Perched on the clifftops overlooking Bournemouth seafront, most visitors wouldn’t be blamed for choosing Brasserie Blanc based on location alone.

But the restaurant, located in the Marriot Highcliff Hotel, is of course linked with famous French chef, Raymond Blanc.

And unlike other ‘celebrity chef’ endorsed restaurants where the figureheads are too busy focusing on the financial rewards of their TV careers to bother with what’s really going on in the kitchen, the Michelin-starred Blanc is renowned for being hands-on when it comes to creating new dishes and menus, and is said to possess an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of real food.

Apparently it was at Maman Blanc’s table where he learned the importance of being true to ingredients, everything in its season.

We first visited this upscale chain brasserie shortly after it opened in 2017 and it remains one of our favourite places to dine – especially on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

It serves a classically French, reasonably priced menu. On Sundays you can have two courses for £20 or three for £25.

The menu is divided into aperitifs & nibbles, sides, starters, mains, desserts and cheeses as well as the roasts section.

While we mulled over all the options, we shared a sliced artisan-style baguette with a selection of fresh dips, spice aubergine and mushroom, spicy citrus and saffron mayonnaise (£4.25), and ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio rose (£24) which was served perfectly chilled.

As a souffle fanatic (because I can never make them at home) I couldn’t resist The BB Cheese Souffle (£6.95) as the first course.

Made with Dorset’s Ford Farm Coastal Cheddar sauce, it somehow manages to retain a crispy exterior with a light, fluffy centre without sacrificing the richness of the cheese.

The friendly duty manager Mandy explained that you make a small hole in the centre with a spoon, and then pour in the cheese sauce so that it oozes out as you cut into it which was a novel touch.

For the main course, on Mandy’s recommendation, as she clearly knows the menu inside out, I opted for the Malabar Fish Curry (£16.50).

This classic French colonial dish features roast hake served in a vibrant, aromatic sauce made with coconut milk topped with a large grilled king prawn and surrounded by toasted coconut flakes – sunshine on a plate!

My husband was equally delighted with his roast Cornish beef (£17.80) which was cooked just to his taste and served with a Yorkshire pudding and pumpkin puree.

Each dish in the roasts section includes roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, a mini dish of cottage pie and ‘a bottomless gravy’ jug.

For dessert, we decided to share a restaurant favourite, pistachio soufflé (£7.50) which is one of the most perfect puddings I have ever eaten.

Light and fluffy as a soufflé should be, but cooked in a chocolate powder leaving a bit of a crunch on the sides and served with a rich chocolate ice cream just to be completely decadent.

Apparently this dish will definitely be staying on the new menu which is available from the start of April.

Here are a few highlights from Brasserie Blanc’s spring menu to whet your appetite...

New starters include North African inspired dishes such as a Moroccan mezze platter with harissa aubergine, globe artichoke, falafel with coconut cream, houmous selection, pomegranate seeds, cherry tomato salad and flat bread.

Main courses include duck leg confit with pea puree, broad beans, peas and sugar snaps, heritage carrots, dauphinoise potatoes and a lime confit and citrus sauce.

Desserts include pink champagne rhubarb and custard with cinder toffee, vanilla crème Anglaise and honeycomb crunch.