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The world turns on, but Sweetings refuses to turn with it – and that’s why it’s still the centre of the restaurant universe for a certain breed of customer. One of the City’s clutch of fabulous old-timers, this veteran has been around for more than a century, offering shellfish, seafood and savouries in two basic but likeable dining rooms. There are some things the owners couldn’t change even if they wanted to, and the time-warp factor accounts for a few missteps – although it also yields a sense of clandestine luxury that persists from days gone by. To start, West Mersea oysters or dressed crab are the safe options, ahead of simple but generous plates of fish (either grilled, poached or fried). Puddings are straight out of the mythical nursery, while cheese or savouries beg to be ordered from a menu headed ‘bill of fare’. The wine list is suitably French.
020 7248 3062
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