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Friday, October 4, 2013
Sherlock Holmes on the Menu
When he was deeply involved in a case, Sherlock Holmes sometimes forgot to eat. But after it was over, and occasionally even before, he and Watson often displayed excellent taste in restaurants.
They first met, of course at the Criterion Bar, which is part of the Criterion Restaurant. The Criterion today is proud of this distinction, and alludes to it on these words on the bar's website:
"There is a sense of grandeur and occasion at the 'Long Bar' in the Criterion Restaurant. One such occasion was the formidable mind plotting of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; he imagined the meeting between Dr Watson and the enigmatic Sherlock Holmes at the bar." (Of course, it was actually Watson and Young Stamford who met there; Holmes came later.)
Similarly, the website of the storied Simpson's-in-the-Strand says this in its History section: "Famous guests include Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone."
Simpson's is probably Holmes's best known haunt, for he and Watson dined there in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective" and twice in "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client." I had the great good fortune to eat there on our trip to London a year ago, as I blogged about earlier, and it's no mystery why Holmes loved the place.
The end of The Hound of the Baskervilles finds Holmes looking forward to "Marcini's for a little supper on the way." He must have liked Italian food, because in "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" he and Watson ate at Goldini's.
I like to think that these days, perhaps in disguise so as to not excite the criminal element, he and Watson frequent the Sherlock Holmes Pub. It offers a wonderful atmosphere and good food at reasonable prices, as well as a perfect name. We've been there twice. I couldn't resist including it in my novel The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore.
Whenever I get back to London, I'm sure that the Sherlock Holmes Pub will be part of the trip again. Maybe I'll get to the Criterion Bar as well.
Posted by Doctor Dan at 12:00 AM