‹ Back to Blog

Blog Category: Food (2 posts)


fairbankguy | 22nd September 2015 | Guy the London Guide
Beekeeping has become quite trendy around London now and the City has caught onto this. It fills many companies' CSR and at the same time adds interest and a talking point. Indeed, if you’re a valued client of Nomura, you may receive a jar of honey as a present. Around the City you’ll find a hive or two on top of the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square as well as the Mansion House. I wonder if the Lord Mayor enjoys a dollop of honey on his toast in the morning? Today I had the pleasure of taking round some German students from Bavaria, some of whom are beekeepers. I naturally had to include a couple of spots along the way! Sadly the Guildhall was closed that day, but if you go and see the monument to William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham, you’ll notice a beehive on John Bell’s sculpture. It’s a sign of industry. There was better success at the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers in Gresham Street. Their hall, the 5th one on the site, has a plaque of a beehive above the door. It’s made from Coade stone and came from the previous 1791 hall. This medieval guild was once responsible for providing beeswax candles for churches - they still give candles to St Paul’s Cathedral. In the Middle Ages they were also responsible for embalming.  Their heyday was in the 15th century, thanks to the rise in chantry chapels, where priests would pray for the souls of prominent people. Richard III granted their charter in 1484 (his only one), and when the King in the Car Park was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in March the Wax Chandlers provided the candles for the service.  Nowadays the livery company  still maintain connections: they sponsor the National Honey Show and are members of the British Bee Keepers’ Association. They’re even having a hive installed soon! And where to end the walk? Why naturally in Honey Lane, off Cheapside!    ...

fairbankguy | 22nd August 2015 | Guy the London Guide
In Bride Lane, a narrow street off Fleet Street, you’ll find the City’s only gin distillery. Walk down the steps and it seems you’re entering a smart gentlemen’s club, with leather sofas and dimmed lighting. A quick glance to the right, however, and you’ll spot a still, all gleaming copper and twisted pipework. In recent years gin has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance. It was only a few years ago that Beefeater was the sole London maker but now a whole load of boutique businesses have cropped up: Sipsmith, Portobello Road and Bloom. It seems the thirst for a G & T is unquenchable! The City of London Distillery was founded in November 2012 and is the first distillery in the City for 200 years. Though its output is small and its gin is not that widely available, they are gradually building up a reputation. Only recently their (excellent) sloe gin won plaudits - and awards. The gin is produced from the two stills, named Clarissa and Jennifer, after the celebrated Two Fat Ladies. Being big gin drinkers I think they’d heartily approve! Each gin makers’ recipe is a closely guarded secret but they always have to have one thing in common: to be called gin the recipe must include juniper seeds. CoLD make 3 types: their Dry Gin contains a blend of coriander seeds, angelica and 3 types of citrus, while a stronger blend, Square Mile Gin, has an aroma of coriander. My favourite, however, was their Old Tom, sadly only exclusively available from the Dorchester Hotel. You can take tours of the distillery: there’s a brief 30-minute overview but for a more informative tasting I recommend the 90-minute tour, with tastings. Cheers! ...