Superb, Mid-Month on Wednesday

The Butchers hold a carvery lunch at Butchers’ Hall in Smithfield. This takes places on Wednesdays in the middle of most months. Due to refurbishments, the lunches were suspended; with the works now complete, the tradition recommences on 25 Sep.

Butchers’ art on display: perhaps the finest beef you’ll ever eat

These lunches are superb, and of course being in Butchers’ Hall is a major plus. As you’d expect, the Butchers go to great pains to ensure that the food is of excellent quality, and pride themselves on this.

The beef comes from select farms, some of it from the oldest known Angus herd. It is hung on the bone for a minimum of 21 days, and you can inspect the maturing meat at the hall. Similar care is taken with the vegetables and other trimmings. A selection of appropriate and reasonably priced wines is also available.

Going for seconds in Sep 2004; camera shake caused by fine bottle of full-bodied Australian Shiraz

Your commentator first ate there in 2004. At that time, I recall the lunches were only open to liverymen of other guilds, and their guest. The then-Master and several other guild members sought me out and went out of the way to make me feel welcome, as a Vintner. The companionship, excellent food and drink and venue all served to make the experience both memorable and pleasurable. Nowadays, the lunch is open to all.

Highly recommended! Go there hungry. Avoid over-estimating your capacity for productive work later in the day.


  • Dates, all Wednesdays: 25 September , 30 Oct, 20 Nov 2019. 22 Jan, 12 Feb, 18 Mar, 29 Apr, 20 May, 17 Jun, 15 Jul, 16 Sep, 14 Oct, 11 Nov 2020
  • All from 12:30pm for 1pm
  • £49.95 Inc VAT, beverages additional
  • Butchers’ Hall, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB
  • Reservations: 020 7248 1163,

About the Author

David (R) at Vintners’ Hall, instructing his only begotten son (L) on the responsibilities of being a Vintner. It’s hard, but hey, someone’s got to do it

David Ferris has had a strong interest in the City of London and its traditions since his youth. As a teenager, he worked in his family’s bar in the City (The Capataz, on Old Broad Street), and was proud that the bar was one of the last to exercise the Vintners’ privilege whereby a trader could sell wines without a license. At 21 he joined the Worshipful Company of Vintners as an apprentice, the fifth generation of his family to do so.

Instead of entering the wine trade, however, he was diverted to academia by a post-graduate scholarship to Stanford University, California, with a view to being a professional philosopher. After being diverted again by a successful high tech career in Silicon Valley, he returned to active involvement with the Vintners Company in 2000, becoming a liveryman shortly thereafter.

David has spent many hours conducting original research into the history of London’s guilds, and of the Vintners in particular. Since 2001, his interests have included ways of securing the future of the guilds and the City, in particular lobbying for increases in charitable donations and public good works, the adoption of more efficient approaches to charitable donations, the revocation of oaths of secrecy to enhance governance, and the revocation of admission by patrimony to increase diversity.

David often takes informal snaps and videos at City events, and uses them in his articles. He beseeches readers to tolerate their poor quality in the light of their, ahem, ingenuousness and authenticity.

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