Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Oldest Pub in London?


I thought it was interesting how there were so many old buildings in London still in use. It seems like the buildings that were the oldest still in use where the pubs. So I did a little research to find the oldest one in London. As it turns out, it seems to gets a little hazy around 1666 since the great fire of London seemed to burn most of the records. There are a lot of pubs that all claim to be the oldest and one with one of the more reputable stories is the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
Apparently, it’s been a pub since 1538 but the wine cellar is from a 1300’s monastery wine cellar that monks would sell wine out of to support the monastery; good enough for me. T. and I headed down to check it out.
Of course a building that old had a different level for each room. The other problem with buildings that old is the low roofs. So, of course with my height, as we explored the building I was constantly forced to look up and down bumping my head and tripping a few times. The worst was in the basement where the door to the toilet didn't even come up to my shoulder. We explored the whole building from the sub-basement wine cellar up to the private dining rooms. I was amazed at how large the place was, because it was pretty obvious that each room was added on one at a time as needed.
One of the rooms really caught my attention; not because of the decoration but because of the smell. It had what I thought was the acrid smell of old buildings. It made my skin crawl and I can only describe it that it reminded me of death. T. told me it was the smell of a burning coal fireplace. The way she said it I could tell she was surprised that I had never smelled it before.
In such an old place I felt like we had eat something traditional. We ordered meat pies for dinner there since it seemed like the most traditional thing to have but they ended up being ready made pies heated up. So much for being historical when we were eating the equivalent of a microwave dinner.

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