Five of the best independent restaurants on Middlesex Street

Fiorella Lanni

Feast your eyes on the best five independent restaurants on Middlesex Street, handpicked by our team! Whilst international travelling is still on hold, you can enjoy culinary delicacies from all over the world, ranging from Argentinian steaks, Barcelona’s tapas to Vietnamese baguettes and flavours from the Chinese province of Sichuan. Veggie lovers, fear not! Middlesex Street has a sweet little restaurant serving great vegan and vegetarian Indian street food at down-to-earth prices… Most of these restaurants are currently open for al fresco dining. They will all be opening for sit-down bookings from 17th May.

BiFe

Argentinian beef has earned a reputation for being some of the world’s best. Widely known for being incomparably tender and richly flavoured, even though rarely seasoned with anything but salt. Feeling hungry yet? Head to BiFe for an authentic experience. The independent family run restaurant offers a great selection of steaks, quality nibbles and tasty desserts. Click here to learn more and book.

Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante

While international travels are still on hold, you can get a taste of Spain here in London! Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante is a Spanish family run business, founded in 1991 by Martin and David Dalmau in Bell Lane. Since then, the restaurant has expanded and now boasts three locations in the City and Dulwich. If you are looking for a fun and tasty meal, Barcelona Tapas Bar Y Restaurante won’t let you down and will offer you quality food, friendly staff, and authentic Spanish ambience… what’s not to like? Click here to book.

1947 Restaurant

Haresh founded 1947 Restaurant with the idea to create a space that was more than just a restaurant serving food, but also a place where customers felt at home! The menu offers vegan and vegetarian delicacies from India, ranging from delicious curries to rice dishes, naans, and popular Indian street foods. Definitely one not to miss! Click here to book.

My Old Place

My Old Place is a cosy, old school restaurant, decorated with traditional Chinese touches. Specialised in Sichuan cuisine, it serves authentic dishes: there’s everything from classic pork dumplings and crunchy gong bao chicken, to more traditional dishes including duck tongue! Packed with a lot of flavours, the portions will leave you satisfied. Don’t forget to bring a couple of colleagues and friends to help you with the food pile…as long as there’s just six of you! Click here to book.

Hohaki

Banh Mi sandwiches are some of our ultimate favourite foods to eat and Hohaki’s own recipe brings Hanoi a bit closer to London! Crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, these Vietnamese baguettes bring so much joy…filled with different flavours of meat, herbs, vegetables, spice and seasoning. Traditionally eaten with curries or beef stews, at Hohaki you can have them on their own or accompanied by a delicious Pho’s broth! Click here to book.

Fancy a stroll after your meal?

Check out Petticoat Lane Market! Located in the East End area of Spitalfields, this is one of the oldest and most famous markets in London. The market has been best known for selling fashion and clothes, but these days you can find pretty much everything, from designer goods to fruit and veggies. Fun fact about this market…Alan Sugar took his first business steps in Petticoat Lane, where he had a stall! 

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Can I go to the gym? Yes!

Fiorella Lanni

Good news for fitness lovers…Leisure centres, gyms and fitness studios have finally reopened in London! However, please be mindful of social distancing measures and other Covid-safe precautions. Indoor group classes are still on hold, but you can catch your favourite ones online or outdoors. We have made a selection of our favourite gyms in and around the City…enjoy!

Chancery Lane & Farringdon

Frame (Farringdon Road). Frame studios reopen on 17th May, however, in the meantime you can catch a lot of online and on demand classes!

URBANFITNESS (Chancery Lane). Their studios are open 5 days a week, Monday to Friday.

GYMBOX (Leather Lane). Enjoy great home workouts on the Out The Box website, or visit your local studio.

St Paul’s & Bank

City Athletic (Trump Street). Studios are open!

The Altitude Centre (Trump Street). Book in your solo gym sessions or live streamed classes at home.

Digme (Coleman Street). Studios are open! You can also catch a range of live and on demand classes at home.

WIT Training (One New Change). Studios are open!

Embody Fitness (Bartholomew Lane). In studio and online personal training.

Liverpool Street & Moorgate

Equinox (Bishopsgate). Studios have reopened from Monday to Friday!

1Rebel (Broadgate Circle). Studios are now open!

Bannatyne Health Club (Old Broad Street). Online classes only.

The Light Centre (London Wall). Online classes only at the moment. The studios will reopen on Monday 27 July.

Fight City Gym (Worship Street). Studios are open!

Ten Health & Fitness (Middlesex Street). Online and in studios classes.

Aldgate & Tower Hill

Victus Soul (Mansell Street). They are renting out the space for free-use workouts, but are also doing outdoor and online sessions!

Evolve (Cobb Street). Studios have reopened!

Right Path Fitness (Gravel Lane). In studio and online personal training sessions.

Train Dirty London (Altab Ali Park). Outdoor sessions.

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The reopening of pubs with outdoor areas

Fiorella Lanni

Today our favourite pubs with outdoors areas are reopening in the City! To celebrate their reopening, we have listed some of them below, organised by area. Make sure to check each pub’s website to find out about their social distancing measures and if you need to book in advance. 

Bank & Monument

The Swan Tavern

The Vintry (Abchurch Lane)

The Sugar Loaf (Cannon Street)

The Lamb Tavern (Leadenhall Market)

Moorgate

The Telegraph

The Telegraph (Telegraph Street)

Farringdon

The Conductor

The Conductor (Fleet Place)

The Fence (Cowcross Street) 

Holborn

Ye Olde Mitre

Ye Olde Mitre (Ely Place)

Chancery Lane

The Argyle

The Pregnant Man (Chancery Lane)

The Argyle (Greville Street)

Blackfriars

The Hack & Hop

The Hack & Hop (Whitefriars Street, open for takeaway drinks from 19th of April)

Aldgate & Tower Hill

The Sterling

The Minories (Minories)

Duke of Somerset (Little Somerset Street)

Princess of Prussia (Prescot Street)

The Sterling (The Gherkin)

Liverpool Street

The Railway Tavern

The Ten Bells (Commercial Street)

The Railway Tavern (Liverpool Street)

Disclaimer: please note that drinks mustn’t be consumed in public areas where it’s not permitted.

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Restaurants with outdoor space to start booking

Fiorella Lanni

From Monday, restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes are allowed to carefully reopen their outdoor dining areas for the entire summer. We could hardly wait any longer for some of our favourite restaurants to reopen! And for this reason, we’ve listed a few below organised by area…

Make sure to check each restaurant’s website to see social distancing guidelines. Start booking!

Bank & Liverpool Street

Yolk (Broadgate)

Paternoster Chop House (Old Bailey)

Fortnum and Mason (Royal Exchange)

SUSHISAMBA (Heron Tower)

Coq d’Argent (No.1 Poultry)

New St Grill (New Street)

Fish Market (New Street)

CityPoint Food Trucks (CityPoint)

St Paul’s

Madison (One New Change)

Brigadiers (Bloomberg Arcade)

Vinoteca (Bloomberg Arcade)

Caravan City (Bloomberg Arcade)

Ekte. (Bloomberg Arcade)

Koya (Bloomberg Arcade)

Monument

14 Hills (Fenchurch St)

Cheese at Leadenhall (Leadenhall Market)

Aldgate

Emilia’s Crafted Pasta (Alie St)

BiFe (Middlesex St)

So (Middlesex St)

1947 Restaurant & Bar (Middlesex St)

Barcelona Tapas Bar & Restaurant (Middlesex St)

Barbican

Barbie Green (Barbican)

Old Street

Passo (City Road)

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Historical spots to visit when you’re strolling around the City

Fiorella Lanni

While restaurants, pubs, shops, museums and other non-essential businesses remain closed, we’re excited about the first step in the easing of lockdown today – we’re allowed out of the house! To celebrate this, we’ve planned ahead and discovered five unusual outdoor wonders that tap into the rich history of the City of London which you should visit on your daily walks. While the City’s quiet, there’s never been a better time to wander around. This guide will take you on a journey that not many get to see and will help you discover some of the oldest alleyways in the City and the history behind their names. We hope you’re ready to stretch your legs and start exploring! 

Artillery Passage

The Artillery Passage is a Conservation Area of special architecture and historic interest, dating back to the 13th and 19th centuries. This historic alley is a surviving fragment of the 17th century street pattern, characterised by its network of historic narrow passages, lanes and courtyards. 

Prior to the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII in the 16th century, the area was home to several small churches and was owned by the Priory of St Mary Spital. When the Church land was taken into the possession of the Crown, the area quickly became a storage space for artillery, canon and archery grounds. The old regiment of ‘The Gentlemen of the Artillery Garden’ used the land as a training ground, when Spitalfields was just a field outside the city walls!

In 1968 the land was leased for development, which is when houses and shops appeared. Grade I listed 56 Artillery Lane is one of the most significant surviving Georgian shopfronts in London. Today 56 Artillery Lane houses the Raven Row free art exhibition space.  

Artillery Passage is also packed with restaurants and bars, including the great Grapeshots, which is filled with antique curiosities and historic wine artefacts collected over the decades. Wood panelling and candlelit tables add special character and charm to the atmosphere. 

Magpie Alley

The whole area surrounding Fleet Street brims with historic alleyways. One passageway slightly off the beaten track is Magpie Alley. This tucked away passage celebrates the history of printing on Fleet Street, which for decades housed the UK’s biggest newspapers. 

Today Magpie Alley is a special little alleyway decorated with a series of tiles, which are a testament to the printing history of the area and feature images of printers, newspapers, as well as printing presses. If you reach the end of Magpie Alley, you will also be surprised to see the remains of a 14th century monastery – the Whitefriars Monastery!

Magpie Alley is in close proximity to the Wine Office Court, whose main feature is the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a Grade II listed pub of great character. The pub has been here since at least the late 18th Century, although the existing building was built in 1926 and was designed by Thomas Henry Nowell Parr, a British architect best known for designing pubs in West London. 

White Rose Court

White Rose Court is a quirky courtyard in the City of London, which first appeared on a London street map in 1720. A couple of centuries ago, when Spitalfields was mainly inhabited by Jewish immigrants, White Rose Court housed two of the oldest and iconic Jewish bakeries in London – Levy Bros and Matzo’s.

If you look up at the building facade, you will be able to spot a row of four bakers, which pay tribute to these famous bakeries that once operated there. 

Today White Rose Court is a modest little court, but like so much of the rest of the City of London, brims with rich history and heritage.

French Ordinary Court

French Ordinary Court is a wacky little alley that has existed since at least the Tudor times, when much of this part of London was still fields. 

Linking Fenchurch Street to Crutched Friars, the alley includes two passages into one, which in the old days, must have been two different parishes: the northern one known as St Katharine’s Row and the southern one known as French Ordinary Court. The main entrance used to lead to the Monastery of the Crutched Friars. 

The peculiar name is thought to come from a Gallic eatery, and an ‘ordinary’ was a fixed-price meal. The eatery was destroyed during the Great Fire and never replaced. Today French Ordinary Court offers great views of the Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, designed by Lord Rogers.

Groveland Court

This fascinating passage is famous for The Williamson’s Tavern, a historic pub that is said to hold the oldest excise license in the City! The pub used to be a residence for the Lord Mayors of London, and William III and Mary II dined here.

The existing pub was rebuilt in the 1930s, however the original pub dates back to the 17th century and it was a private home built in 1667 on land formerly occupied by Sir John Fastolf, who fought in the Hundred Years’ War and became a famous character in Shakespeare’s plays.

Some say that the pub marks the centre of the City of London, however there is not enough evidence to support this claim. This alley really gives you the impression you are stepping back in the past, as it even features an old City of London street sign, which adds even more character and atmosphere to the area!

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