The wine list at this Loire specialist is a real marvel. An evident passion and on-the-ground knowledge underpin an esoteric haul of treasures from along the long and diverse river – we’d be surprised if a better selection exists even in France. Not that the wine bar takes itself too seriously, featuring quirky illustrations such as ‘great beards of the Loire’. With its varied styles and wealth of small (often natural) producers, the region is a good match for the Terroirs’ approach (Green Man & French Horn is an offshoot) and also meets the current thirst for rosés, champagne alternatives and off-piste explorations (although classics such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are well represented). The food is also influenced by the river, with many dishes and ingredients sourced from its course and given a contemporary presentation. Fish and seafood dishes reflect coast rather than river, and less usual meats are given the stripped-down St John treatment in, for example, ‘snails, celeriac & mousserons’ or ‘rillon, endive & mustard’. We enjoyed girolles, well-trimmed artichoke and egg yolk, and copious, faultless grilled langoustines. The long thin room has wooden furniture, bare brick walls, black and white floor tiles and a long bar illuminated by factory lamps; staff are able and enthusiastic. Don’t let the wine bar-style fool you: this is a serious restaurant taking wine and food pairing to a new level.