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Walking in Orwell’s footsteps

Simon Davies of Privacy International organised an event this evening here in London in order to honour George Orwell and hoist a drink or three to one of England’s greatest writers on the occasion of his birthday.

Now I know a lot of you have read Orwell’s sundry works… 1984… Animal Farm… etc… but how many of you have drunk a ‘Black and Tan’ at Orwell’s favorite pub, the Newman Arms on 23 Rathbone Street…

…followed by walk to the Elysee Restaurant, around the corner at 13 Percy Street, which was one of Orwell’s favorite eating places? The default dish here has to be Moussaka, as Orwell ate it on nearly every occasion that he visited this place.

A splendid evening was had by Gabriel Syme and myself (the wicked and iniquitous Johnathan Pearce was a no-show) amidst an impressive collection of privacy and civil liberties activists from across a .. ahem… wide range of the political spectrum.

5 comments to Walking in Orwell’s footsteps

  • G Cooper

    Congratulations, gentlemen! I hope the spirit of George Orwell looked approvingly on you.

    If only his latter-day (true) namesake had read (and understood) his works…

  • What exactly is a “Black and Tan”? The liquid being consumed by Perry in the photo looks an ordinary shade of amber.

  • Michael,

    I believe a ‘black and tan’ is a pint of bitter beer mixed with guiness.

  • Phil Bradley

    Here is a Guiness link on black and tan http://www.ivo.se/guinness/bnt.html. Although I recall as barman many years ago before guiness was widely drunk in the UK, a B&T was bottled dark stout and bitter or mild. Mild is/was a sweeter less alcoholic drink that bitter – ‘smallbeer’ if you come across the term.

    At one time, when draft beers were non-carbonated (and bottled beers were naturally carbonated) these kind of drinks were popular, producing a drink that was mid-way between flat draft beer and gassy bottled beer. An added incentive was that if the barman liked you, then he would give you more than a half pint of the draft beer which was served in a pint glass to allow the bottled beer component to be added.

    One final point, which is that I would be careful in ordering a Black and Tan is some parts of Ireland, where the police auxiliaries of the same name had a reputation for brutality and atrocities that is still remembered.

  • Bobby

    My God! -Is that man smoking a cigarette??

    Here in the People’s Republic of Eugene, smoking in pubs will get you hanged!