The Jamaica Wine House

The Jamaica Wine House pub
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Venue :The Jamaica Wine House, St. Michael's Alley, off Cornhill. EC3V 9DS
Last Visit : January 2010 Telephone : 020 7929 6972
Brewery :
Pub Website :
Facilities : Downstairs bar

You will find the Jamaica Wine House in the alley just off Cornhill at the church of St Michael, it occupies the site where Pasqua Rosee Coffee House stood, which in 1652 was the first establishment to sell coffee as a beverage in London.

A large Victorian illuminated sign marks the 'Jampot's' location, It's exterior is architecturally interesting and built of red stone.  The interior is richly panelled with traditional wooden floor. You will not find any piped music or gaming machines and now that smoking is banned perhaps only a matter of time before the cigarette machine is gone. Behind the bar you will find traditional ales, which are reasonably well kept, the alley outside becomes very busy in the summer evenings with City workers enjoy a pint before heading home.  There is a downstairs bar, on my frequent visits over the years I've never seen it in operation.  I would recommend a visit to the Jamaica Wine House, it's a lovely pub which stands out from the many new venues in the City.

There is a plaque on the wall of the pub - "Here stood the first London coffee House at the sign of Pasqua Rosee's head 1652'.  The merchant Daniel Edwards and his Greek servant Pasqua Rosee offered coffee for sale, the original handbill said that the coffee was 'to be drunk, fasting half an hour before, and not eating an hour after, and to be taken as hot as possibly can be endured; the which will never take the skin off the mouth, or raise any blisters by reason of that heat'.  It also cured distempers including 'Defluxions of Rhumes, Dropsy, Gout, Scurvy, King's-evil and Spleen.
On Monday 10th December 1660, Samuel Pepys visited the coffee house in Cornhill, "the first time that ever I was there, and I found much pleasure in it" Pepys entered into his diary.

St Michael's, the church next door, was rebuilt by Wren in 1670-77 to replace the twelfth church destroyed by the fire of 1666.  The tower was rebuilt in 1724 by Wren's pupil, Nicholas Howksmoor.

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