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London's oldest chop house is everything you'd hope it would be, a warren of dark wood and old-school Britishness in the Hogarthian huddle of alleyways south of Cornhill. The sit-up-and-beg seating in austere oak booths will improve both your posture and your social skills, since at busy times you may have to share. Rock up early for a doorstop bacon sarnie or full English breakfast with Cumberland sausage and black (or white) pudding, or come at lunchtime for a mixed grill or one of the daily changing specials: Lancashire hotpot or maybe pork, leek and cider pie, with a sausage on the side (a Simpson's trademark). If you still have room, explore the mysterious 'stewed cheese'. Simpson's also doffs its cap to our own times with Sharp's Doom Bar ale at the bar, a proper wine list and efficient air conditioning.


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