Boozy & Beautiful in EC1

I love this pic! Though I must stop stealing images, I must I must. Or I’ll end up in Image Stealing Anonymous. Anyway, I am finally, after many years of pressing my nose up against the screen wishing I was in that league, I am going to the Magnum Club at St Etheldreda’s Crypt. 

Some brief and exciting history, St Etheldreda’s is, uniquely, not considered to be within the capital’s jurisdiction because it was constructed on land owned by the Bishops of Ely, so legally, part of Cambridgeshire! (Ely Cathedral is vy special). It is a stone’s throw from the great Ye Olde Mitre pub which happily harbored the odd crim in its time.

In 1290, the church was constructed in her name; it is one of only two buildings in London remaining from the reign of Edward I. From 1316, a palace, orchards, vineyards, gardens and ploughlands were added until it spread over an area of 58 acres. Wind forward a few years and Henry VIII wanted a cut of the action. He and Catharine of Aragon attended a lavish feast in the crypt where, it is said they dined on Swans stuffed with Larks stuffed with Sparrows. And that was the beginning of the subversion of St Etheldreda’s as the crypt was re-appropriated as a brawly, bawdy tavern, often interrupting mass upstairs.

Anyway, that legacy lives on and this is one of the more special places to get wedd in town. The next best thing is the Magnum Club. The food should be good, coming from the adjacent Bleeding Heart – often voted London’s most romantic restaurant. If you want something a little more casual the bistro with its barn like interior and tables outside is a good bet. Food is average here but it can get away with it. 

Tuesday, 28 th
Francesco Planeta will take us on a tour of the wines from his much-lauded Sicilian estate.

Tuesday, 26 th
Our Magnum Club summer party: The perfect summer evening – sipping the great rosé and red wines of 
Bandol and Provence. 

Tuesday, 13 th
Our absolute favourite Magnum Club dinner 0
– with John Hancock of Trinity Hill.

Tuesday, 11 th
An evening touring the great vineyards of Bordeaux with bow-tied Christian Seely, who runs Château Pichon-Longueville, Petit Village and Suiderat 

Tuesday, 22 nd
A fabulous evening of the great food and wine of Alsace with Etienne Hugel, 12 th Generation of one of the oldest Alsacienne families.

Bleeding Heart Magnum Club, EC1.

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