“And the whisper room that winds around St Paul’s”

And the lights on the bridge
William Blake and the grid
And the whisper room that winds around Saint Paul’s
Sir John Soane, found me in his parlor all alone
Weeping at the beauty of it all
Maria McKee, Right Down To The Heart Of London, 2020

When Lockdown hit hard in March I turned to my melancholia for comfort, and found it in Maria McKee’s extraordinary renaissance, particularly in this paean to the streets of London.

It had been a year since my last trip to The Other City, and I’d missed that aimless wandering on the way to London pubs almost as much as I’ve missed eight goal thrillers at the Etihad and Holt’s Bitter in Manchester.

Under the bright blue skies that follow me around, the mile through EC1 to St Pauls was gorgeous.

Quieter than I remember as you whizz past the courts, the Stock Exchange, the Brew Dogs, towards a decluttered St Paul’s.

Ah, there it is, down that alley past the Paternoster.

I should have nipped in and seen that whisper room, but my GBG target the Prospect of Whitby had insisted I make a booking. For a half pint.

So I hummed “Feed the birds“, and set off down Cannon Street towards the towers. In every sense.

I really must make an afternoon of those Fullers pubs some time. Assuming they’re not in Tier 3 and I don’t need to eat a pie to buy a pint of Pride.

But for now, I headed into St Katherine’s Docks, half an hour ahead of schedule.

At least I hadn’t already had two pints and three flat whites in the two GBG Spoons on the way. That route leads to madness, and public humiliation.

12 thoughts on ““And the whisper room that winds around St Paul’s”

    1. It struck me, at about the Fullers pub at the Tower, what a great day out with Stafford Paul this would have made with early openers and lunchtime trade. Perhaps when we’ve all taken the vaccine (pick me, pick me).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I was in London and St Pauls a few days before our Proper Day out in Burton – just in time.
        On the first Tuesday morning of March I started in Stoney Street, the Market Porter at 6.30am and Wheatsheaf at 9am.
        Borough Market isn’t a proper market like Smithfield used to be but I wasn’t complaining.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Martin,
        The Hope the best pub, the Cock the best breakfast and the Fox and Anchor quite a nice pub I thought – and a great start to the day ( after the first train to Euston )

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “and I’d missed that aimless wandering on the way to London pubs”

    I just love that about big cities. Just take a stroll and see where you wind up.*

    * – that’s ‘wind’ with a long ‘i’, not wind as in the passing of same due to walking and unknotting the bowels as it were

    “the mile through EC1 to St Pauls was gorgeous.”

    That statue in the first photo reminds me a bit of the sign for The Hundred in Ashendon.

    Oh, and as for the second pic, getting beer at that price is sorely tempered by the reason it IS that price. 😦

    “but my GBG target the Prospect of Whitby had insisted I make a booking”

    Stupid buggers. Should’ve been happy to have all and sundry walk in with what was imminent!

    “and set off down Cannon Street towards the towers. In every sense.”

    Good lord. Talk about Big Brother!

    “I really must make an afternoon of those Fullers pubs some time. ”

    I say the name of the pub in the second photo sums up the mood perfectly!

    “That route leads to madness, and public humiliation.”

    (nods) Not many woodland bits to do, um, WC1 in that’s for sure!

    Cheers

    Like

  2. We went into St Pauls early one morning last year -not busy & we climbed right to the very top -hundreds of steps which were very challenging but boy , was it worth it ! It was a picture perfect day like your photo -well worth the effort particularly when using the 2 for 1 offer with the rail ticket (and a concession I think ! ) A few years ago we ventured into Hung Drawn & Quartered late one evening hoping to buy a bottle of Champagne (wedding anniversary ) sadly it was a ‘ow much ? ! moment & we hot footed it to Liberty Bounds where we got a fantastic window seat & bottle of their finest prosecco & crisps.I think we left at closing time & got lost on way back to Docklands when we got off rail replacement bus at wrong stop. Happy days !

    Liked by 1 person

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