The City of London's oldest chop house and tavern was founded by Thomas Simpson in 1757 (during the reign of George II) and is undoubtedly as raucous now as the day it opened. Approached via a tiny cobbled Dickensian alley off Cornhill, it draws ruddy-faced pinstriped City folk who revel in the old boarding school surrounds and down oodles of claret and rustic old English tavern-style grub: pork belly crackling, potted shrimps, steak-and-kidney pie, grilled chump chops,
and "stewed cheese" (the house special of cheese on toast with Béchamel sauce). Desserts are public school faves, like spotted dick and custard, and antique six-seater shared oak bench stalls with overhead brass coat racks, House of Commons green cushions, and magnificently merry service only seem to add to the charm. This was once a favorite with Victorian novelists Charles Dickens and William Thackeray. Note it's only open weekdays for breakfast and lunch from 8.30 am until 3:30 pm.