Lunch ‘To Go’

The final of four part piece on lunching in the capital by Mark Leonard


The take-away lunch, a sandwich at the desk or in the park, is still the most typical mid-day meal from Monday to Friday. Their benefits speak for themselves; they’re quick, cheap and easy. But spare a thought for our local restaurants, who are all too often packed to the rafters in the evening but remain staffed and ready for us all day long as we rush past to pick up a cardboard sandwich, crisps and a drink.

It’s true that supermarkets offer remarkable deals but the food is all too often equally unremarkable. Whereas increasingly our favourite pubs, restaurants and hotels are finding new ways to tempt us during the day with exceptional faster-food.

So, before you grab that next meal deal to munch on at your desk or sitting in a splash of sunlight outdoors take a look at the menus for light bites, bar snacks and take-aways on offer in the pubs and restaurants nearby. Whether you are eating inside or taking away the experience is a notch up.

Handmade, homemade, fresh, quality ingredients – prepped and served in style by a local eatery may cost a little more but does offer an affordable treat and a great opportunity to try out a new venue without committing an evening to it. Who knows, it may be the beginning of a beautiful new relationship!


The Dean Swift has built a strong reputation with the residents and businesses of Butler’s Wharf and part of the attraction for people, aside from the amazing beer selection, is the Beer Snacks range.

This is a rotational line-up (like the beers) of food that can be eaten with your hands, so you can have a pint in one hand and a beer snack in the other! Examples of the beer snacks include Scotch Egg, Fish Goujons & Deep Fried Brie with Cranberry Dip! These delicacies are a nice, quick bite to enjoy in the comfort of the pub with a beer!

For more details follow @DeanSwiftSe1 on Twitter.
Dean Swift
10 Gainsford Street
Butler’s Wharf, SE1 2NE
020 7357 0748


Quarter Bar & Lounge, the stylish cocktail bar adjacent to London Bridge Hotel, has a tempting array of small dishes, perfect for sharing: pork scratchings and apple compote; deviled eggs with paprika; pork and potato croquettes with apple butter; heritage tomato salad; crispy lamb shoulder with mint yogurt and brandy cured salmon with walnuts.

Healthy salad options include salt baked beetroot with goat curd and balsamic dressing; smoked duck with pickled and roasted mushrooms, spinach and a Madeira dressing and warm goats cheese with roast pumpkin and charred onions.

Quarter Bar and Lounge
London Bridge Hotel
8-18 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
020 7855 2296

The best steak sandwiches in London can be found every Thursday and Friday lunchtime at Constancia on Tower Bridge Road. At £10.50 their prime Argentinian steak sandwich served with rocket, red peppers and Chimichurri sauce, cooked on the charcoal parrilla, beats any supermarket offering.

Eat in or take away, you can even call ahead so when you arrive it’s ready and waiting! Their fabulous home made pasties (Empanadas), with various fillings, are great for eating on the go and priced at just £3.50. According to Empanada experts these really are something special.

52 Tanner Street
020 7234 0676

b2 at home, Bermondsey Square Hotel’s kitchen and deli are serving up tasty, healthy lunches and snacks wrapped up and ready to take away for those rushing back to the office or basking in the summer sun on the square or tranquil green park opposite the hotel.

Favourites include a Halloumi wrap with hummus and red pepper, a Grilled Chicken & Guacamole Wrap and our special Mushroom & Cheddar Quesadilla.

With free tea, filter coffee and WIFI the hotel has become a regular hang-out for hot-deskers and the terrace, looking onto Bermondsey Square, is the perfect place to relax over lunch if you’re not in a hurry to take away!

b2 at home
Bermondsey Square Hotel
Tower Bridge Road, SE1 3UN
020 7378 2450

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