If you watch First Dates - and even if you don't, you’ll be familiar with the square within which the subject of this review can be found; Paternoster Square. From shots of those nervous daters to London postcards, Christopher Wren’s most iconic of landmarks, St Paul’s Cathedral, is instantly recognisable. It is in the shadow of this famous building that you will find The Saint, the perfect spot for a relaxed lunch, supper, as well as drinks in the busy bar after work.
Find St Pauls and you will have almost found this great little eatery with a large outside terrace on the square, which proves to be extremely popular in the summer months for al fresco drinking and dining. Given its proximity to the City and that famous building, The Saint is calmer and quieter on the early days of the week; perfect for a relaxed supper after work. By the end of the week, however, you will be able to enjoy a livelier environment, with a great soundtrack and a buzzing atmosphere as the weekend begins to peek over the horizon.
The view is obviously a major focus for all revellers, and my friend and I happened to enjoy the best seat in the house with unhindered views of the cathedral which was gradually illuminated as the sun disappeared from the sky. If the weather isn't playing game, the inside has a whole lot going for it too with red booths, tiny little pot plants dotted around and an easy-going bistro vibe.
Food & Drink
On the menu you will find a selection of dishes from comforting, British classics like the Cumberland sausages and mashed potato with onion gravy through to sturdy burgers and sandwiches. It's not all big and beefy; for those looking for lighter plates there is a pan-fried sea bass, and a kale salad, which were mine and my friend’s choices. Before delving into those, we kicked of with starters of miso chicken and mushroom skewers with toasted sesame dipping sauce (£6.50) and the “chicken wings of fire” (£6) accompanied by a blue cheese dressing and cooling sticks of celery. I enjoyed these along with several sips of a beautifully fresh and fruit Sauvignon Blanc.
This wine went perfectly with both of our main dishes. Mine, the kale salad (£10.50), came with crisp red cabbage, red rice & quinoa, sweet roasted peppers, avocado, and was interjected with sweet bursts of pomegranate seeds and a crunch from the toasted oat and nut crumble. I added miso chicken skewers (£3.50) and halloumi cheese (£3.50) and all made for a beautifully fresh, balanced dish that was light but filling.
My friend, meanwhile, chose the pan fried sea bass (£15) with heritage carrots, red chilli and flaked almonds in garlic butter served with a cream fish sauce. The soft, flaky flesh of the fish was coated in a perfectly crispy skin, the bed of caramelised carrots beneath were sweet and sticky, and the creamy saucy added a warming factor.
The Saint is the perfect post-work venue for laid-back dining and drinking. In the summer, early birds will have the benefit of grabbing a seat outside, because the terrace is guaranteed to fill quickly. With a great selection of wines, as well as a decent collection of gins to create a much needed end-of-the-day G&T, The Saint offers all you need for an after-work treat in the City.