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Dr John Hawkins

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St. Blaise's Day

Posted on 2010/02/06 09:37:01 (February 2010).

[Wednesday 3rd February]
A St. Blaise's Day outing to Holborn has come to be one of my odd little annual rituals, and this year I took along our friend Junchan as well.

A few years ago I was idly browsing around on the web and somehow came across a page about a "blessing of the throats" ceremony at St. Etheldreda's Church in Holborn. Given that the church is also associated with what is probably my favourite pub (Ye Old Mitre - both the church and the pub were originally part of the London estate of the bishops of Ely), plus the fact that the Scotch Malt Whisky Society use the Crypt at the church for some of their more formal functions, it has become something of a favourite London landmark for me. I didn't realise until recently that it is also one of the oldest buildings in London - built around 1280 during the reign of Edward I.

You can't actually get inside the church after 5pm unfortunately, but I'm happy just to stand outside and admire it. There's a great picture of the church from the 1700s on this wikipedia page which shows that despite the surroundings having changed somewhat significantly, the church really has remained just the same for centuries. I like that sort of thing.

Of course no visit to that neck of the woods would be complete without poking one's nose in at Ye Old Mitre - a "mositening of the palette" to follow the "blessing of the throat" if you will. Plus there's also Fabrizio's not too far away wherein rather superb pasta can be had, not to mention the Cittie of Yorke and the Whisky Society. It's my favourite area for a night out in London - oozing with history and a real visual feast in terms of architecture and interiors.

Here's a map of the places we visited tonight:

View St. Blaise's Day in a larger map

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