I’m a regular at Oasis, our local Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant; it’s very popular in the neighbourhood, and it makes a nice change to the usual Indian or Chinese.

 It looks pretty low key from outside with a couple of round tables and small olive trees but as soon as you step passed the threshold, you immediately feel as if you’ve set foot into a different culture and that it’s time to try something unusual on the menu.

 The décor is bright and solar with murals of desert scapes, palm trees, camels and mud brick buildings and you instantly feel warmer as you walk in and the loud Moroccan music plays. Inlaid Marquetry is a traditional craft in Morocco and a decorative wooden panel feature is set in the floor in front of the bar; all of the chairs have palm trees cut into them.

 The bar is finished in colourful ceramics and smaller mosaic tiles in geometric patterns. A tall water feature made up of small rocks and earthenware emerging from a huge pot at the centre reaches up to the ceiling and feels very middle-eastern and rustic.

 We sit at an Octagonal glass top wooden table and my daughter sips a colorful mocktail filled with cranberry, apple and mango juices, while I pour mint infusion from a decorative silver teapot into a patterned tea glass. The food is always fresh, and for our starter we order falafels, houmous garnished with sticks of cucumber and warm flat bread.

 I watch dish after dish emerge from the kitchen. There’s a huge choice of vegetarian and meat dishes served in rustic tagine pots in all shapes and sizes. I enjoy having a look at what others have ordered. Although these tagine dishes full of vegetables and goodness are traditionally served with couscous or rice, I’m amused by the way many people order chips on the side instead; a quintessentially British addition that apparently goes with anything!

 There’s a feeling that meals have been thrown together with flair and creativity and different flavours are to be explored; I never manage to finish such substantial portion sizes. The waiter tells us about how particular the chef is when sourcing and cooking the food. You get a sense that customers count; it feels like they care about their reputation and take pride in what they do.

 We end our meal with some baklava, a delightfully sweet delicacy – layers of pastry covered in honey, walnuts and pistachios sweeten paying the bill. I love watching my daughter biting into the layers and savouring the flavours; I have to keep an eye that she doesn’t polish it all off! We feel nicely full, say our goodbyes and cut through the park on the way home.