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|Address:||20 Dean's Yard SW1P 3PA|
|Tel:||020 7222 0516|
|Price: £30.00||Wine: £17.50||Champagne: £50.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm (Sat -4.30pm)|
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I rather like the Cellarium Café and have been twice now, once for coffee and cake in the afternoon and once taking my team at work for lunch.
It’s situated, somewhat hidden away, in Westminster Abbey and apparently used to be a food store for monks dating back over many centuries; you enter through a narrow passage, down some steps into a surprisingly light and airy setting that mixes the ancient (rough hewn walls, narrow passages) and modern (tiled floor, plane wooden tables, plastic chairs and upstairs a glazed terrace with views of the spire) in a welcoming and attractive fashion. It reminds me a little of the crypt at St John’s, just round the corner from the Abbey, in Smiths Square, but I think that I prefer this as an option.
Service is fine, perfectly polite and efficient; we did have a mix up with our bill – when I asked for the bill for 5 of us I was a ‘little’ alarmed to find it was £2,500 and was seriously thinking about legging it, until we queried it and it was resolved immediately. Apparently we got the bill for a wedding party of about 70; ours came to a rather more acceptable £100, which for 2 courses each, coupled with a soft drink each and some water you really can’t complain about.
Food is perfectly decent – don’t go expecting Michelin starred inventive cooking, but what you do get is gastro pub type cuisine done to a decent standard e.g. hot sandwiches, pasta, salads etc. I had fish cakes with a side dish of rosemary sea salted chips – the fish cakes were a nice, dense consistency, golden coated, served with mixed leaves – the only slight downside the sorrel sauce they came with was far too thin, but at least that came separately so wasn’t a real issue, and yummy chips, hot, skin on the potatoes and rough cut so you know someone had prepared them by hand rather than the awful machine cut evenness and blandness. Dessert was carrot cake – a massive slice, full of fresh flavours, lots of icing, I will definitely be ordering that again when I return.
Overall it’s a really nice option in the Westminster area, and it gets really busy as lunchtime goes on. Its not stunningly sexy, but very good value (if you don’t get someone else’s bill), nice food, a lovely atmosphere and close by work. Like someone once said “I’ll be back”.