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What better address than Queen Victoria Street for London's most venerable and unchanging fish restaurant? A City institution for more than a century, Sweetings has endured thanks to its nostalgic charms, excellent seafood and "affable" service. The setting is bright and airy, with white napery and framed prints saving the dining room from church-hall austerity, while the food is similarly unadorned: potted shrimps, lobster bisque or half a dozen oysters could precede halibut, brill or haddock, simply grilled, fried or poached. There's the odd luxury too (turbot with mustard sauce), while steamed puddings and savouries are pure old school. The French-speaking wine list is unsurprisingly biased towards fish-friendly whites and deep City pockets: "if you love crab, this is the perfect place to unwind with a bottle of white Burgundy", say a regular. They don't take bookings, but they do take cards nowadays.
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