Jean / Maureen
Simpson’s Tavern | 40y
Maureen and Jean started working at Simpson’s Tavern, a Georgian pub in the heart of the City, forty years ago and continue to do so to this day. Maureen is in charge of the tiny bar in the ground floor Grill restaurant while Jean rules the roost in the downstairs bar. Simpson’s is the oldest chophouse in London.
The decor hasn’t changed much for decades, with Victorian-era stained glass features and brass railings designed to hold the bowler and top hats of the City workers.
They remember when grills used to be cooked on a semi-open, ceramic-tiled fire upstairs and platters of steaks and chops used to be displayed through the back windows when they were see-through.
When the licensing laws prevented post-3pm drinking, some locals used to order the signature stewed stilton and a sneaky bottle of port in the evenings. A local policeman was always trying to catch them in the act and on the day he was retiring he happened to wander by and caught them in the act. But by the time he’d rushed next door to telephone the police station for a bit of backup and returned, everyone had hidden the booze and were drinking coffee!