Brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame has acquired, for an undisclosed sum, the Jamaica Wine House, a bustling meeting place in the heart of the City for more than 350 years.
Tucked away in St Michael's Alley, part of a labyrinth of charming medieval courts and alleys off Cornhill and Lombard Street, the Jamaica Wine House was originally London's first coffee house, which opened in 1652 and is thought to have been visited by Samuel Pepys.
The current 19th century building is one of the most atmospheric pubs in the City, flush with Victorian splendour, featuring an oak-panelled bar, high partitions and ornate ceilings.
Open from Monday to Friday, the Jamaica Wine House is popular with City workers and tourists alike. As well as the busy bar, "the Jampot" as the pub is known locally, has an eating and function area, serving a wide variety of meals and bar snacks.
A plaque on the wall reads "Here stood the first London coffee house at the sign of the Pasqual Rosee's Head 1652."
Rosee was a manservant brought to London from Turkey by his former employer, Daniel Edwards. The two fell out and Rosee went into business with another former servant, Edwards' coachman. They opened the coffee house in 1652.