LAST year Colchester Council decided the Old Library, an occasional venue for weddings and meetings, was not being used to its full potential.

Step forward Memoirs, a fine dining restaurant set in one of the town’s more opulent rooms.

The familywhich won the contract also has designs on turning the neighbouring former magistrates’ courts into tapas bars once Memoirs is up and running.

Slightlyworryingly, when my girlfriend and I arrived forameal, we were the only diners there.

But it was 6.30pm on a freezing Tuesday evening, and a party of ten did arrive an hour later.

Aside from the surroundings, the calling card of Memoirs is its straightforward menu.

Main courses, for example, were titled simply pork, lamb or sea bass.

The food, however, was far from basic. I started with “Chicken”, which was an ample terrine with chutney.

My girlfriend also had no complaints with her perfectly- cooked scallops in an original curry sauce.

Unfortunately parts of my main course, a poached salmon, was undercooked.

My other half had no complaints about her chicken, served with barbecue mushrooms of all things.

Best was saved to last.

The dessert tonka bean was a perfect panna cotta and my girlfriend had the rich chocolate “nemesis”.

A quick mention to the other string in Memoir’s bow. It becomes a cocktail bar after 10.30pm.

My girlfriend, a connoisseur on such things, says she can rarely recall drinking a better mojito.

Fingers crossed this place is a success.