Category Archives: London

Robert Harrild and Sons

Just as everything is connected to everything else, so one thing leads to another. I was leafing through an ancient copy of Country Life in the doctor’s waiting room the other day, and was electrified to see a photograph of … Continue reading

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St Antholin’s

4 September 1666 is generally reckoned to have been the most destructive day of the Great Fire of London, during which large amounts of the city on the north bank of the Thames were razed to the ground. The lost … Continue reading

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Father of the More Famous

I’m currently reading a book about Sir Joseph Banks as an Enlightenment figure (yes, I probably should get out more), and was struck by this quotation: ‘Mann [the Abbé Mann (1735–1809), a Yorkshire Catholic convert and savant who became a … Continue reading

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A Curious Herbal

In Modena recently, we were having a nice mooch round the Biblioteca Estense in the Palazzo dei Musei, which also houses the Galleria Estense, the Lapidario Romano, the Musei Civici di Modena, and several other collections. (A tasting session for … Continue reading

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First Catch Your Unicorn

After reading a depressing story about the number of songbirds illegally netted on the British RAF bases in Cyprus, in order to create a dish sanctified (as the hunters claim) by centuries of Cypriot ‘culture’, I was thinking back to … Continue reading

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In Chancery

Bleak House is my favourite Dickens novel. I don’t propose to defend the assertion now, but I mention it because recent rummagings in the library in which I spend my Friday mornings have brought to light a rather sad tale … Continue reading

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Westminster Bridge

I tend to ignore the porcelain gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum, since, as I have mentioned before, I really don’t like the coy, arch, simpering, figurative pieces that populate so many of the shelves. A quick genuflect towards the bookcase … Continue reading

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