In the atmospheric, mediaeval crypt of St Mary le Bow Church, the Cafe Below is a City institution. A quiet oasis from the hectic world above, serving a short menu of British and European dishes, with the occasional curry, the cafe has an ever changing seasonal menu. Being beneath the Bow Bells, naturally we are dedicated to all things London, so we source as locally as possible; our coffee is roasted in Hackney and our beer brewed in the East End. For breakfast, we are the perfect place for a moment of quiet before the day begins or a small or large business meeting, all with Homemade rye toast, River Farm smoked salmon, Brioche French toast and our own granola.
Jay Rayner hailed the cafe as being the "kind of restaurant any hectic city needs"; a quality driven, friendly place where you can meet mates, clients or colleagues, all in the unique setting of a Christopher Wren crypt!
£25 and under
It's places like these that make me dislike the 'optional surcharge' on food bills. It is situated in the basement of a church but that is really the only nice thing about this place. Apparently we arrived 'late' for a lunch since three dishes were already unavailable and the staff was obviously rushed to get us out asap; we were asked if we were ready to order three times (!) within two...more
I was so disappointed because I went to the website and was convinced that I was going to have an elegant and inspiring lunch. The salad on the website with the elequent pitcher of dressing made me think linen tablecloths in a light and airy dining room. Even walking in, I was digging the graphics of the bright green signs leading me down below. I even loved the typeface on the menus and...more
...a church, in case you were wondering.
Not that you were, since Molly and Larissa have both mentioned it. But hey, maybe you're reading this first. Who am I to judge?
Actually, that's what I'm meant to be doing. Only I'm judging the gaff, not you. So.. why three stars?
It's a really nice place and is perfect for the city. They've used the space really well and there's a nice outside...more
Before this afternoon, it would be fair to say that you would only see me in a church if I had a geeky, medievalist reason to be there. But now, you could add 'eating in converted crypts' to the list.
I've wanted to visit the Place Below for a while and finally got around to doing it with fellow Yelper Molly K!
I have to say, the atmosphere of the crypt in St Mary le Bow Church was quirky...more
Had a great lunch today here with Larissa D -- got to love working lunches with Yelpers. In my continuing quest to find decent grub within a close walk to my office, I was intrigued by The Place Below which is situated in the basement of a church. The owner of this restaurant has two others, both of which operate below churches. This guy is onto something!
The food is vegetarian and healthy...more