Halloween Which Came First … Frankenstein or Dracula?

FrankensteinFrankenstein featured in the novel written by Mary Shelley about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was nineteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.

Count Dracula

Count Dracula is the title character and primary antagonist of Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. He is described as the archetypal vampire.  However, some aspects of this well-known character were inspired by the 15th century Romanian general ‘Vlad III, the Impaler’ who was also known as ‘Dracula’.



Here at Whyte & Brown, we will be celebrating Halloween with a wicked four-course feast including a Bat’s Blood Cocktail, Witch’s Talons, Petrifying Pumpkin Chowder, and Blackened Chicken – for just £19.95.

Plus introducing ‘Trick or Tweet.’  Come in dressed in your finest Halloween costume and Tweet a selfie in the restaurant, and we’ll give you a Bat’s Blood Cocktail for FREE!


Which Came First … Oktoberfest or the Harvest Festival?

OktoberfestOktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer – which is held annually in Munich. Running from late September to the first weekend in October, it is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world’s largest fair (with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year).  It first took place in 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig was married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and citizens of Munich were invited to attend wedding festivities held in the fields in front of the city gates.

The Harvest Festival is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest the Harvest Moon. This is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox (around Sept. 23).   Although there were a number of customs established around the gathering of the final harvest in the sixteenth century, the modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches only began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall.

We are celebrating Oktoberfest here at Whyte & Brown with our Oktoberfest Evening Special – Burger of the Day, Chips, and your choice of Craft Beer for just £14.95.


Eton Mess

Answer: Trifle – by a long way.

The earliest use of the name Trifle was for a thick cream, flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater. The recipe was first published in England in 1596, in a book called The Good Housewife’s Jewell by Thomas Dawson. Sixty years later eggs were added and the custard was poured over alcohol-soaked bread.

While some people consider the inclusion of jelly to be a recent variation, the earliest known recipe to include jelly dates from 1747, and the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of trifles containing jelly in 1861.

Eton Mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game against the pupils of their long-standing rivals Harrow School.

The dish has been known by this name since the 19th century. According to Recipes from the Dairy (1995) by Robin Weir, Eton Mess was served in the 1930s in the school’s “sock shop” (tuck shop), and was originally made with either strawberries or bananas mixed with ice-cream or cream. Meringue was a later addition, and may have been an innovation by Michael Smith, the author of Fine English Cookery (1973).

A popular myth (though thought to be untrue) is that Eton Mess was first created when a meringue dessert was accidentally crushed by a Labrador while travelling to a picnic at Eton College, but that it was salvaged and served as a crushed meringue with strawberries and cream.

Thanks Wikipedia.  Here at Whyte & Brown, we love them both but with our own special twist.  Our Beyond-Eton-Mess surprises with lemon posset and popping candy.  And our Typsy Trifle features chocolate sponge, Catalan custard and orange four ways: Cointreau, jelly, crispettes and fresh fruit. 

Pudding anyone? 

Which Came First – Pina Colada or Tom Collins?

W&B CocktailsNot a lot of people know that ‘Piña Colada’ means ‘strained pineapple’, a reference to the juice used in the drink’s preparation. Three Puerto Rican bartenders contest the ownership of their country’s national drink, but the truth is that rum and pineapple have been mixed together pretty much since rum was first distilled, and the first written reference to a Piña Colada was in 1922.

In 1874, people in the United States would start a conversation by asking “Have you seen Tom Collins?” When the listener predictably reacted by explaining that they did not know Tom Collins, they would be told that Tom Collins was “just around the corner”, “in a local bar,” or somewhere else near.  The Great Tom Collins hoax of 1874, as it became known, encouraged people to act foolishly by falling for patent nonsense. The recipe for the Tom Collins cocktail first appeared in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ “The Bartender’s Guide”.

Verdict: Tom Collins

Here at Whyte & Brown we have our own take on these classic cocktails.  Our Peachelada contains golden rum shaken with peach, honey & ginger juice, and served long with golden ale.  Our Gin-Spring Collins is a herbal and refreshing drink of gin & whisky with fresh lemon & vanilla soda.  Click here for more from our amazing bar menu.

Which Came First – The Burger or French Fries?

W&B Chicken BurgerWhyte & Brown, a restaurant in central London offers some delicious meals, but where did they originate from?

The hamburger, a ground meat patty between two slices of bread, was first created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, who was the owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there have been many rival claims, including those by Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, and Fletcher David. Attempts to trace its origin to Hamburg in Germany may have some credibility but remain the subject of debate. What is certain is that it gained national recognition at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when the New York Tribune namelessly attributed the hamburger as “the innovation of a food vendor on the pike.” No conclusive claim has ever been made to end the dispute.

Thomas Jefferson had “potatoes served in the French manner” at a White House dinner in 1802.  The expression “French Fried Potatoes” first occurs in print in English in the 1856 work Cookery for Maids of All Work by E. Warren. The entry reads: “French Fried Potatoes: Cut new potatoes in thin slices, put them in boiling fat, and a little salt; fry to a light golden colour; drain.”

Verdict: French Fries

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about ‘posh’ hamburgers, but here at Whyte & Brown we go for the super tasty chicken version.  Made from just pure chicken thigh mince (for more flavour and extra juiciness) plus the addition of fresh herbs & vegetables.  Try our W&B Caesar Burger (with caramelised onion, Parmesan & aromatic seasoning, layered with beef tomato in a grilled brioche bun).  Or our Chicken-Leek Burger (with sautéed leek & spring onion, topped with streaky bacon, Gruyere cheese, crisp lettuce & beef tomato – also in a brioche bun). Come check out our version of these delectable items at our restaurant right near Oxford Circus.

The perfect antidote to all that red meat – but still best enjoyed with a side order of W&B chips!

Which Came First – The Ashes or The World Cup?

Answer: The Ashes (by nearly 50 years)

The Ashes UrnThe Ashes has been played between England and Australia since 1882. The series is named after a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper,  The Sporting Times, in 1882 after a match at the Oval in which Australia beat England on an English ground for the first time. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.  The English media dubbed the next English tour to Australia (1882–83) as the quest to regain the Ashes.

During that tour a small terracotta urn was presented to England captain Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of a bail, from a cricket stump.  The Ashes Urn, which is not actually the official trophy, can be seen at the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord’s.

World CupThe Fifa World Cup has been played every four years since 1930 (with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War).  The 19 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams. Brazil have won five times, Italy four times, Germany three times, and Argentina and Uruguay twice each.  England, France and Spain have one title each.

Bring your ipad down to Whyte & Brown and enjoy The Ashes (via free wifi) with one of our great craft beers – the perfect antidote to a hot, sweaty office.


Which came first – Wimbledon or Henley?

Henley RegattaThese two events are synonymous with this time of the year, but which came first?

Answer: Henley Royal Regatta.

Henley Royal Regatta was first staged in 1839 and is now held over a period of five days during the first week of July.

The Wimbledon Championship is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.  It was first held at the All England Club some 38 years later in 1877. Wimbledon  is one of four tennis Grand Slams (with the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open) and takes place each year during the last week of June and first week of July.

WimbledonThe last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry back in 1936.

We may be busy this weekend getting ready to open, but we will still be right behind you Andy!




Which Came First – Carnaby St or Oxford St?

Both synonymous with London shopping, but which actually came first?

Carnaby Street derives its name from Karnaby House, located to its east and originally erected in 1683. The street is thought to have been laid out in 1685 or 1686 – first appearing in the ratebooks in 1687.

Although Oxford Street follows the route of an original Roman road (linking Hampshire with Colchester), it did not become known as Oxford Street until around 1729 (until then it was variously known as Tyburn Road, Uxbridge Road, Worcester Road and Oxford Road).

Carnaby Street     Oxford Street

Once again, thanks to Wikipedia!

Which Came First – Liberty or Selfridge’s?


Liberty        Selfridges

Answer: Liberty – which was opened in 1875 (Selfridge’s opened in 1909).

Since 1875, Liberty has been synonymous with luxury and great design. Arthur Liberty’s intuitive vision and pioneering spirit led him to travel the world looking for individual pieces to inspire and excite his discerning clientele. Liberty is not just a name above the door, it’s Arthur Liberty’s legacy, which stands for integrity, value, quality and above all beautifully designed product. This vision and spirit continues today within the iconic Tudor building. www.liberty.co.uk

Inside Liberty       Oscar Wilde

Here’s a wonderful quote about Liberty, from the delightful Oscar Wilde.  “Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper.”

Yet another reason why we are looking forward to joining the neighbourhood in July.


Which Came First – The Stones or The Beatles?


Answer: The Beatles were officially formed in Liverpool in 1960, whilst The Rolling Stones were formed in London in 1962.

As for Carnaby connections, there have been many over the years, including Paul McCartney meeting his future wife Linda Eastman in The Bag O Nails, and more recently, the 2012 Christmas installations celebrating the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary (the band have been frequent visitors to shops in Carnaby Street over the years, and have rehearsed for live shows just round the corner in Broadwick Street).

The Rolling Stones  Rolling Stones - Carnaby

Paul and Linda McCartney  The Beatles

Thanks again to Wikipedia.