Sir Christopher Wren (Old Bell Tavern)

While in Berlin I met a Bulgarian woman who lives in London. From Berlin she traveled to Hamburg and not back to London, so she won't be able to show me around town, but she did give me a short list of places I should visit, the first place on that list being Brixton.

So that was my plan tonight, to visit Brixton, the heart of London's hip-hop and grime community, or if not grime than at least hip-hop, and if not the true heart of hip-hop at least relevant. But I was fairly quickly warned off the idea, with the riots and everything else happening. In his own words, one guy told me, "I'm a fairly brave boy, but I wouldn't go to Brixton."

And I'm not even a fairly brave boy, so instead of chasing ambulances and police sirens, tonight I stayed in downtown London and ate beef pot pie made with ale, carrots and broccoli. It was at the Old Bell Tavern, a pub near St. Paul's Cathedral, and from what I learned, the pub, like St. Paul's Cathedral, was built by Sir Christopher Wren hundreds of years ago. Apparently it housed his stonemasons, who at the time were rebuilding the nearby St. Bride's Church, and also St. Paul's Cathedral, after the Great Fire of London in 1666.