Not far from The Shard and south of the Thames between London and Tower bridges, and only a hop from the London Assembly HQ, Magdalen is a self-assured beacon of class in a remarkably rising gastrocentric part of town. Magdalen specializes in bold, inventive but unpretentious modern British cuisine at fairly keen prices. Punchy surprises like crispy fried calves' brains with gribiche (£8.50), baked Somerset kid with butter beans and fennel (£18.50), and blackberry-and-apple
trifle (£6) are hardly going to break the bank. The dark Bentwood chairs, elegant chandeliers, tea candles, and enveloping ox-blood-colored surrounds invite you to sit back with the short but sweet wine list and further ponder whether to indulge in a feast of slow-baked rabbit with roast garlic or whole stuffed suckling pig instead. The £15.50 two-course set lunch is definitely worth a gander.