In May 1671, Colonel Thomas Blood gained access to the Martin Tower and tried to make off with the Crown Jewels.
The Martin Tower, one of 21 in the Tower of London complex, had been home of the Crown Jewels for just two years when Colonel Blood befriended the Deputy Keeper of the Jewels, Talbot Edwards. Blood had masqueraded as a clergyman to gain Edwards’ trust, before persuading him to give some friends a viewing of the priceless collection.
Upon opening of the chamber, Edwards was attacked, and the State Crown and Orb were swiped by the thieves. However, after being caught in the act by Edwards’ son, Blood and his accomplices fled. They were captured, and the Crown Jewels returned to Martin Tower, where they remained until 1841.
Blood would not respond under questioning, demanding an audience with King Charles II. This was granted, and the King mysteriously granted Blood a pardon and a pension. To this day nobody knows the reasons behind this fascinating tale – but it is speculated that the King himself, who was short on money at the time, may have been behind the whole plot.
As well as being home to the Crown Jewels, over the years the Martin Tower has also been used as a prison, holding one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. Nowadays, The Martin Tower hosts an exhibition known as “Crowns and Diamonds”, which contains in excess of 12,000 jewels.
With this unique London private dining gift, the tower will act as your dining room for the evening. Fitting as many as 12 people (or as few as you desire), enjoy a three-course gastronomic feast, with a fine wine to enjoy alongside your meal.
Your experience will start in early evening. A Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) will meet you at the West Gate, taking you on a short external tour of the Tower of London en-route to the Jewel House. On your walk, you will pass infamous sites including Traitors Gate and the Execution Site.
Upon arrival at the Jewel House, you and your guests can enjoy a brief reception in the Hall of Monarchs. Take in your surroundings with a glass of champagne, before being shown through to the Treasury, the modern-day home of the Crown Jewels. For around half an hour, the privilege of viewing these famous gems is yours alone.
Next on this unique London private dining experience, you will be escorted to the Martin Tower, your dining room for the evening. Glistening with the surrounding pieces, this intimate space is one of the most impressive private dining locations you are ever likely to witness.
Following dinner, the Yeoman Warder will return to Martin Tower to brief your group on the Ceremony of the Keys. This traditional locking-up of the Tower of London has occurred every night without fail for over 700 years. Although the Tower of London is no longer home of the Monarch, this is still very much practical as well as ceremonial, for the sake of the many valuables such as the Crown Jewels.
Shortly after 10pm, once the ceremony has concluded, your party will be escorted back to West Gate. It may have only been a few hours since your experience began here, but the story you take with you will always remain.
West Gate, Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
This experience is valid for booking within 6 months from the date of issue, with the date of your experience within 12 months of booking.
This experience is valid for up to 12 people or as few as 2. You will be required to inform us of the number of guests and their names at the time of booking. Each guest will then receive a named invitation, which will be required to gain entry to the Tower of London.
We can discuss your desired menu ahead of the evening, which will consist of your choice of 1 starter for the whole table, 1 main for the whole table, and 1 dessert for the whole table (with vegetarian alternatives for anyone who requires them). Food will be prepared by one of the Tower of London’s specifically approved caterers.
A fine red wine and a fine white wine will be available on the evening, as well as water and a selection of juices.
This experience begins promptly at 6.30pm, and concludes shortly after 10pm. Note that parking is not available within the tower.
The dress code is as follows: No jeans or t-shirts. Guests are asked to refrain from wearing high, pointed heels, due to the cobbled walkways. A coat is required if attending the ceremony of the Keys during the winter months.
Note that images of the dining set-up and spread are illustrative only. The set-up and presentation may differ on the night.
Smoking is not permitted in any building within the Tower of London.
All bookings are subject to availability. We advise booking at least 8 weeks in advance. If possible, providing a range of dates will be useful.
The Ceremony of the Keys is occasionally fully booked up further in advance. Should this be unavailable on your desired date but the Martin Tower available, you can either proceed without the Ceremony of the Keys or select an alternative date.