Esoteric London

No. 405: Club Row, E1

Posted in Food, London Labour, Pubs by esotericlondon on September 16, 2011

Club Row, London, E1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Gaslight and Daylight : With Some London Scenes They Shine Upon – George Augustus Sala, 1859:

… we eschew the delusive main thoroughfare for a moment and strike into a maze of little, unsavoury back-streets, between Whitechapel Church and and Goodman’s Fields. Here is a beer-shop – a little, blinking, wall-eyed edifice, with red curtains in the window, and a bar squeezed up in one corner, as though it were ashamed of itself. From the door of the tap-room which we open, comes forth a thick compact body of smoke. There are perhaps, twenty people in the room, and they are all smoking like limekilns. From a kiln at the upper extremity, comes forth the well-remembered notes of the old trink-lied, ‘ Am Rhein, am Rhein.’ We are in Vaterland at once. All these are Teutons – German sugar-bakers. There are hundreds more of their countrymen in the narrow streets about here, and dozens of low lodging-houses, where the German emigrants are crimped and boarded and robbed. Here, also, live the German buy-a-broom girls. There are little German public-houses, and German bakers, and little shops, where you can get sauer-kraut and potato-salad, just as through you were in Frankfort or Mayence, Dear old Vaterland! pleasant country of four meals a day, and feather-bed counterpanes – agreeable land, where you can drink wine in the morning, and where everybody takes off his hat to everybody else! Though thy cookery is execrable, and thy innkeepers are robbers, I love thee, Germany, still!

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