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|Address:||St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD|
|Tel:||020 7248 2469|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £16.25||Champagne: £44.25|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm|
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The Restaurant at St. Pau's Cathedral is an interesting experience. One goes down the steps into the Crypt. To the right there are hordes of tourists grabbing sandwiches and such from a cafeteria. They jostle among stately tombs although their principal aim seems to be to go to the loo. Why St Paul's should produce such incontinence in the tourist is puzzling, but it does. As a result any visit to the Restaurant at St Paul's should take place only after having been to the loo elsewhere. I cannot emphasise this enough.
Beyond the horrors of the lavatorial, however, the Restaurant is very nice indeed. Astonishingly, there is neither the noise nor the distraction of the multitudes with which to contend. The Restaurant is a quiet oasis. It alone in the Crypt retainsthe peace of the dead who were once its denizens. The tables are set apart and it is the ideal locaton in which to conduct a quiet lunch. It is on two levels and although the mezzanine is my favourite the lower level is as congenial. The walls, as befits a crypt, are bare except for an occasional decorative panel. The mezzanine has a very stylistic panel in earth colours of two peacocks that can induce nausea in those who, like myself, suffer from vertigo.
The service is outstanding. It is friendly but unobtrusive and whoever runs the staff must do so with grace and consideration as they all seem genuinely to enjoy their job. This creates a special atmosphere that is very engaging. The food, too, is very good and the chef combines sometimes unlikely ingredients to produce very interesting flavours. In summary the Restaurant at St Paul's instills both affection and respect in those who, like myself, go there regularly. I write this very positive review, therefore, with hesitation as I sincerely hope that it will never achieve the popularity that it so clearly deserves.