THERE’S something about eating at a restaurant linked to one of the most renowned chefs in the world.

And while sometimes the experience doesn’t always live up to the very high expectations associated with the name, I can happily say this is not the case when dining at the recently opened Brasserie Blanc in Bournemouth.

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

The Bournemouth eatery is the 20th site for the French restaurant group led by the Michelin star chef, but this restaurant also celebrates a lot of firsts.

It is the first Brasserie Blanc to open in Dorset - the closest ones are in Winchester and Portsmouth.

And it is also the first Brasserie Blanc to open inside a hotel.

According to Raymond the partnership between the group and the Marriot has been at least two years in the making to find the perfect location.

And they have succeeded. Overlooking the beautiful Bournemouth seafront most visitors wouldn’t be blamed for choosing the restaurant based on location alone.

But fortunately, in this case the food is just as excellent as the view as well as being reasonably priced.

The menu for all the firm’s brasseries is created by executive chef Clive Fretwell, who honed his skills at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin star hotel restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire.

Dishes include beef bourguignon, king scallops provencale and ‘le grande’ steak frites. There are even snails on the menu, served in a garlic herb butter with a baguette.

I avoided the escargots and instead went for a potted Cromer crab (£8.50) while my friend opted for the cheese souffle (£6.50).

The crab was fresh, light and meaty, and delicately flavoured with shallot and coriander guacamole and prawn butter. Served with sourdough toast it was the perfect amount to start with.

And the soufflé was divine. How it managed to remain so light with the richness of the cheese I will never understand.

For the main course, my friend went for ‘les classiques’ duck leg confit with black cherry sauce (£16.55).

Served with dauphinoise potato, pot-roasted carrots, celery, parsnip and French beans it was a culinary delight and a huge portion as well. Not necessarily two things that go hand in hand.

I chose something very less French but no less delicious, salmon and crab fishcake (£14.50). A second crab dish, I know, but they made both dishes so well I wasn’t upset with my choice.

The fishcakes are served with a chilli and ginger, lime mayonnaise and a green papaya salad – which had quite a sweet taste to it.

As a warning, unless stated the dishes do not come with sides – which is why I ordered a side of French fries. (There had to be something French.)

The whole meal was accompanied by a bottle of the Sauvignon blanc (£22.50) which was chosen by our server to accompany our food.

And while my meal was lovely, nothing compared with dessert.

I went for a restaurant favourite, pistachio soufflé (£6.90) and I can safely say it is the most delicious thing 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.

If I could write 500 words just on the dessert alone I would, but I feel it would get boring and I would run out of adjectives for delicious.

All I can say is that if you do eat at Brasserie Blanc this dessert is a must.

I wasn’t at all tempted by my friend’s summer berry pavlova (£6.50) even though it was also made to perfection.

Meringue that was crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside covered in strawberries and blackberries and a lovely raspberry coulis.

To finish we were tempted with an Espresso Martini – a perfect compliment to a meal which was simple food done exceptionally and with an added French flair.