An edumacational pub crawl
|Inside the Black Friar|
We started at the Black Friar, with its gorgeous arts-and-crafts interior, of course. (Long-term readers of this blog will know that’s our favourite. BG was really impressed by it – she's from DC, where anything over a hundred years old is classed as old, so was a bit bemused by my description of London as a pretty modern city as the Great Fire of 1666 took out most buildings of any age.
After a pint there we walked up to Fleet Street, on the way taking time to point out Ludgate Street and talk about King Lud, and the alleys behind Fleet Street near St Bride’s, where one of my scandalous ancestresses (great-grandmother of the one who horrified Georgian Calcutta) married a schoolmate of her son in a tavern. She was a widow, so it wasn’t bigamous, but how marrying someone who presumably was a minor in a pub was ever legal is anyone’s guess. He legged it later – as the fourth son of an Earl he must have had prospects that being married to a much older middle-class woman didn't help – and she sued for abandonment. Scandalous!
|The spire that launched a million cakes.|
Taking in St Dunstan’s Church (and the statue of Elizabeth I on it is the oldest outdoor statue in London, originally on the Ludgate), Prince Henry’s Room (one of the few survivors of the Great Fire of London), the doors of Temple Church (built by the Knights Templar) and Temple Bar memorial (marking where the City of London and Westminster meet, and heads and other bits of executed traitors once adorned the gate), we ambled next to the Seven Stars.
The Seven Stars doesn’t look as old as the Cheshire Cheese, but it’s actually another survivor of the Great Fire, so is older. It’s also another of my favourite pubs because it has so much personality, with theatrical posters on the walls and a resident cat (named Clement Attlee). It’s not on the tourist trail, but is a hangout for the legal types who are based in the Inns of Court nearby, so while it gets very busy after the law courts close, it's got a real community feel. Mr Robot likes to imagine it being the sort of place Rumpole would’ve hung out.
|Often Clement Attlee wears an Elizabethan-style ruff, but it was too hot.|
|Palais de gin!|
I hope your weekend was equally good.