunch 12.30-1, dinner 7-9.30. (Closed December and January.) About pounds 25 plus wine. Booking advised

LONDON

Alfred, 245 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (0171-240 2566), is part of the "no frills" movement getting by with wooden floors and plastic-topped tables. Fred Taylor and Robert Gutteridge have caught the traditional British bug. The menu revels in toad-in-the-hole, rabbit it beer and sage sauce, and faggots with minted peas and colcannon potatoes. Naturally, there are fish cakes, plus braised knuckle of bacon with pease pudding, as well as treacle tart with custard, lemon tart and chocolate bread and butter pudding. Service is cheerful, and British beers are the thing to drink. Open Mon to Fri lunch, 12-3.30, Mon to Sat dinner, 6-11.30. Two-course set lunch pounds 11.95, otherwise about pounds 20 plus drink

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