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A Night Walk around London’s Historic Fleet Street.
16 January 2015

London is a constant inspiration to me when it comes to designing Jamb’s fire surrounds and reproduction lighting and a recent Nightwalk through the historic streets of London was particularly moving.

The Majesty of the World famous dome of St Pauls Cathedral

Just before Christmas I had a wonderful night with my wife’s family. My father in law, Brian Freemantle invited us to a special Carol Service at St Brides Church, the journalist’s church off Fleet Street. Brian was the foreign editor of the Daily Mail in the 70’s and every year they have this very special night which raises funds for the Journalists Charity. St Bride’s itself speaks of London’s extraordinary twists of architectural restoration. It was Sir Christopher Wren who restored it from its Roman foundations after the Great Fire Of London until it was destroyed again in the Second world war and once again had to be rebuilt. But its architecture and history proves to be as breathtaking as the soaring voices of the St Brides choir.

St Brides, the Cathedral with nine lives.

After the service there was a quick pit stop at El Vino ‘s for wine and stories of the old days of journalism. It made me think of how technology and the internet has changed so many of our industries. When entering Fleet street one really feels a sense of encountering the past.

El Vino’s, 133 years in the City Of London.

Then we walked past my favourite buildings on Fleet street. The dazzling 1930’s Art Deco Express building designed by Ellis & Clark with it’s rounded corners of vitrolite and glass which has inspired my new series of reproduction lighting.

The old Daily Express building, 120 Fleet Street

We ducked down the side street, close to Sweeney Todd’s infamous barbers shop, to the 17th century inn , the Cheshire Cheese. I agreed with Dr Johnson’s advice,

“If you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this great City you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts.”

An original Menu from the Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub

Then we went past the Royal Courts Of Justice built with Portland stone, which we use in so many of our reproduction fireplaces

Looking up. The Ceiling of the Royal Courts Of Justice

And finally into the tip of Covent Garden to the Delaunay, one of my favourite London restaurants where Jamb’s Delaval lanternhangs in the entrance and we stepped back into the 1920’s through David Collins beautifully created art deco aesthetic.

The Delaval Lantern lights the entrance.