The Georgian Dining Academy

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Image: Paul Lindus

If you’re planning a trip to London in the long term, allow me to tempt you with a very quirky evening indeed; one that truly steps back in Old London time…

Regular readers will know the delights ofSimpsons Tavern, the oldest chop house in London–established in 1757 and still, hidden in a warren of medieval alleyways, a secret lunch venue for City businessmen–serving hearty food with a distinct nod to the past.

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Image: Paul Lindus

It is generally, though, just a lunch venue,  closed during the evenings, when the passageways are at their most Dickensian (and yes Dickens knew both Simpsons and its neighbor, the George and Vulture…)

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Image: Paul Lindus

Enter two delightful doyennes of Georgian high society: the glamorous Miss B and coquettish Kitty Pridden who, between them, have reinvented the concept of the Dining Salon, where the gentry meet, eat and converse, listen to music and discuss the issues of the day.

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Image: Paul Lindus

Simpsons is the perfect venue for the Georgian Dining Academy. Costume is by no means obligatory, though many guests do come in splendid outfits (or, as I discovered after wearing daft clothes on the train, bring their kit and change…) I guess my visit saw about 50-50 costume/non costume.

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Image: Paul Lindus

The evening begins with Georgian punch and live music of the day, before guests are seated in Simpsons’ traditional booths for a three-course meal, interspersed with entertainment and short talks, candle-lit and cosy as an 18th Century Londoner might expect…

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Image: Paul Lindus

The dates for 2016 are

10th March
9th June
1st September
1st December
The GDA’s website is a work in progress, but they have a strong Facebook presence. Booking is open for March but if you’re interested in that or any of the other dates, do email Miss B – and say hello from me!
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Image: Paul Lindus
 This feature by Sandra Lawrence originally appeared in British Heritage magazine. If you would like to syndicate this story or commission Sandra to write something similar please contact her at the following address, missing out the obvious gap…

sandra@ sandralawrence.com

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