Saturday, 5 August 2017

Lifestyle: Beefeaters only: Inside one of the world's most exclusive pubs

Anyone for a swift half?

This might just be the most exclusive pub in the world — only 37 people have access.

This might just be the most exclusive pub in the world — only 37 people have access.

The entry criteria? You must be a Beefeater or, officially, *deep breath*: Yeomen Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary.

It might not be the easiest title to fit on your LinkedIn profile, but it does allow you exclusive access to The Yeoman Warders Club — a pub set within the walls of the Tower of London itself.

These photos captured by Reuters News Agency provide a rare look into the Beefeaters' drinking hole. Scroll down for a look at the place where the elaborate red-trimmed dress coat can be shed after long days of endless photographs with tourists and time spent guarding Her Majesty's crown jewels.

Welcome to the Tower of London, 'a secure fortress, royal palace and infamous prison.' Over the years, the Tower has confined prisoners ranging from Elizabeth I to the Kray twins. Two of Henry VIII's wives were beheaded here.

Sources: Historic Royal Palaces, Reuters.

Now, though, it is one of London's foremost tourist sites. Around 3 million visitors take in the history of the Tower every year.

Source: London & Partners.

Among the Tower's many secrets is a pub. Tucked away in a private corner of the castle walls, this might be the most exclusive pub in the world.

Welcome to The Yeoman Warders Club, open only to — you guessed it — Yeoman Warders. The Warders are more commonly known as Beefeaters.

The inside is much like any pub or clubhouse — with a few distinct differences...

Draught beers include the Beefeater Bitter and Yeoman 1485 — both brewed in Staffordshire, exclusively for the Warders Club.

Source: Reuters.

According to club chairman John Donald, 'both are delicious.'

There's also plenty of Beefeater Gin, obviously.

The memorabilia here is a bit different too. The Yeoman Gaoler's axe is an eye-catching reminder of the castle's dark history.

There's also a signature of Hitler's former Deputy Fuhrer Rudolph Hess. The Nazi politician was briefly held in the Tower after crash landing in Scotland in 1941.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine.

Not just anyone can be a Beefeater — criteria to make rank is strict. Applicants must have 22 years of military service under their belt, made (at least) the rank of Warrant Officer and hold a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Source: The Guardian.

New Beefeaters are initiated with a traditional ritual in the pub. "We each have a tankard, and we swear in new recruits around a large bowl of port," Chief Yeoman Warder at the time Alan Kingshott told BBC Travel. "They swear allegiance and we toast them with the line: 'May you never die a Yeoman Warder.'"

Source: BBC Travel.

"There were dozens of inns and bars in the Tower during the 18th and 19th Centuries, but this is the last one," Kingshott said.

Source: BBC Travel.

The 37 Beefeaters live, often with their families, within the fortress walls.

Source: Reuters.

Donald told Reuters: "When we are here looking after the general public, we're very much in the public domain... then come 6 o'clock it becomes our own little village again, where as a community we can relax and enjoy ourselves."

Source: Reuters.

from - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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