Billed as ‘London’s oldest chophouse’, Simpson’s Tavern has traded on the same cramped, labyrinthine site since the South Sea Bubble burst in the 18th century, and if you have an appetite for City tradition this is as good a place as any, with pew-like stalls and a certain ‘school refectory’ austerity providing the perfect backdrop for some reassuringly old-fashioned grub. You don’t have to be a carnivore to eat here – but it helps: fuel up for the day with a doorstop bacon sarnie, get stuck into a trencherman mixed grill at lunchtime or pick from the list of daily specials – perhaps roast lamb, braised oxtail stew or beer-battered fish. After that, order a traditional pud or try the mysterious-sounding ‘stewed cheese’. ‘Pushy, rude service’ can sometimes spoil the ‘jovial’ nostalgia-soaked atmosphere.
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