Travel & Life Digest

The Restaurant at Tate Modern

There is a certain "je ne sais quoi" that comes with trying to obtain reservations in fancy-shmancy restaurants, with long waiting lists.
In London, places with a view like Oblix or Sushi Samba always come on top of the list. 
Although they are not my first choice for a night out any more,  truth is that occasionally, they make you feel a bit special. Like you have gained access to a private club.

Well, I'll let you into a little secret: the restaurant at Tate Modern offers that special feeling too, minus the waiting list kerfuffle.
In other words, once you come out of the lift on Level 6, turn right and stop. Breath and take the landscape in: uninterrupted  views of St Paul's dome, framed by the river and the Millennium Bridge.

I'll repeat, it's free and there is no waiting list.
I took a girlfriend of mine there on a Sunday for lunch, taking our chances to find a spot in the restaurant. The bar was rammed, it's the cheap and easy choice to enjoy the view over a quick espresso. Well, maybe a glass of wine too...

We were actually really lucky to spot a table right by the windows, so we camped there for the next two and a half hours. It gets full at lunchtime but if you are prepared to wait for a bit, the turnaround is usually quick because a lot of visitors opt for a short spot of lunch and move on with their sightseeing. Not us!

The menu is simple, don't expect crazy choices, but it does the job. One main, fries to share, a couple of glasses of wine and a cheese board to share total £40 each. And the view...priceless! I had the duck, good stuff!
We talked endlessly, then we stopped to admire the view, then sipped wine, then stopped to admit how lucky we were to get this table then ate some more...two and a half hours later they started serving afternoon tea around us, so we thought it was time to move on. 

Instead of running into St Paul's tube though, we walked slowly to Chancery Lane, why?
We were fascinated by the architecture, the City is full of contrasts:  modern macho buildings competing with 17th century masterpieces like St Pauls Cathedral, the City's emblem - a red rose adorning every bridge and Dickensian Cheapside, one of London's shopping districts that developed after the Great Fire  ...oh and we wanted to chat some more too!

PS: The City of London has some very informative self-guided walk tours around the City, find them here.

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