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T HE M AGA ZINE OF B OISDA L E R E STAUR A N T S
Editor’s letter
This summer issue of Boisdale Life is
bursting with juicy, thought-provoking
writing, including a rare and inspirational
must-read interview with Chris Blackwell,
the founder of Island Records and one of
the most influential individuals in
popular music of his generation. For
spice and speculation, we also discover
Sir Ian Botham’s latest and rather counterintuitive love affair; set sail with the
reborn British boatmaking industry; and
imagine an Artificial Intelligencedominated world with eminent economist
Roger Bootle. Rachel Cunliffe gives careful
consideration to intergenerational
inequality while Ben Oliver opines that
cyclists are not the enemy!
However you look at it, these are
challenging and extraordinary times, as
Brexit and boxsets continue to dominate
our lives. Indeed, it has been a turbulent
three years and this current game of
thrones looks set to end – at time of
writing, anyway – with King Boris taking
the long-coveted Iron Lady’s Throne.
There may yet be many twists to come as
the plot unfolds. But it will be nothing in
comparison to the machinations over the
English crown in the 17th and 18th
centuries. The 17th century’s tumultuous
highlights alone included civil war,
regicide, puritan dictatorship, plague,
restoration, the Great Fire of London, and
the Glorious Revolution.
In 1711 George of Hanover became
George I of Great Britain. He could not
speak English and was actually only 54th
in line to the throne. Within 34 years there
were three challenges to the Hanoverian
succession supported by the ancient
Chief-led clans of the Highlands and
Islands of Scotland who had remained
loyal to the Stuart dynasty. Each of the
attempts were ineffectually backed by
various European Catholic powers. In this
issue, Bruce Anderson recalls the Jacobite
Rebellions of 1715, 1745, and in particular
the lesser-known 1719, providing us with
fascinating insight into the European stage
set, and the players, in this game of
thrones and broken promises.
The mid-18th century also saw
a fanatical craze for gin, which created
social problems on a scale far in excess
of the drug issues of today. The average
Londoner drank 14 gallons of gin a year!
Bishop Thomas Wilson in 1736
complained that gin produced a “drunken
ungovernable set of people”. Despite
government restrictions and punitive
taxes, ‘bootleggers’ sold gin under such
fanciful names as Cuckold’s Comfort,
Ladies Delight and Knock Me Down. The
thirst for gin was insatiable and despite
attempts to curb its consumption, by 1750
some 45 million litres of gin were being
distilled in London every year, driving
Henry Fielding to deliver a pamphlet to
the government stating his protest against
“Londoners’ perpetual drunkenness”.
The good news is that Mother’s Ruin
is back with a vengeance and gin has
never been more in. Although the UK’s
gin production of 2018, at 41.25 million
litres, still has a way to go to beat London
in 1750, the quality and provenance have
completely changed. Among today’s gins
we now find some of the finest spirits in
the world as well as outstanding examples
of innovation in production methods and
flavour infusion. That’s why this summer
at all Boisdale Restaurants and Bars we
will be hosting free Gin Masterclasses
every evening at 6pm. These will consist
of a tutored tasting of eight expressions of
three superlative gin producers, namely
the City of London Distillery, Whitley
Neill, and Marylebone, and the
opportunity to then select your favourite
gin for a definitive G&T. There is a catch
though: You will need to sign up to our
free guest list on Boisdale.co.uk to ensure
you get a place. For those who are still in
the 18th century and have not got a clue
about what I am talking about – which
I admit until recently included me – find
a member of the younger generation to
help you or simply telephone your
favourite branch of Boisdale.
RANALD MACDONALD
Editor & Chief and founder of Boisdale
Restaurants and Bars
WELCOME TO BOISDALE
LONDON’S ORIGINAL RE STAUR ANT S & BARS
BOISDALE OF BELGRAVIA
BOISDALE OF BISHOPSGATE
BOISDALE OF MAYFAIR
9
BOISDALELIFE .COM
SUMMER 2019
ISSUE 16
BOISDALE OF CANARY WHARF





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