After-hours drinking hole a haven for Tower of London's Beefeaters

After-hours drinking hole a haven for Tower of London's Beefeaters
From Reuters - July 27, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - After the hordes of tourists with their cameras and selfie sticks depart from the Tower of London every evening, a private drinking hole for Beefeaters comes to life within the walls of the royal fortress.

Officially called Yeoman Warders and instantly recognizable with their distinctive hats and uniforms, the 37 Beefeaters live with their families inside the fortified complex which houses the Crown Jewels, glittering symbol of the British monarchy.

While living in a castle on the bank of the Thames has a unique cachet, Beefeaters share their home with close to 3 million visitors a year and spend much of their time conducting tours, answering questions and posing for photographs.

After the daily hubbub fades, they can change out of their uniforms and head for a quiet drink at the Yeoman Warders' Club, their own private bar in a discreet corner of the sprawling fortress - a much-needed respite.

"There are certainly two sides to life here at the Tower," club chairman John Donald, who has been a Beefeater for 3-1/2 years, said.

"When we are here looking after the general public, we are very much in the public domain, very, very busy answering lots of questions. And then come 6 o'clock it becomes our own little village again, where as a community we can relax and enjoy ourselves."

That relaxation could take the form of a pint of Beefeater Bitter, a beer made by Marston's Brewery in Staffordshire, central England, and available only in the Yeoman Warders' Club.

The brewery also produces a craft lager called Yeoman 1485 also only available in the private bar. Both drinks are "very lovely", Donald said.

"May You Never Die a Yeoman Warder"

In keeping with the history of the Tower of London, which has served many purposes over the centuries from royal residence to the prison where two of King Henry VIII's wives were beheaded, the club is decorated with unusual objects.


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