A meeting in London

A few weeks ago I received an email from one of my regular blog readers who is also an occasional blogger in his own right. (He blogs under the name Desto Fante.) He was coming to London on business and wondered if we could meet up for chat. This sounded like an excellent idea … and so we did!

As Desto Fante was staying in a hotel near to the Tower of London, I suggested that the best place to meet was outside Tower Hill underground station. Not only does this overlook the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, it was also the site of one of the places where public executions used to be held. Furthermore it is just around the corner from Cooper’s Row, where a stretch of the Roman wall around Londinium is still extant.

We arranged to meet at 12.30pm, and after brief introductions we set off to find somewhere to sit and have a refreshing drink. This took slightly longer than expected as most of the pubs in that part of the City of London were shut, but eventually we found somewhere, and we spent a very pleasant hour chatting. It was then time for lunch, which we ate outside a cheese shop in Leadenhall Market. We finally made our way back to Tower Hill, where we parted company just after 3.30pm.

It was a very pleasant way to spend the early afternoon on a Saturday in September, and we hope to meet again the next time Desto Fante is in London.


10 Comments on “A meeting in London”

  1. Useful meeting point – when we went to Salute this year we stayed at the Chamberlain just up the road from the station. Sunday, we watched the London Marathon from the bridge itself.

    Next year the hotel is already booked for that weekend – not for Salute, my wife wants to watch the Marathon from there again!

    Actually, just down from there, on St Catherine's Dock, is an interesting looking restaurant we might book – Medieval Banquet type! Can't remember it's name though.


  2. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    It made sense to meet there as Desto Fante was staying nearby, there is lots of open space around the exit, and it never gets too crowded.

    The bridge must be an ideal place to watch the London Marathon from as it would give spectators a good view of the competitors/runners. A good choice of venue; 10/10 for your wife's choice!

    It was a good job that Salute was not on this weekend as the Docklands Light Railway was not running between Tower Gateway and the station next to the ExCel Centre. Getting there by the public transport that was operating would have taken about twice as long.

    All the best,


  3. Actually it was pure jammy good luck. Chose hotel for it's nearness to DLR for Salute, plus good deal on Laterooms. Didn't realise until Sunday how good it was for the Marathon. Booked for next year because they offered us a good deal as past customers!


  4. It's a small world. I walked down Cooper's Row every day for two years on my way to work. Isn't it odd meeting up with others when you know them so well from blogging, but otherwise they're a total mystery? Sounds like you both had a jolly nice time anyway.

  5. Good fun! I used to work at Lloyd's of London so know Leadenhall Market very well!

  6. Gonsalvo says:

    Glad you got a chance to meet and chat with “Il Desto Fante”, an old friend from 10 + years of convention meetings. A charming man, as well as a noted economist. I understand he also managed a meeting and a game with my habitual overseas Historicon roommate, Dr. Tim C. of London as well.


  7. Xaltotun of Python (Rob),

    You certainly fell on your feet with your original choice of hotel … and it does make coming to London for the Salute weekend worthwhile for more than one reason!

    All the best,


  8. Colonel Scipio,

    I spent three years of my life going to work in London via Fenchurch Street station, and never walked down Cooper's Row once!

    It is great to actually meet people you 'know' as fellow bloggers, especially when they are as interesting as Desto Fante turned out to be.

    All the best,


  9. Legatus Hedlius,

    I used to pop into Leadenhall Market when I worked in Lombard Street, but that was back in the late 1960s when that whole area was very different. I was sent to 'The Lamb' on more than one occasion to find one of our messengers who was having a liquid lunch!

    All the best,


  10. Gonsalvo (Peter),

    Il Desto Fante is a very nice bloke – and a noted economist as you point out – and hopefully we can try to get him to arrange his next round of meetings in London to coincide with one of the wargames shows. If not, I promised to take him to Essex Miniatures on Canvey Island so that he can buy some figures to take back with him.

    I did consider taking my Portable Wargame with me yesterday, but I was not sure where we would have been able to set it up and play it. Perhaps the opportunity will arise next time.

    All the best,


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