London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

A lunchtime wander: Fleet Street

My blog post is long overdue so I’m going to do what I love best which is recommending places to go in London starting with a lunch hour in Fleet Street.

First of all the pubs … The Punch Tavern in Fleet Street is not the pub it once was, part of it now being sectioned off to be an entirely new pub the Crown and Sugar Loaf a Sam Smiths pub whose entrance is around the corner. However since the days of the Punch being a venue for hard drinking journalists this pub has reinvented itself and has a very good food menu made even better by their weekly special offers offering mains such as fish and chips or home made burger for £5.  They also have a regular programme of events including quiz nights and wine tastings.

My favourite pub in the area has to be the Fullers pub the Harrow tucked away in the back streets with its 3 separate bars each with a different character.

Near Ludgate Circus in Farringdon Street there is the Shepherd Neame pub the Hoop and Grapes. This is good not just for eating and drinking but is also a BookCrossing zone.  See my virtual bookshelf here.

Opposite the Hoop and Grapes is a fantastic tea shop, To a Tea that deserves a visit. The tea is brewed to perfection before being served so there is no danger of it being stewed. The soup and cheese scone deal is a particular favourite of mine and good value too.

Not too far away from To a Tea is a Spanish cafe Brass Mongoose which is offering all coffees for £1 from 7 to 9.30 every morning until 12 August.

If you want to do more than just eat and drink in your lunch hour you could take in a free recital.  These take place at St Bride’s Church every Tuesday and Friday 1.15 to 1.45 (apart from August) and St Dunstans in the West every Wednesday from 1.15 to 2pm. When you emerge from St Dunstans you could grab a coffee in the tiny mobile cafe in the churchyard.

Alternatively you could take in a lecture at Shoe Lane library, go to see a 45 minute play at the Bridewell Theatre or go on a guided walk with Walk City.

But if you would prefer to just find somewhere pleasant to eat your sandwiches Inner Temple Garden is definitely the place to be.  This amazing garden is only open to the public on weekday lunchtimes.  It is accessed through the gate at the west end of Tudor Street.  Cross the car park towards the pillar box, follow the road round and you will discover one of my favourite gardens in London.

If you would like suggestions of where to go in Central London maybe I could help.  I am a City of Westminster Guide but also have a pretty good knowledge of the rest of the City.

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