Archive for the ‘London EC4’ Category

Poppins, Poppins Court, Fleet Street (Ludgate Circus)

January 21, 2012

First visited Thursday 19th January 2012

Interior: When I first walked in the door of Poppins, I thought, here’s an interior that hasn’t changed for more than 40 years. On closer inspection, the tables and chairs (tasteful medium brown varnished wood, thank you very much) are clearly recent, but overall they have managed to preserve a real sense of the traditional London caff – I’m so glad they didn’t get rid of the 60s hanging lamps! Old fashioned sit-down caffs are hard to find in the City – I don’t think many city workers go out to a caff for lunch anymore, it’s either something nicer and / or healthier or a takeaway sandwich. Perhaps Poppins manages it because it’s tucked away in an alley. Nobody was looking, so they felt free to keep the burgundy and cream paintwork, lino floor and ceiling tiles that I hadn’t realised you don’t see in offices anymore.  It felt like a real find.

Food: I have to admit that I wasn’t eating at Poppins. I had a lovely bright orange mug of tea (a mug!). But there were a decent range of breakfast options, including my favourites, bubble and black pudding, jackets and sandwiches. But it’s definitely one to remember next time I need a breafkast in the City.

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Watlings Snack Bar, Watling Street, City of London

April 8, 2011

First visited: 8th April 2011

Interior: Watlings has much charm. Bigger than your average snack bar, what could have been a featureless back room with standard metal tables and chairs, is given warmth and atmosphere by a green and yellow paint scheme and potted flowers. The young women serving managed to be both efficient and friendly and were happy to take orders at the front or from the table (rather than, as some places do, leaving you guessing until you’ve waited for 10 minutes without being served).

Food: This is a proper city sandwich bar with a big range of fillings, as well as hot food. I had a jacket with cheese and coleslaw and it was extremely nice by caff standards – decent skin, no ‘microwave’ taste, loads of melted cheese and coleslaw that was so fresh tasting I had to wonder if they actually made it themselves rather than scooping it out of one of those factory-issued chemical tubs. Tea was in a big mug and so strong I detected the presence of an urn. All in all, a hit.

Only problem is, the chances of my being here again during opening hours (Monday to Friday, breakfast and lunch) are slim indeed. But I hope you can use the recommendation.