Sartre was right – hell is other people!
Alas my full time passion of writing and and film criticism doesn’t currently pay the bills. I’m back temping in a “proper job” to pays all the bills plus a little fun and frolics. I hope whoever devised open plan working is living out their days miserable as sin. Open plan working is like experiencing hell ever day. There is nowhere to hide! Those flirty texts need to kept to a minimum and other people’s conversations funny for the first time but when you’ve overheard the same story ten times and seen pictures of their puppies, babies push one to the proverbial edge. I now just put my headphones and whack up the music although I have no desire to become deaf. So now I just put them on, bop along to non existent music and people leave me alone. Result! All that means is I cannot wait until I work for myself and remove myself from the crazies although somedays I do wonder who’s crazier. Lunch is supposed to be peaceful but not at your desk and sometimes you need to Spring into action. At these times I take myself off to a ritzy place. Afterwards, I return to the office hot and flustered as if I’ve done something naughty. We all need a little decadent, naughty fun in our lives, even just in a lunch hour, more so when you’re daily existence is open plan!
Spring restaurant is set in Somerset House has been many things including a Tudor Palace. It is an architectural feast for the eyes. I think one of the best places to come solo dining as the food is competing for your complete attention whilst your eyes cannot help but marvel at all the architectural details. I could have sat in there for a few more hours sipping wine taking in every detail but alas I had to go back to work.
When I arrived at 12.30pm there weren’t many other diners. The above is a view from my table. However, by 1pm the restaurant was full for lunch. There is such a lovely ambiance, the high ceilings help coupled with wonderful decor. However, for me it is the exceptionally discreet service. The waiting staff anticipated my every move but without crowding me. I was left alone to enjoy my food with none of the ubiquitous “is everything ok” that you get at other restaurants always asked after you’ve just taken bite. There is also space between tables, something I relish after dining so often in Paris. This means this is a place that attracts business men, lovers and those who just want time and space to enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures – eating!
Drinks & Eats
Sometimes it is hard to know what to eat and I do suffer from food envy. However, mercifully with a short set menu the choice is almost made for you. Given I was on an hour lunch break I decided to stick to two courses starter and main with a huge glass of naughtiness in the form of a crisp, cold glass of wine. As I sipped and waited for my food, I revelled in the quiet splendour and soft lighting of my surroundings.
The main course was as good as it looks in the photo above – buttery, soft greens that lull your tongue into a relaxed state only for it to dart back into action with the lemon sprinkled crisp chicken skin. No dessert but a short, sharp jolt of energy in the form of an espresso accompanied by bites of dense, rich chocolate truffle. A perfect way to round of lunch.
Baby In the Corner Baby was given the best table in the house with a wonderful view of all the other tables! They love solo diners here.
Pricey? Eating in a palace is never going to be cheap but the set course lunch menu is a BARGAIN: 2 courses £27 / 3 courses £31.50
Where? Somerset House New Wing, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA
How? Waterloo tube station and walk the 5 mins across Waterloo Bridge and marvel at the gleaming skyline that is busy, brilliant London!
Open when? Mon – Sat Lunch 12-2.30pm / Dinner 6-10;30pm & Sun 12- 3pm