A panicked WhatsAp from Clare at 3pm on Wednesday read:
“Lady I’m housesitting for in Highgate has returned two days earlier than expected, can anyone host tonight’s dinner party instead if I bring the food???” Which was how I found myself clip clopping the cobbled streets of the Middle Temple at 7pm on a Wednesday evening in mid August. The unseasonably cool weather gently edging towards autumn and the light just beginning to darken.
It’s an unlikely spot to find yourself in, despite being as central as it comes in London, tucked behind The Strand and next to the river. Unless you are a barrister, QC, or clerk working in this rabbit warren of Chambers, why would you venture here? Well if you love a good font and a bit of sign writing like me, The Temple has no end of good examples.
Sign writing seems to be having a long awaited revival, no hot new London restaurant worth it’s salt opens without a gold leaf number. I’ve been following Ged Palmer whose astonishingly beautiful work is at the forefront of this modern craft movement. There is a beauty though, in looking back at the traditional; the black and cream with an occasional flash of red here and there. Matt paint, skillfully worked onto redbrick in nostalgic fonts of yesteryear. Unfamiliar names painted on glossy ivory boards adorning doorways and entrances of various chambers.
I dawdled on the steps of Kings Bench walk, now a little bit late for my dinner party. Revelling in the unexpected way the evening had turned out and astonished by the unexpected silence, you could hear a pin drop.
And that’s where I leave you, because it was a bit rude to take pictures of Harry’s flat on such an impromptu evening. But I can confirm the inside, is just as lovely as the outside.