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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Lunch at the Rainbow

Tuesday, July 13th., Victoria Grove, Chelsea.

I lunched at the Rainbow in Fleet Street, a type of City restaurant which is passing away. A large dark room, sombrely furnished in mahogany, and gaslighted, even in the sunshine of a hot July day. In the centre a table at which a stout carver in white cap, coat and apron, carves the saddle of mutton and the sirloin of beef - dishes which are never varied, and of which customers never seem to tire.her come lawyers and other hommes d'affaires of middle-age to whom luncheon is a serious meal, not to be ordered without minute instructions to the obsequious waiter. "Do you call this underdone?" a portly customer asks sharply. "Yes Sir." "Well I don't. Take it back." "Yes Sir." Here one drinks either stout from a tankard or some sound wine; but if one orders wine, one gives the waiter directions as to the temperature. It is de rigueur. The door leading into the Dining Room is labelled "Coffee Room", and there is a significant notice "Ladies Dining Room upstairs." Ladies are not willingly admitted to the ground floor, and those women, if any, who dare to pass that door labelled "Coffee Room" would be requested to leave, or at least pointed at as unwomanly. This is one of the last strongholds of the conservative male. Yet here we males respect ourselves; we have a regard for the decencies. "Gentlemen are requested not to smoke pipes in this establishment."

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