The Square Mile, the bedrock of the British economy, a monument to mammon, a system so complex at only machines understand it and a interconnected web of commerce that both sustains all of our lifestyles while simultaneously holding the power to obliterate them. Oh, and there’s food. Lots of it. So rather than pondering the vast machinations at work in these cathedrals of finance, instead pop out and get a medium rare steak and some chips. You’ll feel far better for it. Here’s where you can try…
At only seven floors, Angler is practically a minnow given the skyscrapers surrounding it. But when it comes to seafood, it’s a pretty big fish. The Michelin starred restaurant, atop the South Place Hotel on Moorgate, is a beauty to behold, and even more so to taste. Founded in 2012, it was quickly recognised by the Michelin men and under Executive Chef Gary Foulkes is one of the best places to enjoy sustainable British seafood in the country.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, or not reading The Handbook (which is effectively the same thing) then you’ll be aware of the famous igloos at Coppa Club. Open all winter, the igloos are great but it’s worth noting that there’s more to Coppa Club than just plastic Eskimo houses. The restaurant itself, with its unfussy European menu, is ideal for meetings, social occasions or just a post-work drink and a nibble.
In the most densely built up mile in the country, having a 100yd lawn marks you out as a serious player. Which is precisely what Coq d’Argent, or the silver chicken, surely is. The French restaurant is a mainstay of city dining and an institution in itself.
Where: No 1 Poultry, Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Cannon Street (0.1 miles)
Duck! Because we could waffle on about this place at great length. As, indeed, we could about the view from the Heron Tower. The restaurant, named after its unusual signature dish, serves British food, with European influences (Jacob Rees-Mogg will be outraged) and with dishes designed to be shared. Not that you’ll want anyone else dipping into your meal here.
Presumably after a busy day on the trading floor there’s one thing that a red-blooded banker wants and that’s tofu. Only kidding, it’s meat. Which is handy because Hawksmoor at Guildhall has plenty of it. Sustainable, local and you can better your bottom dollar (which presumably many of its patrons literally have). The restaurant also claims, and it’s unclear how spuriously, to be located close to the world’s very steakhouse, the famous Dolly’s, a favourite of the likes of Boswell, Defoe and Swift.
One of London’s most iconic buildings, the so-called Walkie Talkie climaxes in this aircraft-hanger-in-the-sky structure, which is, incredibly, open to the public. And any public visiting should make their ways directly to Fenchurch Restaurant, suspended over the main ‘auditorium’ and offering a discrete, yet excellent dining experience with an emphasis on the experience.
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
1 Lombard Street manages to be both contemporary and timeless, at one with its grand surroundings but by no means fusty. Its central Location, it’s basically on top of Bank station means that it’s a hub for city life and the former bank, with its famed central rotunda, serves modern European food, for three meals a day.
Where: 1 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bank DLR Station (0 miles)
One of the best known buildings not only in the city, the capital or the country but perhaps the world, the Norman Foster building is both inspirational and impressive. The top of the building has long been a private dining room, used by the building’s inhabitants, but no longer. Thanks to Searceys, it’s opened up as a restaurant open to the likes of you and me. If eating here’s not currently on your bucketlist, you need to re-draft your bucketlist and quickly.
Where: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), Saint Mary Axe, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Fenchurch Street (0.2 miles)
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square could not be closer to the edge of the Square Mile. The photographer who took the picture above was standing outside the city! And the imposing hotel contains not one but two fantastic restaurants in the form of Mei Umi and La Dame de Pic. In a ‘choose which parent you love best’ scenario La Dame de Pic would probably win out, its Michelin star is well deserved, but Mei Umi’s Japanese/Chinese cuisine is more than simply noteworthy.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tower Hill (0.1 miles)