The Beefsteak Club

Eighteenth century London became famous for its many chop houses, coffee houses and especially clubs whree gents could drop by to catch up with the latest news and gossip whilst chowing down to some seriously carnivorous food, mostly beef. This is from a wonderful magazine, reduced from a full size book by English Heritage, Images of London Hidden Interiors by Philip Davies:

” At one time, to be a member of the Beefsteak one needed to be “a relation of God – and a damned close relation at that”

But times are changing, and a close rival, Pratt’s has been forced to adapt. “traditionally all the staff are referred to as “George”, great consternation was caused in the 1980s when a woman ws recruited. The dilemma was resolved when it was resolved to call her “Georgina”. At the Beefsteak the steward and waiters are all called “Charles”. Whilst Pratt’s has a more ecelctic collection of “lumber” including a platypus, assorted stuffed birds and fish and the disconsolate front end of a rhinocerous, the more intellectual Beefsteak has thge original gridiron rescued from the ashes of the Lyceum Theatre (the home of the Sublime Soceity) when it burned down, as well as a jaunty silver cockerell presented by the actor Sir Squire Bancroft.”


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