This Week In London’s History
Random London Fact Of The Week
William Fitzstephen, a servant of Thomas Becket, wrote a fascinating (if somewhat elevated) account of 12th-century London as a part of a biography of his patron. In it, he describes what sounds very much like an early fast food takeaway:
... there is in London, on the river bank amidst the ships, the wine for sale, and the storerooms for wine, a public cookshop. On a daily basis there, depending on the season, can be found fried or boiled foods and dishes, fish large and small, meat – lower quality for the poor, finer cuts for the wealthy – game and fowl (large and small). If friends arrive unexpectedly at the home of some citizen and they, tired and hungry after their journey, prefer not to wait until food may be got in and cooked, or "till servants bring water for hands and bread", they can in the meantime pay a quick visit to the riverside, where anything they might desire is immediately available. No matter how great the number of soldiers or travellers coming in or going out of the city, at whatever hour of day or night, so that those arriving do not have to go without a meal for too long or those departing leave on empty stomachs, they can choose to detour there and take whatever refreshment each needs.
This sounds to us like an excellent candidate for a Takeout Stakeout. Or at least it would, if the establishment hadn’t likely ceased trading some 800 years ago.
Fitzstephen’s account of life in the capital has been translated and published as an essay in its own right, under the apt title A Description of London. It’s fascinating reading, if you’re into that sort of thing.
London’s Weather This Week
The forecasters seem to think that the sunshine will return as the week progresses. It probably won’t be as warm as it was a couple of weeks ago, but it won’t be too cold either, and there’s thankfully not much talk of rain. We live in hope.
Graffiti quoting Shakespeare’s Sonnet XIV taken from Niecieden’s Flickr Photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 licence.