There are not many times you can go out in London, a date on your arm, have a slap up three-course meal and wine, and still go home with money in your pocket, as well as a smile on your face (believe me, I've tried!)
It's not fancy, nor does it pretend to be, but The Stockpot, located on Old Compton Street is certainly the cheerful end of budget eating in the city. It's not the most cutting-edge food or decor wise - in fact most of the pictures hanging from the walls are caricatures of various old English gentlemen (none of whom you'll probably have ever heard of), and the decor looks like it may be the original furniture when the restaurant first opened, yet the charm is in the wonderful plates of goodness that rock up to your table mercifully soon after you've ordered them.
As my wife will tell you, my default setting is The Stockpot when we are out in Central London, as I find it hard to think of going to somewhere different when within walking distance of the place.
I can't help it, it's the food! You have starters including pate and toast (which is nearly a meal in itself), battered mushrooms and ham with melon, then there are the main courses, which change daily, as well as having regular options within the menu. Of these there is the mixed grill, the Spanish omelette, and fried liver and onions which tend to get revisited on a regular basis.
As the food is quite like the type you used to get at school canteens, it is only natural that you should get the old craving for stodgy puddings. Again, these are more than catered for! There's sticky toffee pudding, Apple crumble and custard and my favourite, jelly and cream. Now the portions of the deserts have to be seen to be believed, and the custard and cream comes in definitely over-generous portions.
Having all that will leave you with a full stomach, a happy heart and a relieved head, and not to mention, even a bit of change. As you leave, don't forget to say a special thank you to the manager - as, you will probably be seeing him here again very soon.