Books for Cooks runs on a simple but very successful formula. From the small open kitchen, co-owner Eric Treuillé puts recipes (one starter, one main) from the cookbook(s) of the day to the test. There’s no choice – until it comes to pudding, when there’s an array of must-try cakes (lemon victoria sponge, raspberry and pear cake, or chocolate and orange cake, say) – but the standard of cooking is high. Pea and ricotta salad with focaccia followed by merguez, roast lamb and rice made a lovely summer lunch. Coffee is also good. White wine lovers must go elsewhere: only red wine from Eric’s own biodynamic vineyard is served (it’s also available to take away, along with his olive oil). So popular is the bargain lunch in the tiny café at the back of this specialist cookbook shop that regulars start lurking from 11.45am to secure a table (no bookings are taken).