Day three in London was a whirlwind of activities starting with my participation in the celebration in 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The event was a wonderful success with a fast-moving discussion of the legacy of the Magna Carta with an outstanding panel. After the ABA event, we walked to the incredible outdoor market and then spent much of the day in the Tower of London. The day ended with a stellar dinner at the ancient Lincoln’s Inn of Court. It was the perfect day in London.
After the speech, we grabbed lunch at the Burrough outdoor market which is truly incredible. Every stall has some culinary delicacy or delight. We stopped at a famous pie stall, Pieminister, for two meat pies that we to die for. The crust was unbelievable — crisp and flaky with a savory mix of meats and vegetables. We then had some bread dipped in truffle oil and truffle dip that was incredible. We finished up with a plum crumble that was delicious. This market is a must for any visitor. The food achieves gourmet quality and is presented in stalls running under the train tracks and bridge. It is overwhelming. Even grilled cheese is made from large cheese blocks that are slowly melted over different dishes. It is an awesome place to grab a bite.
Our trip to the Tower of London was fun. We walked along the river and crossed The Tower Bridge. It is a bit pricey but worth it. (26 pounds for entrance). We grabbed the last “Yeoman’s tour” given by one of the Beefeaters. These are Army veterans who must have something of 20 years in the military with a flawless record and retired as a sergeant major. They live at the Tower. They are very funny and very knowledgable.
We then walked around and visited the dungeon (with torture devices), armory, and other highlights. One cell area has the carvings of prisoners like the haunting words from Richard Blount on July 9, 1553: “To whom you tell the secret you give liberty.” I sat in the chapel where the body of Sir Thomas More (sans his head) and others like Anne Boleyn are buried. We closed the place and had a nice chat with the Beefeaters who cannot be more cheerful and friendly.
We finished the day on the late side in joining other speakers and ABA officials at a special dinner at Lincoln’s Inn of Court. This is an amazing place in Holborn and is one of four Inns of Court in London for barristers of England and Wales. (The other three are Middle Temple, Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn.) It was named after Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln. After Henry III, banned clergy from teaching law in London in 1234 and teaching the common law (as opposed to canon law), lawyers migrated to Holborn, which was outside of the city. Lincoln’s Inn contains the oldest “black book” documenting the minutes of the governing Council go back to 1422. The buildings are lovely and date back to the 1400s and 1500s. We had a wonderful dinner and heard various toasts in the English tradition.
It was a glorious day in Londontown. Here are a few of the pictures: