Opening Up The City

What a week! The Lord Mayor and the Civic Team had the privilege of continuing to ‘open’ the City. During the week of 12 April we participated in a significant number of events showing that shops were open. During this week of 17 May we participated in a significant number of events showing that hospitality locations and clinics were open. Just on Monday we ‘opened’ a hormonal replacement therapy clinic, an especially ‘green’ dental practice at the edge of recycling everything possible, Tower Bridge’s visitor centre, the Barbican, two pubs, a drinking club, and a hotel reception overlooking the Tower for the Central London Alliance.

Of all these, perhaps the most telegenic was Shepherd Neame brewery bringing up a dray and horses to go from Mansion House to one of my favourite pubs, a haunt for 40 years, and one of the oldest pubs in the City (1610, present premises 1666). The Lord Mayor and our host, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame, Jonathan Neame, led the dray through the City streets, ‘guarded’ by two panting Sheriffs straggling behind, for there was no room at the ‘inn’.

And here you can see the amazing things that emerge from behind horses’ backsides from time to time…

Pret-Tea-In-Porter

Well, the Elf went home, the weather warms, and all good brewing seasons must come to an end. We managed to squeeze in a final batch. This time it was a porter, although my nephew Sean points out, strictly, they should always be a porter. At 6.8%, it packed a punch, fermented on coffee and barrel-matured on cocoa with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. After 10 days of fermentation and a month in the barrel we cracked it last night (anzapfenned it as we say in our household).

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Two Nights At The Old Bailey Watching Movies – “Life Is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes”

“Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes” is a documentary film by Sir Nicholas Stadlen, former judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He captured the personal experiences of the last remaining trialists and their defence lawyers, sharing the human stories and the legal arguments used in the Rivonia Trial. A wide team of people organised a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for participants to understand the complexities of the times and to engage with Sir Nicholas Stadlen, who had much to share that did not make the final cut. Then we had a ‘second in a lifetime’ event…

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Elfbräu

Since September, our lovely niece, my German goddaughter, has been stuck with Aunty and Uncle here in London. As she is a fan of Harry Potter and cooped up in the spare room ‘under the stairs’ (well, more accurately ‘beside’ them), she was rapidly dubbed our ‘house elf’ by those of us of the Scooby Doo era. Upon learning that she was untutored in the ways of beer (and German?!, have my in-laws some peculiar form of non-home-schooling???), naturally I resolved to educate her. Digging deep down at the back of our fifth floor garden shed (sic) I pulled out the old beer-making kit which had tutored my own children in the ways of fermentation and spoilage. Thus, in a spirit of cooped-up covid-19 entrepreneurship, a new business has been born…

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