Get thee to the Tower! – if you’re looking for a sunny day lunch destination, you could do very much worse than this surprisingly low-kew ‘tourist’ lunch spot, by the Thames.
The very idea of tourist-catering chills the blood, so we approached this appallingly-named newcomer – which overlooks the walkway ‘twixt Thames and Tower – with some trepidation.
We espied a smart new low-lying building. Surely that couldn’t be it? But indeed it was, and the interior was a shock too: very British, without any ‘Ye Olde’ sensibility. If anything, the setting, with its plain wooden tables and chairs, was rather teetering on the brink of Scandinavian. Table settings were in keeping. No cloths. Traditional Sheffield cutlery (too little seen). Starched linen napkin.Plus – to add amination to the view – all those chicly turned-out continental tourists walking by.
We had a three course set lunch, with a glass of wine and a (very good) espresso for almost exactly £25, including (friendly and efficient) service. The food was best of British without any hint of pretence or artifice, and we had a lunch of, well, perfect lunch-food – from the chicory, blue cheese and walnut salad, via the pork loin salad, to the poached pear and panacotta, there was simply nothing to reproach.
So, a paradox: a lunchtime destination that’s really too good to leave to tourists. And you get to feel like a foreigner in your own country too. Try it on a sunny day.