Thursday, April 11, 2013

Simpson's Tavern, 27th March

I'm going to be honest and say that the reason to come here is definitely the novelty value and not the food. One of London's oldest Chop Houses (open since 1757), this was pretty much the only reason I wanted to visit. That and the fact that it;s tucked down a little alley and you can easily completely miss its existence (it's address is 38 1/2 Cornhill).

Only open at lunch times, I made an effort to go before I went back to a 9 to 5 office job. From perusing its menu I knew to expect comfort food not fancy food. And as I've indicated, I was right. We went down the tiny alleyway and was asked by the host if we fancied upstairs or downstairs. Downstairs looked cute so we opted for that, not realising we would be smooshed in with a party of four on a table that yes, did fit in two extra people, but not exactly comfortably. I thought this was because the rest of the dining area might be booked out but as we ate, the other tables didn't fill.

There were two ladies overseeing the dining room - the kind of women that don't take any nonsense I'm sure. Tough as old boots springs to mind. The surroundings were quaint - green banquettes, brass fittings, in little booths lining the small, very small square room. I ordered the pork and cider pie, my friend got the salmon. None of the mains included a side dish - you had to order that extra, which meant for a much more expensive lunch than I'd anticipated. Two mains, three sides and two diet cokes came to 35 quid!

There was nothing wrong with the food really. It was proper stodgy, British food - I had bubble and squeak (which had peas in it, is that weird? I thought it was a bit weird.), my friend had mash and spinach. It was decent.

In another area completely was the tiny bar. I was quite surprised by how many people (all Suits, all men) were there on a lunchtime, pint in hand. I guess it was a Friday. Actually, no it wasn’t.

Even the bar is only open on a lunchtime and I do not work in the vicinity so I shall probably never darken Simpson’s door again. I’m not too disappointed to say so, but I am glad I’ve been at least once. 

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