This is a venerable pub in Fleet Street. Built in 1667, it was a popular watering hole of Johnson, Boswell and countless writers and journalists down the centuries. It hasn’t been spoiled, that is to say, modernised. No piped music, fruit machines, televisions. The restaurant is well-run, food is good and reasonably priced and as for the price of a pint: £2.20 for a pint of Sam Smiths. What’s not to like?
For these reasons, we had a try-out session last Wednesday for a monthly, informal gathering of London Historians, friends and, well, anyone who wanted to come. And so a most excellent bunch turned up and we spent several happy hours talking history and for me personally, getting to know better our members whom I didn’t have the chance to at our launch party last month.
She who knows all about Georgian London, Lucy Inglis, reached into her pocket and wafted an old spoon before placing it on the table. “What is this?” she asked, in best show-and-tell style, “it dates from 1794”. We squinted at the markings and a small, worn engraving of a ship. Turns out it was from the dinner service of Lord Nelson himself, and (the Antiques Roadshow moment), is worth easily in excess of £2000. If I owned such a thing, I would use it with my breakfast cereal every day.
So. That was fun. The idea is to do this on the first Wednesday of each month, from 6:30 pm. If you’d like to join us, the next one is 4 May. I shall try not to bore you with why AV is a Bad Idea before you cast your No vote the following day.