The Vincent Rooms, Vincent Square, London, SW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2013
Murray’s Handbook For Modern London, Modern London; or London As It Is – 1851:
The stranger who wishes to see City feasting in all its glory, should procure an invitation to one of the banquets of some of the City Companies in their own halls. The Goldsmiths’ dinners, given in their magnificent hall, behind the General Post Office, exhibit a grand display of gold plate. Some of the Companies, again, the Fishmongers, Merchant Taylors, &c., are famous for their cookery, and the antique character of their bills of fare – still maintaining the baron of beef, the boar’s-head, the swan, the crane, the ruff, and many other delicacies of the days of Queen Elizabeth. After these dinners “the loving cup” goes round. In the Carpenters’ Company, the new master and wardens are crowned with silver caps at their feast; at the Clothworkers, a grand procession enters after dinner. Similar customs prevail at other of the great Companies’ banquets, and all the dinners are first-rate.
[The Vincent Rooms is a restaurant staffed, both in the kitchen and front of house, by students on the hospitality and culinary arts courses at Westminster Kingsway College. R.D.]