Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Black Friar

One of London's more extraordinary pubs commemorates the Dominican priory which once stood nearby. It was a wealthy and powerful institution, closely connected to government; indeed, the Privy Council often met there and it served as a depository for state records. However, since the monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and the pub not built until 1875 and remodelled in 1905, its designers were free to indulge in a fantasy version of monastic living. Thus the Black Friar, at the northern end of Blackfriars Bridge, is an elaborate riot of monks enjoying good food and good drink. What's more, they encourage the passer-by to join in the fun:

Well, how could I resist? Inside, architect H Fuller-Clarke and artist Henry Poole have filled the space with metal reliefs, mosaics and stained glass. The style is heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts.

A back room was later added, filled with mottos (none of which discourage the visitor from eating or drinking!)

And what better message for a Thursday afternoon than this:


Adam said...

You've forgotten to answer the important question - what specials did they have on?

CarolineLD said...

Shockingly, I can't remember - though they definitely had a spring ale and Wadworth's 6X.