A bottle of Château Thames Embankment
Do you remember the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey, based on the stories written by John Mortimer? Hopefully you do, or the next parts not going to make much sense.
The courtroom hack brilliantly played by Leo McKearn loves nothing more after a hard day at the “Bailey” to head to his favourite Fleet Street wine bar to sample the delights of Château Thames Embankment, or Château Fleet Street as he calls it. This is the house wine of Pommeroy’s Wine Bar and is called Pommeroy’s Ordinary (very ordinary according to Horace). Horace likes to drink this as he says it keeps him “astonishingly regular”, but in truth it’s really all he can afford.
Having enjoyed the series in my youth, I wondered if there really was a Pommeroy’s in Fleet street? The answer is actually no there isn’t, however it was modelled on an existing establishment called El Vino. Today El Vino is a pale shadow of when during Horaces time the 24 hour madness of Fleet Streets newspapers and their hard drinking journalists consumed the area.
So where does the name Pommeroy’s come from? Well, look no further than the Old Bailey itself, and the statue that sits on top of its dome. It’s known by several names, “The scales of justice” or “Lady justice”, but the actual title is “Justice”. It was designed and crafted by the British sculptor, none other than Frederick William Pommeroy in 1906.
F. W. Pommeroy