The other day while walking through Lincoln’s Inn Fields I spotted a bust of Lenin and a VR Type B pillarbox – placed near enough in a rose bed – that weren’t there the week before. Turns out the park was a location for an expensive advert (“To be on your TV soon” I was told by a burly security guard who wasn’t giving anything away). P
This morning I was late for work and trying to find a cut-through from Fleet Street to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Walking through one of the alleys I found this dead end called Hen & Chicken Court. It hasn’t much in it apart from a nice carved stone on the floor on the way in, a couple of fire exits and a single door at the end.
But legend has it, beside this alley is the site of Sweeney Todd’s notorious barber shop. Not your average back alley then! P
Here’s our first ever guest post, and it’s from our good friend Matt E.
It’s a blazing Sunday afternoon, and I’ve just bought an armful of books (Penguin Little Black Classics, 80p a pop) at the nearest open bookshop (Waterstones, along from Charing Cross Station.) Now all I need is somewhere to read them.
But where? The parks are packed and, anyway, I fancy a drink. I doubt the pubs are full, but who wants to sit in a boiling boozer on a day like this? Then, as I wander through St James’s Park, I suddenly think of another green space, and of a restaurant that nestles within.
Arriving at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a minute’s walk from the hell of Holborn Tube, I wince at the crowds spread thickly over the grass. Surely, some of the overspill have stumbled across Fields Bar & Kitchen (Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ) – an unassuming pizzeria that overlooks the park’s tennis courts. (It’s so unassuming, in fact, that until very recently I’d always thought it was an oddly opulent parkies’ hut.)
Stepping inside, I instead find glorious near-emptiness. Giddy with relief, I lavishly order a bottle of ice-cold house white (£20) and head outside to the part-covered terrace. There, at one of the distressed metal tables, I happily sit for the next few hours, reading Michel de Montaigne’s collection of short essays, How We Weep and Laugh at The Same Thing, while watching people play tennis to a standard that also makes me want to Weep and Laugh.
I eventually get up to leave, thinking I really should try the food the next time. Because there will most definitely be a next time, having already assigned Fields privileged ‘bolthole’ status – the kind of place you can count on when London’s burning and you’re in urgent need of shaded sanctuary. M
This Friday lunchtime I was trying to keep cool so I was walking around through shady alleyways and shops with air conditioning but it was while I was walking underneath some scaffolding I came across this very odd disused loo in Star Yard.
It’s just off Chancery Lane and not far from Lincoln’s Inn Fields, hidden at the present moment under a load of building work. It’s made from cast iron and designed in a classic Parisian Pissoir style, how swish!
The trouble is, it’s been locked up for years, so it’s no good for anyone who’s been caught short. Below is the loo in it’s former glory, how stylish! P
Seen this sign hanging on the railings around Lincoln’s Inn Fields’ while out on a lunchtime stroll this week. An advertisement for nude bicycle madness! More details here. P
It was thanks to meeting up with our old friend Marc Gooderham the other day that this post came about. We were both walking from London Bridge and he asked me did I know what the holes were in the walls in the chambers around the back of Chancery Lane/Lincolns Inn Fields.
I used to work in that locality and walked up and down Chancery Lane on a regular basis and never noticed any holes (I walk around with me eyes closed most of the time I reckon.) We wandered up Chancery Lane and Marc then took us into Stone Buildings to show us what he meant. After perusing the marks, a passing lawyer told us that they were shrapnel from a World War One bomb and he directed us to one of the brass plaques on the wall for more info.
“The round stone in the middle of the roadway marks the spot where, on 18th December 1917 at 8-10pm a bomb from a German aeroplane struck the ground and exploded, shattering the windows in Stone Buildings and doing other material damage.”
It’s funny as you think you know an area well and all you have to do is veer off the regular track and you find something like this. I find there’s always something that surprises you in this fair city! P