A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Anyone remember Peter Langan?
After fooling around in London's financial district, and before selling antiques in Chelsea, I in-filled by working as the manager of an Art Gallery in Marylebone's Devonshire Street. 'The Fine Art Gallery' dealt mostly in Early English Watercolours, and Early Topographical and Sporting prints.
Next door to the gallery was a bistro-style restaurant called Odin's. Odin's was owned by the infamous London restaurateur, Peter Langan (above).
Two or three times a week, my boss Miklos (Nicholas) Vilag, would treat me to a bowl of lunchtime 'French Onion Soup' at Odin's, where our neighbour, Signor Langan himself, had become quite a good friend.
This was in the days when he was still behaving himself (at lunchtimes anyway). Later when he opened his Mayfair flagship eaterie, Langan's Brasserie, he became an insufferable drunk; yet mesmerizingly popular.
In his daily drunken rampages he probably insulted more crowned heads of Europe, film stars, and just plain multi-millionaires, than he drank bottles of Champagne before bedtime.
Poor old Peter; he was burnt to death, in 1988, after 'a serious late night argument' with his wife. He may even have started the fire himself.
People come and go, and Langan certainly left an indelible mark. He could simply have been remembered for the superb cuisine and ambiance at his Stratton Street Brasserie, but in fact he's mostly remembered for his appalling drunken tirades against such notable clients as Princess Margaret.
Notoriety is achieved in bizarre ways.
N.B. Peter's French Onion Soup (at Odin's) was possibly the best in the whole damn world.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!