Generally speaking, there are two types of people who get off at Westminster Underground Station: civil servants, and tourists.
With a high concentration of ministries (Parliament, No. 10 Downing Street, the Foreign Office and HMRC) and famous landmarks (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms and Horseguards Parade), it's no wonder that this part of Westminster is one of the most congested spots in all of London.
長久以來它也是倫敦的藝文重地，英國最有名的地標 - 如大笨鐘和西敏寺 - 還有熱門的邱吉爾博物館，皇家騎士軍隊閱兵場，聖詹姆士皇家公園和白金漢宮等等，也都位於此地，難怪這兒是城市最擁擠的區域之一。
One would naturally assume that an area with such heavy foot traffic would be blessed with an enviable selection of gastronomical delights. But in reality, what you will find is an uninspiring range of chain coffee shops, pubs and a few high-end restaurants more suitable for business lunch than a quick bite on the go.
I live in this neighborhood, so I know the hidden gems that are only minutes away from popular sights which the tourists never seem to notice. Whenever I go out to pick up a takeaway meal, I often get asked by hungry, frustrated and exhausted visitors where I get my food from, all anxiously searching for somewhere with decent food that won't deplete their budget.
So, in hopes of making Westminster a more inviting destination for visitors, I'm listing my personal Top 5 Picks for Light Meals in its vicinity -- all within 10-15 minutes of walk from Westminster tube station towards Victoria and St James's Park, where good food, good service and a chilled out atmosphere are guaranteed, so you can refuel and recover from a long day of sightseeing.
Here's to a pleasant dining experience in the shadow of Big Ben!
1. BLUE BOAR BAR
The Perfect Place for a Long Conversation, or a Nap
Around the corner from Westminster Abbey is this inviting restaurant/pub inside the five-star Conrad hotel. This is also where you'll find me 2 ~ 3 times a month. My first visit here was for a business lunch, then I keep returning for delicious food, nice drinks and impeccable service.
Housed in a grand 19th-century building opposite St James's Park tube station, the Blue Boar may look fancy and stuffy from the outside. But the moment you walk through the door, you'll be charmed by the friendliest staff and quaint decor inspired by the British political landscape.
The vibe here is both intimate and understatedly luxurious, with a mixed menu of healthy and comfort dishes, and oversized leather chesterfield sofas and wing back armchairs positioned next to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the perfect place to watch the world go by.
Do not miss the apple and blackberry crumble with pouring cream. It is pure indulgence and very addictive!
自西敏寺轉個彎，就可以看到我每個月光臨好幾次的溫馨酒吧 - Blue Boar（藍野豬）。
第一次來到 Conrad 五星級飯店附設的酒吧用餐，是和朋友見面吃商業午餐，之後就愛上了這裡的食物，雞尾酒，還有無可挑剔的完美服務。
菜單提供多樣化的英國傳統美食，也有健康的沙拉和三明治。千萬不要錯過了蘋果和黑莓派，配上香濃的 pouring cream，很容易上癮的！
2. CAFE NUVO
Cheap & Cheerful Full English Breakfast and Stuffed Jacket Potatoes
Where can you get a good full English breakfast for under a fiver near Big Ben? Cafe Nuvo on Artillery Row is the answer.
At this local gem, you can get a plate of bacon, sausage, egg, baked beans, two thick slices of toast plus tea or coffee for just £3.95. That's at least £1-2 cheaper than any other cafe within a one-mile radius.
And the portion is large, like American-style large. The sausage is my favorite item in the breakfast, always perfectly cooked and never greasy.
The cafe is open from morning to late afternoon and offers a variety of reasonably priced pastries, panini, jacket potatoes, salads and desserts. It also has a lovely upstairs eat-in area to enjoy a leisurely meal.
This Cafe Nuvo is an easy 10-minute walk from Westminster Abbey and popular with both office and construction workers. Be sure not to confuse it with another sandwich shop with the same name in Covent Garden.
3. LOW, SLOW & JUKE
The Ultimate Southern Comfort... and Diet Buster
Low Slow & Juke is the newest arrival in this part of town. Opened in February, it promises to bring southern smoke BBQ and cocktails to the UK capital.
Just a two-minute walk from Westminster Abbey, this bar/restaurant is tucked away in the basement of a corner building off Victoria Street and very easy to miss. Inside you'll find a full bar, comfortable seatings and a private dining area spread over two floors.
I was thoroughly impressed with my first meal here. The slow smoked St. Louis Slab Ribs was perfectly charred, tender but not fatty, while the Black + Blue burger with blue cheese sauce was juicy and flavourful. The beer and wine recommended by the friendly staff were excellent too.
With cute decor, southern hospitality and amazing BBQ (that's way better than Bodean's for about the same price), I think we've got an all-around, finger-licking-good winner here.
4. ICHI-RIKI SUSHI HOUSE
A Little Slice of Japan in Westminster
There's a little slice of Japan in the heart of Westminster, and it's called Ichi-Riki.
This traditional Japanese sushi house was established 15 years ago, offering an authentic taste of Japan at an affordable price.
Located 2 minutes from New Scotland Yard on a cobblestone street, this basement gem is sandwiched between a hair salon and a cafe and can be easy to miss.
The somewhat dingy stairs lead into an intimate, old-fashion space with spartan seating and a sushi bar. The menu is simple and covers the basics: sushi, tempura, gyoza, seaweed salad, green tea desserts, and of course Japanese beers and sake.
5. IRIS & JUNE
Ozone Coffee Roaster Serving Undoubtedly the Best Coffee in Victoria
Coffee lovers - this one is for you.
Since Iris & June opened its door in 2014, caffeine enthusiasts have been flocking to this Antipodean cafe for the perfect Ozone coffee. Each cup is made with precision and care and the proof is in the taste.
Hailed by many as the best coffee shop in Victoria that serves good food, the lunchtime queue here can get very long.
The cafe is located on a quiet street just behind House of Fraser department store. The space is airy, comfy with a touch of industrial chic, and the free wi-fi makes it the perfect place for work, meeting, or just relaxing.