Once you have found it - its very well hidden you will not be disappointed. Its set within a little Georgian oasis of bars and restaurants - there's even a fantastic antiques shop close by - specially located for the fellow who forgets his wife's birthday
PIN Simpsons Tavern
... a sausage with everything
If you want to visit an authentic Georgian “Chop House’ in Olde Worlde London then look no further. This restaurant/pub is as close to the real thing as it gets. This is a pub down one of those little alleys in London that Charles Dickens could easily have got his inspiration from. It’s a very, very old pub with long history and very popular with the Lloyds of London types. Very popular and unusual as sometimes you have to share your table but it`s not as bad as it sounds and everyone is generally well behaved – at least until the second bottle of port! Very well organised service and was quite prompt when you caught the staff`s eye. Decent ales on tap. Roasts about £9 with sides of veg about £4 a dish. The adjoining pub is only big enough for one barmaid so make sure you get her attention for your pre-lunch beer. The grill area produces copious amounts of grilled meats and sausages are served with everything even when not ordered. Don’t forget to tip
In 1723 Thomas Simpson opened his first Fish Ordinary Restaurant in Bell Alley, Billingsgate. His clientele was mainly those who worked in the fish market who bought him fish which he would prepare specially. After the demolition of Bell Alley he resumed work purchasing the Queen's Arms, Bird in Hand Court, Cheapside.
Traditions and customs were strictly maintained at mealtimes by the Chairman who would preside over each meal. It was they who, for instance, would ensure that lunch would start promptly at one, introduce notable guests and measure the cheese. Many of them were noted for their longevity of life.
Thomas Simpson founded the present site of Simpson's in 1757 which was a gift to him from his father. It is situated opposite The Jamaica Wine House where Pasque Rosee in the mid seventeenth century founded the first London Coffee House.
It was not until 1916 that ladies were admitted and even well into the 20th century 2/- would buy 'The Original Fish Dinner' at one o'clock. Although 2/- will not buy what it did in the 1750's, you can still enjoy everything Simpson's has been noted for over the past 250 years.
Get there at least half an hour before you want to eat and take in the atmosphere of the outside courtyard drinking area. When you do eat the humble ‘steak and kidney pie’ is the peoples favourite but leave room to the stilton – they sometimes leave a whole one on your table for DIY
- , Food
- , City
- , Drinks
- , food and drink
- , City Central
Location38 1/2 Cornhill , Ballcourt, , London , EC3V 9DR (View on Google Maps)
A taste of Georgian London
Reviewed by Peter 7 years ago