Esoteric London

No. 724: St Christopher’s Place, W1

Posted in Food by esotericlondon on December 6, 2012

St Christopher’s Place, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Life in the London Streets – Richard Rowe, 1881:

A good story might be made out of the adventures of an orange. In some bright sunny garden of the Azores, planted with an undergrowth of lupins and water-melons, the green balls dangling from the dark-leaved, fragrant-blossomed trees grow and golden into constellations, starring a “green night” with lemons and limes, citrons, guavas, and loquats ripening around them. Shrouded in leaves, the “fair Hesperian fruit” is crowded into bulging coffins, buried in a ship’s hold, and tossed upon the sea. Knee-breeched porters, trotting in single file, issue from cavernous river-side alleys, bearing the punchy fruit-boxes on their horse-collar like knots; and after lying perdu again for a while in mine-like stores in the cramped purlieus of Lower Thames Street, the juicy gold sees the light once more – at Covent Garden, for distribution amongst the middle class and the wealthy – at Duke’s Place, to be sold by rich Jews to some of the poorest of London street-sellers, for resale to the mighty army of our strugglers. From the blue sky of the Western Isles, on which it hung embossed, to the foiling blue basket-paper in which the orange, enters some stifling Holborn court, the change is wide and widely suggestive.

One Response

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  1. said, on December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

    This is one of the most luscious pieces I’ve read – perfect for Christmas – I read it sitting on a dreary commuter train and it lifted my heart and warmed my day. Thanks

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