In the giant crypt beneath St Paul’s, not far from the self-service café, souvenir shop and monuments to Nelsonian sea captains, an area has been imaginatively set aside to form the Restaurant. Windows let in natural light (unlike in the main crypt), and plain and mellow-green woodwork, white walls and a teapot-lined dresser create a charming, airy, slightly rustic look. Any restaurant in a tourist attraction might be expected to be routine, but the kitchen here is admirably enterprising.
Monthly changing lunch menus highlight fine-quality seasonal British produce. On our visit, carrot and spring onion terrine made a lovely refreshing starter, served with a delicate curry mayonnaise. To follow, crispy duck leg was cooked just right, and served with rich, satisfying black pudding. Now that blood sausage is fashionable, much of it is of variable quality, but this was first-rate. Service was bright and helpful, and there’s a short but well-priced wine list. Overall, the ‘City Lunch’ is a classy bargain for the Square Mile. A larger roast menu is provided on Sundays, and after lunch (except on Sundays) very proper afternoon tea is served, with flowery plates, scones, jam and three-decker cake stands – as the Almighty ordained.