Arcane text covers the walls of this City townhouse-turned-gastropub. Such as ‘From thence shoot the bridge, child, to the cranes in the vintry.’ (Ben Jonson, innit.) It’s a nice touch, conjuring romantic images of a historic London full of cobbled lanes, scoundrels and drinking dens. But it’s not enough to lift this place out of mediocrity.
They have a decent selection of beers on tap, from the likes of Beavertown and Redemption. After a tipple, we went upstairs in search of the dining room – and found both upper floors all but deserted. We went back down and spoke to the bar girl, who took us back upstairs, pointed at a blackboard of trad pub dishes, and gave us the best table service she could, given she was running the place singlehanded.
The food, alas, wasn’t much better than the atmosphere. A Barnsley chop was juicy enough, but a steak ordered rare took some serious gnashing to get through, despite being pink.
It looks the part, furnished with that faux-Victorian opulence typical of Square Mile boozers. And its location – a minute’s walk from Mansion House tube – means it’ll likely hoover up the after-work crowd. Another wall text read: ‘All noblemen and other wealthy people welcome.’ Which makes sense for an area full of bankers and executives. But these rich folks have high standards. I imagine they’ll expect better.