We don’t know yet if they can survive the pandemic, but these are the oldest restaurants in London. There is never a shortage of surprising facts when it comes to London and even historic restaurants hide some curious facts.
The oldest London restaurant still open is undoubtedly Wiltons which has been around for almost 300 years, in fact it opened in 1742. It started with George William Wilton opening a market stall selling oysters in Haymarket.
The place became permanent and changed location twice, but even now it specialises in seafood and fish and not just oysters. Just to understand, this restaurant has existed when the United States did not exist yet and Mozart was not yet born. It has been located on Jermyn Street since 1984.
The City of London being the oldest part of London should have the oldest restaurants. But it was almost completely destroyed by the fire of 1666 and there aren’t many restaurants left or much else. We have the oldest restaurant in Cornhill and it dates back to 1757 and is called Simpson’s Tavern, which specializes in meat, steaks and everything to do with butchery.
We cannot forget Rules, one of the oldest restaurants in London Rules bills itself as the oldest restaurant in London. Technically it is also right, in fact, although it has only existed since 1798, over 40 years after Wiltons, it has never changed headquarters for over 200 years. It is still located at 35 Maiden Lane in Covent Garden. It too started out as an oyster restaurant, which was obviously fashionable in the 1700s, but now specializes in traditional British cuisine.
Another Simpson and this is called Simpson’s in The Strand located not far from Covent Garden. It was born as a place where people drank coffee, smoked cigars and above all played chess. It has existed since 1828 and you can imagine the gentlemen of the time who went to spend the evening there. It is now a traditional British food restaurant.
Kettner’s opened in Soho in 1867, rumored to be a Napoleon III cook who decided to open it, as French food was starting to be fashionable in London. Certainly one of the first French restaurants in London. People like Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby ate there.
Review of Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Finally, a thriller which is actually thrilling. There are many good books (and bad ones) labelled psychological thrillers, but often they are more family dramas that actual thrillers. This book manages to do be both quite successfully. Amelia and Adam’s marriage is on the rocks, he is a successful screenwriter and spends too much time working. Also he suffers from face blindness, which means he can’t recognise faces. They go to counselling and after having been offered a free weekend in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish Highlands, they go try to save their marriage. Once there, they realise the space is cold and spooky and strange things happen, this is the thrilling part of the book. You can read the couple’s perspective, not one of them is actually a very reliable narrator, but you don’t know whom to believe for most of the book. Every so often you will read a letter wrote but unsent by Adam’s wife every year at their wedding anniversary. In this letters she expresses her true feelings. But then when you think you know where this book is going, here comes the major twist. It’s a clever twist used in a few other psychological thriller, where whatever you thought you knew is turned on its head. I won’t say anything more not to spoil the enjoyment. I would say that it’s an enjoyable read, I would probably give it a 4.3 as a thriller.
- Feeney, Alice (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 320 Pages - 08/19/2021 (Publication Date) - HQ (Publisher)
Review of Stolen by Tess Stimson
It’s the second book I read by Tess Stimson and I have been quite impressed by her storytelling skills and psychological insights. The plot of Stolen is about yet another child disappearing, but it has some differences.
Lottie is nearly four years old and goes with her mother Alexa to a friend’s wedding in Florida. The wedding is posh and partly on the beach. Alexa is a widow, Lottie’s father Luca died in the Genoa’s bridge disaster. Therefore, nothing strange with wanting to have sex with another guest, she disappears for a little while, thinking that Lottie will be looked after by other guests. When Alexa returns, Lottie is nowhere to be seen. What follows is the usual media circus, with the accusations that at best she wasn’t a good mother and at worst she had killed her daughter. Yes, it’s all very Madeline McCann and how often the victim is verbally lynched, especially if a woman.
The police doesn’t seem to make any progress and no one knows where Lottie is. What follows is a long series of red herrings, misleading leads and several huge twists. I found the description of Alexa’s grief as very accurate, sensitive and quite moving. She might not have been the world’s best mother, but Alexa loved her daughter and missed her terribly. Overall, it’s a good book with many psychological insights, what spoiled it a bit was the ending, extremely spectacular but a bit too far-fetched. It could have worked just as well without pushing it over the top, but still an above the average psychological thriller. I was given and advanced copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
- Donaldson, Julia (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 96 Pages - 09/07/2017 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Children's Books (Publisher)
London, Jack White record store opening announced
For those who don’t remember Jack White had become famous with the White Stripes, but meanwhile he has been busy with many projects. One of them is his record stores which are called Third Man and so far are located in Detroit and Tennessee, both cities with an important musical history.
The third shop opens in London and will have a small live music space called ‘The Blue Basement’ and the European offices of Third Man Records, most notably Paul Weller and The Jesus and Mary Chain and a rarity from Manchester legendary group ‘The Magic Roundabout’. You don’t have to go to London to buy them, you can go to their website and buy them online.
The shop and music space will open on 25 September in Soho, at 1 Marshall Street in Soho, London W1F 9BA. It should be an interesting project, and at least this time not founded by some multinational.
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