Tuesday 11th March – 9th meeting of 2014

Today a real treat for us a lunch at Middle Temple in the Inns of Court, London. We did a tour of the Inns in July 2011 and discovered that we could have lunch in Middle Temple so today we were booked for 12.30.

mt 2We met at Charing Cross an hour later than usual walked down the Strand and stopped off in Starbucks for a coffee.  Then onto Fleet Street and then into the Inns. As you turn into the streets of the Inns you move from a really bustling noisy street into the peace and quiet of this area. It seems to be an oasis village within the City.

We did backtrack on ourselves a little going to Inner Temple first but then found Middle Temple.  We checked in put our coats in the cloakroom and then we were shown to our table. We were told no coats allowed in the Hall and also no photographs until after 2.15 pm!

The Hall is amazing and a fine example of an Elizabethan Hall started in 1562.  The High Table consists of three planks of a single oak reputedly given by Elizabeth 1. The wooden panels that cover all walls display the coats of arms of the Readers.  The traditions practised within the Inns of Court date back to Medieval times when Readers would give lectures to teach young members the law. The Hall is the centre of the life of the Inn today. Bench, Bar and Students meet here daily at lunch and in the evenings during dining terms.

mt 1mt 3The meal was a four course buffet menu and it was all very delicious.  The staff was really friendly and helpful.We all enjoyed the experience and felt quite privileged to dine in such historic and grand surroundings.  Because we had a group booking of over eight people the cost was £20 per person.  Very reasonable. As we were still sitting and chatting at 2.15 pm one of the waitress took a photo of us. A nice memory of a fabulous day.

We then made our way back to Charing Cross and our trains home.  We stopped at the Lloyd’s Bank Fleet Street Branch which is amazing. It is decorated from floor to ceiling with Doulton tiles, glossy, varnished, hand painted, floral theme, sculpted fishes all so beautiful. This must be the loveliest branch of a bank in London!