The Two Chairmen

In Chapter 20 of Lethal White, Cormoran Strike chooses The Two Chairmen in Westminster, London, for an evening catch-up with Robin Ellacott. It is close to the Palace of Westminster, where Robin is undercover.

“The pub was tucked away on a junction of centuries-old back streets — Old Queen Street, Cockpit Steps — amid a motley collection of quaint, sedate buildings that stood at oblique angles to each other.”

As Strike arrives at the pub he notices the sign, which shows lowly servants carrying the heavy load of a sedan chair which was occupied by a lady in white. As he enters, the bar is crowded with after-work drinkers. He buys himself a pint of London Pride and manages to secure a table by the window to wait for Robin’s arrival.

As you can probably tell, we visited at Halloween.

“The wooden-floored bar was what Strike mentally categorised as ‘up-market utilitarian’. A faded mural on the back wall depicted bewigged eighteenth-century men gossiping together, but otherwise was pared-back wood and monochrome prints.”

Due to Robin’s late arrival, Strike is finally unable to resist ordering himself cod and chips and a second pint. At quarter to seven, Robin eventually arrives, orders herself a red wine, and sits down at the table. They discuss the Chiswell case, and Robin shows Strike an audio recording of Geraint Winn talking to Jimmy Knight over the phone.

Midway through their conversation, Strike’s fish and chips arrive; he adds a generous amount of ketchup to his plate before continuing the conversation.