A Walking Tour of Gin and Daggers London

While visiting London in June of 2008, I thought it would be a fun side trip to see how many landmarks mentioned in Donald Bain's first MSW book Gin and Daggers we could find. My husband, excellent sport that he is, agreed to go along with my plan, and we did quite well, if I do say so myself.

Page numbers in parentheses following quotations from the book refer to the original hard cover edition.

(NOTE: Please be patient; the pictures do take awhile to load.)

1. The Savoy Hotel


From the website: “Located on The Strand in the heart of the West End theatre district, The Savoy offers spectacular views of the river Thames. This landmark hotel opened in 1889 and is still considered to be the place to stay in London. The hotel's 263 rooms and suites, with Art Deco touches throughout, are elegantly appointed yet offer an extensive array of modern amenities. As of December 15, 2007 the Savoy has closed to undergo a £100 million restoration. The hotel will reopen in early 2009.”

From the book: "The driver turned off the Strand and into a broad courtyard, at the end of which was the main entrance to the Savoy Hotel. Until the driver made that turn, I'd managed to avoid thinking about previous arrivals at the Savoy with my late husband, Frank. Now, as the splendidly uniformed doorman stood waiting to assist us, those feelings threatened to overflow. I turned away from Lucas in case my eyes had misted.
"'Here we are, Jessica,' Lucas said brightly. 'I would have opted for a more intimate setting for the conference, but the site selection committee, God bless them, insisted upon the Savoy.' When I didn't turn to acknowledge his comment, he said, 'Jessica, are you all right?'
"I drew a breath and smiled at him. 'Yes, of course. I'm just overwhelmed at being back in this wonderful city.'" (9)

At the time of our visit the Savoy was still in the middle of a massive renovation, and closed to the public. Much of the building was swathed in plastic and scaffolding, making it difficult to appreciate how truly beautiful the architecture is. However, at least the trademark sign at the end of the courtyard was still visible.

2. Brown's Hotel


From the website: “Sophistication and classic English style are the hallmarks of the legendary Brown's Hotel, which joined The Rocco Forte Collection of luxury hotels on 3rd July 2003. Following a £24 million restoration, Brown's has been restored to its rightful position as one of the most intimate and charming hotels in London. The interiors are contemporary and have a real sense of style, while retaining much of their original, quintessentially English elegance. Set in the heart of Mayfair on Albemarle Street, Brown's is one of the most historic hotels as it was the first ever hotel to open in London in 1837. Within a short walk from exclusive Bond Street shopping, West End theatres and St James's, Brown's Hotel opened to provide 'genteel' accommodation for discerning people. Brown's has always had an air of exclusivity and refinement, which it has retained following its extensive refurbishment overseen by The Rocco Forte Collection's Director of Design, Olga Polizzi.”

From the book: "'Would you have some free time this afternoon?'
"'I'll see to it.'
"'It would be my pleasure to treat the eminent Jessica Fletcher to tea, if you wouldn't think it too personal.'
"I wasn't sure whether it was too personal or not, but it really didn't matter. I accepted his offer, and we agreed to meet at Brown's Hotel between Dover and Albemarle streets, in Mayfair. I'd had tea at Brown's during one of my previous trips to London and remembered how delightful it had been. ..." (57)

"...I sat across a small table from him, sighed, and looked around the beautiful room. 'It's just as I remembered it,' I said. 'A friend of mine told me he'd assimed everything had changed since it had been taken over by Trusthouse Forte. I don't see any changes.' I looked at him. 'Do you?'
"'No, I can't say that I do. I've had an affinity for Brown's since moving here from Edinburgh, and it seems to have stayed a steady course since I first set foot in here fifteen years ago.'
"'That's comforting.'
"'That's England.'" (61)

Obviously, Brown’s Hotel holds an important position in the MSW universe as the place where Jessica and George Sutherland first met. Although we did not go inside, the place does define “refinement” from its well-kept façade to its dressed-to-the-nines doorman. One point of interest that I learned from the website: the hotel restaurant, the Albemarle, used to be known as The Grill – also the name of a restaurant that in G&D Mr. Bain places in the Savoy. I wonder if the place he was thinking of was actually the restaurant here at Brown’s, or perhaps The Grill changed locations from one establishment to the other?

3. Hyde Park


From the website: “One of London's finest historic landscapes covering 142 hectares (350 acres). There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more it is easy to forget you're in the middle of London.”

Here’s a particularly interesting tidbit: “The Lido [a recreational area on the south side of the Serpentine] was set up by George Lansbury [Angela’s grandfather], the first Commissioner of Works, in 1930 and in warm weather is used for sunbathing and swimming.”

From the book: "I was pleased that Maria Giacona had suggested Hyde Park instead of breakfast in the hotel. I'd wanted to spend Sunday moring at Speakers' Corner anyway, and this would allow me to indulge that plan, while also hearing what Ms. Giacona had to say. Frank and I had spent two Sunday mornings at Speakers' Corner and had not only found the experience fascinating, but were both struck with the real meaning of free speech it represented." (51)

The day we walked through Hyde Park the weather was grey and occasionally drizzly, so we didn’t really see it at its finest. Even so, the sheer scale of this green area is impressive, and of course any place with animals (in this case, ducks, geese, and horses) is popular with me. Because we were there on a weekday, Speakers' Corner was empty.

4. Charles Dickens Museum


From the website: “The Charles Dickens Museum in London is the world's most important collection of material relating to the great Victorian novelist and social commentator. The only surviving London home of Dickens (from 1837 until 1839) was opened as a Museum in 1925 and is still welcoming visitors from all over the world in an authentic and inspiring surrounding. On four floors, visitors can see paintings, rare editions, manuscripts, original furniture and many items relating to the life of one of the most popular and beloved personalities of the Victorian age.”

From the book: "'...I remember touring Dickens's house on a previous trip to London. I jotted down the contents of some of his letters that are on display, letters to his agent and to his publisher humbly requesting money with which to live and, without actually stating it, implying that there might be some hanky-panky going on with their accounting of royalties.' I laughed. 'I even committed one of those letters to memory. He'd written it to his publisher, Chapman ahd Hall, in 1836. "When you have quite done counting the sovereigns received for Pickwick, I should be much obliged to you to send me up a few ..."'" (163)

Although we did not have the time to go inside and see the whole of the museum, we did walk by Charles Dickens’ house at 48 Doughty Street. It’s located in a quiet neighborhood slightly off the beaten path, and except for the cars parked on the street, you could imagine that it hasn’t changed much since Dickens’ time.

5. Bubb's

No website available

From the book: "'The reason I'm calling, Jessica, is to invite you to dinner this evening. I know this is terribly short notice, but ...'
"'Yes, it is short notice, but that happens not to matter. I am free this evening, and would very much enjoy dining with you.'
"There was an audible sigh of relief on his end. He said, 'I have a favorite restaurant in Central Market called Bubbs that I thought you might enjoy. It tends to be somewhat masculine, but the food is quite good and I'm comfortable there.'
"'Then I'm sure I will be, too.'" (152)

Central Market, I think, is not what it once was. Bubb’s certainly isn’t – the French restaurant was shuttered, and looked as though it had been out of business for some years. I did find a picture of it in its hey day on the internet, which I have included here. It’s sad to see what has become of this beautiful building.

6. The Albert Memorial


From the website: “Prince Albert - Queen Victoria's husband - died of typhoid fever at the age of 42. Soon after his death it was determined that a national memorial be created to recognise the British public's deep sense of loss. Influenced by the series of 13th Century 'Eleanor Crosses' (Charing Cross perhaps being the most famous) and other statues in Edinburgh and Manchester, the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens is one of the grandest high-Victorian gothic extravaganzas anywhere. Officially titled the 'Prince Consort National Memorial', it celebrates Victorian achievement and Prince Albert's passions and interests."

From the book: "Seth and Morton came to my side; together, we formed a defiant trio. 'Coming with us, Lucas?' I asked
"'Yes,' he said glumly. We went downstairs and got into a waiting taxi. 'Kensington Gardens,' I told the driver. 'The Albert Memorial.'
"'Why are we going there?' Morton asked.
"'No special reason,' I said. 'It's a pleasant place to walk, and I haven't been there in a long time.'
"We left the cab and stood at the foot of four wide flights of granite steps leading up to the neo-Gothic spire that juts 175 feet into the air and is ornamented with mosaics, pinnacles, and a cross.
"'Who was this Albert fella?' Morton asked.
"'Prince Consort to Queen Victoria,' I said. 'Come on, let's head for the palace and the pond.'" (190)

Across the road and opposite Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens is an ornate structure perhaps best appreciated close up – however, we were somewhat farther away. Still, I think this picture came out pretty well, and does a passable job of capturing the grandeur of this particularly personal monument.

7. Punch and Judy


From the website: “A large pub occupying a cellar bar, ground floor and balcony overlooking Covent Garden Piazza. It is, therefore, a wonderful location from which to watch the street artists performing outside. The pub has a happy, busy air and is popular with young people and groups of visitors.”

From the book: "Lucas looked at me skeptically. I smiled in return and picked up my pace. There was no need for him, or anyone, to know just then that after making my announcement at dinner, I'd gone to my room and called George Sutherland at his home. I felt a little guilty inviting him out for a drink because he must have assumed I wanted to pursue the idea of a personal relationship. He suggested a pub in Covent Garden called the Punch and Judy. We met in its quiet upstairs bar overlooking the piazza and I had an old tawny port, while he had a Courage best bitter. I tasted his; it had a wonderful nutty flavor, but I stuck with my port. We talked for an hour, and he drove me back to the hotel, which I entered with trepidation, but was relieved to find that no one I knew was in the lobby." (190)

We ate lunch here not once but twice, which is saying quite a lot given the vast number of choices London offers for restaurants. What impressed us was the excellent yet reasonably priced food (important when you’re doing London on a tight budget, as we were) and the live entertainment. On the days we were there, a string quartet was playing medleys of classical hits, including “Piccadilly Circus,” a tune better known as the theme from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

8. Scotland Yard


From the website: “The Metropolitan Police Service is famed around the world and has a unique place in the history of policing. It is by far the largest of the police services that operate in greater London (the others include the City of London Police and the British Transport Police). The Royal Parks Constabulary have now become part of the Metropolitan Police Service. Founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, the original establishment of 1,000 officers policed a seven-mile radius from Charing Cross and a population of less than 2 million. Today, the Metropolitan Police Service employs 31,141 officers, 13,661 police staff, 414 traffic wardens and 2,106 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), and, since the realignment of police boundaries in April 2000, it covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2 million.

From the book: "Sutherland talked as he led us to what's commonly known as Scotland Yard's 'Black Museum.' 'We moved into this glass and concrete edifice in 1967,' he said. 'The previous headquarters on Whitehall was built on the scene of an unsolved crime.'
"'How'd that happen?' Lucas asked.
"'They were digging the foundation and discovered a woman's body. Her head and arms had been severed. They tried their best to find the murderer but never did. Somewhat unpleasant having police headquarters constructed there.'" (213)

I managed to get a picture of New Scotland Yard's famous three-faced revolving sign, just outside of St. James's Underground Station. Two faces feature the words "New Scotland Yard" while the third has the emblem of the Metropolitan Police.

9. Joe Allen's


From the website: "A discreet entrance in Covent Garden with a simple plaque on the walls invites you to enter the legendary Joe Allen Restaurant. The best kept secret of the London crowd: its laid back charms and wholesome food has kept the capital’s diners returning for more. The restaurant buzzes with a warm, friendly atmosphere. The service is friendly and informal and the wine list is extensive. Whether you’re looking for the best brunch in London, a quick pre-theatre meal, for an atmospheric lunch, dinner, or a late supper after the theatre, Joe Allen offers it all. It is the perfect destination for someone searching for great food whether in casual dress or glamorous depending on individual choice."

From the book: “'Well, shall we go to lunch?' Sutherland asked. He’d insisted upon taking us to a farewell lunch at Joe Allen, on Exeter Street, which has been serving up American food since 1977 with great success. It was sweet of him to suggest that particular restaurant as a gesture to our American heritage. I would have preferred something more traditionally British, and I’m sure Lucas would, but Morton and Seth seemed delighted with the opportunity to be able to order what London insiders say is the best hamburger in town, and to garnish it with French fries and salads." (214)

I was surprised how inconspicuous a restaurant Joe Allen’s was. Tucked away on Exeter Street near Covent Garden, a simple awning and brass plate are the only signage visible. As to whether it really does have the best hamburger in London, the jury’s still out on that: we didn’t go to London just to eat American food. Bring on the fish and chips!

10. La Tante Claire

No website available

"Originally located on Royal Hospital Road, in 1998 chef owner Pierre Koffmann sold the site and moved the restaurant to the Berkley Hotel on Wilton Street. According to Harden’s restaurant guide website, things did not go well there: “Described in Harden’s as ‘wrong, cold and expensive’, the restaurant never thrived there, and it shut up shop in 2003.” (http://www.hardens.com/restaurant-news/uk-london/05-10-07/tante-claire-maestro-plans-return/)

From the book: "We pulled up in front of La Tante Claire. Seth, who was now adept at handling British currency, paid the driver, and we moved toward the door of the restaurant. ...
"'Thank you for accommodating us at the last minute,' I told the maitre d'hotel.
"'My pleasure, Mrs. Fletcher,' he said in his charming accent. 'I have been following events surrounding you very carefully. By the way, my wife has read all the French translations of your books.'
"'How flattering.'
"'I had one delivered to me when I knew you would be dining with us. I thought perhaps ...'
"He obviously wasn't sure whether he was out of place to be requesting an autograph. He wasn't, of course, and I told him I would be happy to inscribe the book to his wife.
"We were shown to what was obviously a prime table. There were only a dozen of them, and ours was in a corner, offering an unobstructed view of the beautiful room, basically white, with some blond wood, blue curtains, lavender-gray armchairs, and portaits of lovely ladies on the walls." (118)

Obviously, with the restaurant no longer in existence, there was no way for us to visit it. We did stop by its final home before going out of business, the Berkeley Hotel, which is what the photographs depict. Very, very posh! I think those flowers are real!

11. Hodgson's ("Woodhouse's") Wine Bar

No website available

From the book: "We walked without saying much of anything - 'London is so beautiful'; 'Clayton and I had tea at the Dorchester'; 'They say a boat ride up the Thames is delightful'; 'How unfortunate that Marjorie's death marred the conference and the week in England' - and then found ourselves in front of a small wine bar called Woodhouse's.
"'Care for a glass of wine, Jessica?'
"'That's a nice idea. It looks charming.'
"Woodhouse's was virtually empty. We settled at a table by the window and ordered individual glasses of white wine. After it was served, Renee Perry looked at me, opened her mouth to say something, then lowered her head." (138)

I couldn't find any trace of Woodhouse's Wine Bar on the internet, so I'm guessing that it either is a fictional place, or it has gone out of business. If what Mr. Bain notes about it - "Woodhouse's was virtually empty" - was par for the course, then the latter explanation is entirely plausible. We did, however, stumble across a similar place called Hodgson's Wine Bar, so I took a picture of it and considered it close enough.

12. Victoria Embankment


From the website: “The Victoria Embankment is a road and walkway along the north bank of the River Thames in London, extending from the City of Westminster into the City of London. It was created to claw back extra land from the river, modernise the London sewerage system and relieve congestion on The Strand and Fleet Street. The project was commissioned by the Metropolitan Board of Works and forms one-third of the Thames Embankment, extending from the north end of Blackfriars Bridge to Westminster; whilst the second section, known as the Albert, reaches from the Lambeth extremity of Westminster Bridge to Vauxhall, and the third, or Chelsea section, along Cheyne Walk to Chelsea Hospital."

From the book: "I went to a window and looked out over the leafy embankment of the river Thames.
"'Is everything to your satisfaction, Mrs. Fletcher?' the porter asked.
"I turned. 'Yes, it's splendid. I didn't expect to be in a suite, especially one with such opulence.'" (10)

"I changed into a sweat suit and running shoes I'd brought with me and went downstairs with the intention of finding a pleasant jogging path along the Victoria Embankment on the river." (147)

Like the other parks we visited in London, Victoria Embankment, which the Savoy Hotel backs up against, was beautifully laid out and full of people making full use of it. Among some of the features we saw were a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns and a little koi pond.

13. The British Museum


From the website: “The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. Housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks, the collection is one of the finest in existence, spanning two million years of human history. Access to the collection is free. The Museum was based on the practical principle that the collection should be put to public use and be freely accessible. It was also grounded in the Enlightenment idea that human cultures can, despite their differences, understand one another through mutual engagement. The Museum was to be a place where this kind of humane cross-cultural investigation could happen. It still is."

From the book: “'Tell me what you did and saw today,' I said to them.
“'Morton wanted to see if we could get a tour of Scotland Yard, but I convinced him we ought to seek out a little more culture while in London. We spent the afternoon at the British Museum.'
“'Isn’t it marvelous?' I said.
"Morton, who obviously had not found an afternoon in the sprawling British Museum to be his cup of tea, shook his head and said, 'You’ve seen one museum, you’ve seen them all, Jess.'" (117)

It would take days and days to see everything the British Museum has to offer. In the brief afternoon we spent there, we saw artifacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Roman Britain, as well as a display of prints by twentieth century American artists.

There were other locations mentioned in the book that we didn't get to see, and these are listed below.

14. The Victoria Tavern

No website available

“A very fine old fashioned corner pub, inside a little smaller than it looks from the outside, but with a stunning Victorian interior - all etched mirrors, intricate tile work and two fires and the recently repainted exterior adds to the grandeur. Thankfully the fare matches the setting - well-kept Fullers ales, a large, well-priced menu and friendly service. Also of note are the rooms upstairs, a function room that resembles the library of a Gentleman's Club and a bar built from the décor of the demolished Gaiety Theatre's bar (allegedly). Sure, it's plush and opulent but there's still a local pub feel to the place and everyone is made to feel welcome. One of the best in the area and there are some good ones in these parts.” (http://www.fancyapint.com/pubs/pub1359.html)

From the book: "The Victoria Tavern, a tall and typically high Victorian structure, lies between the intersection of Bayswater Road and Edgware Road, an area sometimes known as Tyburnia. It’s surrounded with large, elegant mansions, most erected during the 1840’s.
"Lucas was there when I arrived; he was always on time and usually early. He’d secured a small table off to the corner in the restaurant portion of the pub called 'Our Mutual Friend.'
“'What a lovely pub,' I said as I joined him.
“'A real favorite of mine,' he said. 'Look.' He pointed to a far wall. 'Not long ago they restored a painting on the wall and discovered it was a valuable portrait of a long-deceased member of the royal family. The owner presented it to the Queen, and it’s now part of the royal portrait collection.'"

Not sure if this is the one described as being “between the intersection of Bayswater Road and Edgware Road” because it’s not exactly there, but it’s in the neighborhood at least.

15. Dirty Dick's


From the website: “A city institution in the heart of Bishopsgate, Dirty Dick's was established in 1745 and is steeped in history; it is thought that its namesake was Dicken's inspiration for Miss Haversham."

From the book: "Lucas took us to Dirty Dick’s pub on Bishopsgate for lunch, and we enjoyed a pleasant meal in the atmosphere of synthetic dirt, grime, cobwebs, and dead cats used to carry through the pub’s theme. According to legend, Dirty Dick’s fiancée died on their wedding eve, and he was so stricken with grief that he shut the room that was to have been the site of their wedding breakfast and left everything, including the food, to decay. He never washed or changed his clothes again for the rest of his life, so deep was his sense of loss. An abandoned meal in a locked room – straight out of Great Expectations." (178)

Did she say "dead cats?"

16. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum


From the website: “Millions and millions of people have flocked through the doors of Madame Tussauds since they first opened over 200 years ago and it remains just as popular as it ever was. There are many reasons for this enduring success, but at the heart of it all is good, old-fashioned curiosity. Today’s visitors are sent on a unique, emotionally-charged journey through the realms of the powerful and famous. The museum-style ropes and poles have gone so guests can truly get up, close and personal with A-list celebrities, sporting legends, political heavyweights and historical icons, reliving the times, events and moments that made the world talk about themÖ"

From the book: "[Mort] looked at Seth: 'I wouldn’t mind seeing that famous wax museum they’ve got here in London.'
“'Madame Tussaud’s on Marylebone Road,' I said. 'I’ve been there. It’s interesting, but I wouldn’t put it high on my list of priorities.'" (117)

It wasn’t high on our list of priorities either.

17. Under Two Flags


“Under Two Flags is a specialist store selling toy and model soldiers. They have an extensive collection ranging from 54mm to 120mm.”(http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/directory/1226/7868.php)

18. Savile Row

“Savile Row is a shopping street in Mayfair, central London, famous for its traditional men's bespoke tailoring. The term "bespoke" is understood to have originated in Savile Row when cloth for a suit was said to be spoken for by individual customers.[1] The short street is termed the "golden mile of tailoring", where customers include Prince Charles and Jude Law, and have included Winston Churchill, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Lord Nelson, and Napoleon III. Ian Fleming bought his suits on Savile Row, and dressed his character James Bond in a bespoke suit, and that trend continues with the current Bond actor, Daniel Craig, buying his suits here." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savile_Row)

From the book: "Seth and Morton had left a message that they were off to do some sightseeing and shopping. I knew Seth was eager to explore the possibility of having a suit made on Savile Row. Once he saw the prices, however, I had a suspicion he would shelve the idea in favor of off-the-rack selections back in Bangor. Morton's hobby was collecting toy soldiers, and he'd heard about a shop called Under Two Flags that specialized in English and Scottish regiments. That was obviously on the agenda too." (127)

We didn't actually visit either of the places on Seth and Mort’s list to go during their shopping spree. We were close to Under Two Flags as we walked along Oxford Street, but didn't pass directly by it.

19. St. Anne's Church


“St. Anne's is the Church of England Parish Church of Soho. We are part of the Diocese of London in the Church of England, and our proper name is the Parish of St Anne with St Thomas and St Peter, Soho. In many ways we are a typical Church of England parish. Our main weekly service is Holy Communion at 11am on Sundays. We use modern language Common Worship. Once a month, we try particularly hard to make the service more accessible to children. We try to be a place of quiet and welcome and to make our services welcoming, straightforward and reflective. The entrance to the church is on Dean Street, a few metres from Shaftesbury Avenue. You are very welcome to be with us, whoever you are. Our existing congregation is a great mix of people, from Soho and beyond. We have that great mix of ages, degrees of mobility, backgrounds, sexualities, "churchmanship", interests and theology that makes the Church strong... How could we be anything else in Soho?"

20. York Minster Pub (French House)


“The French House bar is famous for its eclectic, Bohemian clientele, its lack of music, machines and television, and its refusal to serve beer in pint glasses. But principally it is for its wines, serving twenty champagnes and wines by the glass or bottle, and a further sixteen by the bottle only, that it is renowned. The superb House Wines, red and white, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, cost only a modest £2.75 a glass. There is a good range of French speciality drinks, including three Pastis and a range of excellent cocktails - featuring the memorable, world acclaimed, French House Bloody Mary."

21. Neal Street Restaurant

No website available

“Antonio Carluccio's landmark Neal Street Restaurant is being forced to close by developers. Jamie Oliver launched his career at the Covent Garden restaurant, which has been patronised by Prince Charles, Nicole Kidman and Sir Elton John among others. Carluccio, who will be 70 this year, told the Standard: "I feel sad, sad, sad. Perhaps out of this, I will be able to create something better." The building's landlords are putting plans in place for a lucrative redevelopment of the site after the restaurant's lease expires. The last meal will be served on 17 March." (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/restaurants/article-23383007-details/Carluccio+forced+to+close+Neal+Street+Restaurant/article.do)

22. Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club


“Ever since his trips in the late 40s and early 50s to the jazz clubs of New York's 52nd Street, Ronnie Scott had dreamed of opening his own London club. In 1959, the dream came true. Together with Pete King (a fellow tenor saxophonist and personal friend) Ronnie Scott's club opened in Gerrard Street, in London's Soho. To begin with, the plan was simply to provide a place where British jazz musicians could jam. Pete and Ronnie quickly developed a reputation of bringing the best of British modern jazz musicians to the club. Soon, they would persuade the American federation of musicians to lift the blanket ban on American performers in the U.K., paving the way for many legendary performances. In 1965, Ronnie Scotts moved to its current location in Frith Street, only a short walk from the 'old place'."

From the book: "I stopped for tea at the York Minister Pub, known as the French Pub because its owners are probably the only French pub owners in all of Great Britain. Frank and I had enjoyed a beer there before going on to hear jazz at Ronnie Scott’s club on Firth Street. Afterward we’d had a scrumptious dinner in the Neal Street Restaurant; I could almost taste the grilled calf kidney I’d had that night, and a dessert I have never experienced again called tiramisu. Those were good memories but, because they could never be repeated, there was also a sense of sadness as I stood in front of the restaurant and looked through the window at the very table we’d shared." (112)

The Neal Street Restaurant is also gone, joining Bubb's and La Tante Claire on the list of restaurants that have closed since the book was published.

23. Soho Brasserie

“Soho Brasserie, 23-25 Old Compton Street, London,W1. 0207 439 9301. A rendezvous for the Soho media mafia, a joint to take coffee or a glass of what-have-you." (http://www.winedine.co.uk/page.php?cid=370)

24. Newgate Street

“Newgate A strong gloomy building of granite, situated in the Old Bailey at the corner of Newgate Street. Built in 1770, was used as a prison, but of late years as a place of detention for untried prisoners and for those condemned to death. Executions used to take place here in public, but since 1868 inside the prison. The Old Bailey or Central Criminal Court adjoins Newgate Prison. The gaol itself is proposed to be taken down and a new court built." (http://www.londononline.co.uk/articles/Newgate/)

From the book: "I hadn’t eaten, and stopped in the Soho Brasserie for a sandwich and soft drink, then headed for Mr. Chester Gould-Brayton’s office on Newgate Street, where the Roman and medieaeval wall dissects it." (129)

Newgate Street is very near to St. Paul’s Cathedral – we did see that.

25. No. 17 Pindar Street

What can I say? We ran out of time, and had to go home.

Main Page