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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Wine Office Court, 145 Fleet Street, City, EC4
Tel: (0) 171 353 6170
Tube: Temple

Located in the City of London, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was rebuilt after the great fire of 1666; oak beams, bare boards and sawdust in this old haunt of people such as Charles Dickens, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Pope, Thackery, Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Voltaire and Yeats. It has been greatly extended, losing some authenticity, but has satisfactorily served Fleet Street's journalists for 300 years and today it's customers include lawyers and office workers who mingle and drink real ales. Upstairs is a popular restaurant.

Dickens allegedly chose to sit at the table to the right of the fireplace in the ground floor room opposite the bar. It's claimed that he performed the ceremony of making the first cut of Ye Puddings on the first Monday in October. The celebrated puddings were made of beef steaks, kidneys, oysters, larks, mushrooms and spices each weighed 50-80 lbs.

At the turn of the century an eccentric parrot named Polly was a much admired inhabitant. On Armistice Night 1918 Polly imitated the popping of champagne corks an estimated 400 times before fainting. On her death in 1926, aged 40 obituaries appeared in 200 newspapers.

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