ON a beautiful summer's day there are not many better sights than that of Westminster Abbey.
As one of the world's oldest and most famous churches, it stands majestically in the shadow of Parliament, a shining beacon of British history and tradition.
So to cater for the million plus tourists that flock to the Abbey each year the Cellarium Cafe and Terrace opened last October with the aim of continuing the ancient Benedict tradition of providing hospitality to its visitors.
Now you can enjoy the splendour of the Abbey while enjoying a croissant, a cup of coffee or a traditional meat pie while dining on the terrace, providing the weather's on your side of course, or you can take shelter from the elements in the cafe.
Unsurprisingly on the morning I visited I was forced indoors as I sought refuge from what I'm sure will become known as the traditional March snow.
Part of the 14th Century fabric of the Abbey, the Cellarium was once where monks would keep their stores of food and drink but is now the location of the two floor cafe.
Making my way down to the basement floor I was expecting to see a slightly dark and atmospheric cafe but was pleasantly surprised to find a bright and airy room.
Despite the gothic archways and stained glass windows, there is most certainly a feel of modernity to the Cellarium Cafe.
The table and chairs have been chosen to resemble pews from the Abbey but the room is illuminated by several steel chandeliers and floor lamps and heightened by the white ceilings and archways.
It's a nice juxtaposition which feels very fresh, the fusion of old and new.
Offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea each menu brims with sumptuous sounding dishes and is accompanied by a handsome drinks list offering a wide array of fresh juices, spirits, wines and hot beverages.
After battling the elements I was in the mood for a hearty breakfast so despite being tempted by some of the lighter dishes such as home-made granola, French toast, fresh pastries or porridge, I only had eyes for one - The Cellarium English Breakfast.
While my girlfriend enjoyed the delightful salmon and scrambled eggs I made headway with a plate full of streaky bacon, Cumberland sausage, black pudding, fried egg, slow roasted tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms and sourdough toast.
The first thing I should mention is that this was a beautifully cooked breakfast, with fresh ingredients and not a drop of grease in sight.
A particular highlight for me was the black pudding which can sometimes be gritty and foul, but this was full-bodied and when added to a forkful of egg and sausage, which too was cooked to perfection, created a phenomenally satisfying mouthful.
The bacon was crisp, the mushroom incredibly tender and the sour dough toast was a perfect companion.
I'm not usually the biggest fan of cooked tomatoes but these were exquisite, providing a real melt in the mouth moment.
Washing it down with a glass of fresh orange juice and a cappuccino, I felt full but incredibly content.
The smoked salmon and scrambled eggs combo was fluffy and seasoned to perfection.
Disappointed, but not entirely surprised, that we couldn't eat overlooking the Abbey, the Cellarium Cafe did not feel like a consolation prize as the food was beautiful and the setting magnificent.
For more information, visit http://www.cellariumcafe.com/