« | Home | »

Nando’s

Reading Charles Lamb in Penguin’s new edition, we were struck by this expression of frustration in ‘Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading’ (1822):

What an eternal time that gentleman in black, at Nando’s, keeps the paper! I am sick of hearing the waiter bawling out incessantly, ‘the Chronicle is in hand, Sir.’

Lamb’s fondness for chicken – ‘those tame villatic fowl’ – is well-documented (though he preferred roast pork), as is his reluctance to sit through grace when a sumptuous meal has been put before him:

With the ravenous orgasm upon you, it seems impertinent to interpose a religious sentiment. It is a confusion of purpose to mutter out praises from a mouth that waters. The heats of epicurism put out the gentle flame of devotion. The incense which rises round is pagan, and the belly-god intercepts it for his own.

But Nando’s, the South African-Mozambican-Portuguese restaurant chain, didn’t get going until 1987. Lamb was, of course, referring to Nando’s (short for Ferdinando’s, not Fernando’s) coffee house, which had existed on the same spot in Fleet Street since the 17th century. As well as a favourite hang-out of Lamb’s, it was also popular with the local legal community, including Lord Chancellor Edward Thurlow, who, it was suggested, had at one time had a fling with the landlady’s daughter.

Comments on “Nando’s”

  1. jaspreetsinghboparai says:

    The British Museum has an 18th-c. etching in its collections complete with Peri-peri-wig: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?assetId=85895&objectId=1461137&partId=1 . Extra-extra hot, if I may say so.

  2. Phil Edwards says:

    I once persuaded my wife and family that the original Nando’s had been named in memory of a fallen Moxambican revolutionary. We didn’t hear much about him in Britain, but in southern Africa everyone knew about Nando. He was even commemorated in song…

    There was something in the air that night,
    The stars shone bright for Nando!
    They were shining there for you and me,
    For liberty! For Nando!

    I am a bad person.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • IanHPA on Divided Britain: This artificial dichotomy between the snobbish inners and the underclass outers is an illusion. The truth is that the electorate were conned, lied to ...
    • rm1 on Divided Britain: The anti EU vote had a variety of origins, but progressives need to realise that wanting to have a say over the size of the UK's population is a legit...
    • Higgs Boatswain on Divided Britain: One of the many interesting findings released by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University in its report last year on "UK Public Opinion Towards ...
    • DJL on What will happen now?: The defence of Jeremy Corbyn in the third paragraph is really astonishing. No-one denies that the EU is a capitalist club, but so is the UK, and a wor...
    • Graucho on What will happen now?: The first order of the day for the labour party is to replace Jeremy Corbyn with Gisela Stuart as leader. Winning national campaigns is item number on...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement