New neighbourhood bistros: Little French

Big flavours and bold cooking invigorate traditional Gallic dishes at this neo-bistro in Westbury Park

Mid-August and it’s mollusc madness out there. At 6am on a rainy Wednesday morning, my small terraced garden patch is alive, writhing with masses of slippery slugs and snails, all feeding on, and mating in, my verdant herb borders. Where do they get off?

Despite all efforts to create a snail-free zone – mainly through early-morning repatriation to the neighbours’ gardens, from where, presumably, they were slung the night before – they are having a riot. And it’s not weeds they’re subsisting on, I might point out; the dill patch is now officially bare. 

I’ll have my revenge, I decide later that night at Westbury Park’s newest resident, Little French, ordering the parsley soup and snails with a grin (£7).

This smart little restaurant opened in July and was warmly welcomed by locals who know the owner – ex-Lido chef Freddy Bird – as a fellow Westbury resident and TV personality. Here, he’s serving up relaxed regional French fodder – traditional dishes done up with a good dollop of Freddy flair. Think highest-quality produce, coal-fire cooking and a few British flavours thrown in.