Wilkes McDermid, 39, died yesterday after falling from the terrace of Coq D’Argent in central London. Hours earlier the food blogger shared details of his ‘final meal’ at Hawksmoor restaurant, a mile from the French restaurant from which he fell to his death. Mr McDermid is the third person to have died after falling from the restaurant’s terrace in three years. While it closed for lunch yesterday at 3pm, its roof terrace and gardens are believed to have been open.
“… when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
— Samuel Johnson
Almost every Londoner knows these famous words but many are not aware of the context. Like myself, Johnson hated to be alone and was always out enjoying what London had to offer. This was Johnson’s attempt to convince his friend Boswell that living in London, rather than merely visiting, would not diminish his love for the city.
Johnson was right, I am not tired of London and never have been… however I am tired of life.
This is a message to thank to you for being part of my last adventure in London. Alas, it is time to say goodbye. The reasons ‘why’ will be upsetting for some and very hard to accept for others, so this is addressed separately here. It is up to you whether you wish to read it, but if you wish to judge, I suggest you actually read it rather than take a summary from someone else. All I will say here is that all the evidence I can present, regardless of strength, will not override your inbuilt long-term held beliefs. In my experience the similarities are almost identical to showing evidence of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to a Creationist. No matter how much overwhelming evidence you show it will be dismissed by those who let their logic and critical thinking be clouded by their existing view of the world.
For the last few years I have watched London’s food and drink scene evolve and mature in response to the subprime recession. London is no longer the ridicule of foreign tourists but has become a destination for those seeking a wealth of culinary diversity. In a few short years I have met some of the most amazing characters and the most dedicated and hard working inviduals.
I really wanted to write an personal letter to everyone I’ve encountered on my journey. However that task is completely impractical so I’ve put together some notes for some individuals and groups of people I’ve met in various aspects of my life. If I don’t mention you personally, please don’t take offence.
In summary, I wish you all the best, it has been a pleasure to be a part of the vibrant community which is London and to have interacted with everyone who helps make London great.
There seems to be a fascination on ‘final meals’ with many people online… mine was a at Hawksmoor Spitalfields (400g Ribeye with a Donnington Cesear Salad, triple poked chips with lime pickle mayo side with a Coulston bassett stilton with pears and walnuts). With a Shakey Pete’s Ginger Brew, Rosso Braaida Monferrato Rossso 2009, Meantime Pale Ale, with a Diszinko Tokai