Sweetings was established in 1889 and little seems to have changed at this time warp since the last days of the British Empire. There are some things Sweetings doesn't do: reservations, dinner, coffee, or weekends. It does, mercifully, do seafood—and rather well. Not far from St. Paul's Cathedral, and kitted out with Victoriana, Colonel Blimp, and sporting cartoons, the restaurant is patronized by pinstriped City gents who down pewter tankards of Black Velvet
(Guinness and Champagne) and love to eat potted shrimps, roe on toast, Dover sole, and skate wings with black butter sauce, all this perched on high stools at white linen-covered raised wooden counters. West Mersea oysters are fresh and plump, and desserts like spotted dick or baked jam roll are timeless public school favorites. The long-serving waitstaff wear funereal black and white and know all the regulars.
Aug 26, 2006
We dropped in for lunch on a Friday last week, and had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but it was worth the wait. The seafood is fresh and well prepared. The restaurant is small and cramped, and many of the patrons eat at the bar or on wooden counters, but it all adds up to a delightful noisy busy atmosphere, the place is buzzing. The patrons seem to be mostly London businessmen. The kitchen downstairs is very clean (you can go down and
see for yourself - very clean). It is expensive, but so is everything in London. We will return the next time we're in London.