Sandra Esqulant, the Queen of Spitalfields
Everyone in the neighbourhood knows Sandra Esqulant, beloved landlady of the Golden Heart in Commercial Street, sometime hula-hoop dancer, darling of the contemporary art world and the uncrowned monarch of Spitalfields. Before taking this picture, I asked Sandra to “Show me the Manet” and my readers who are artistically inclined will recognise the pose from Bar at the Folies Bergere 1882. Born just round the corner in Wentworth Street, Sandra (with her recently deceased husband Dennis) has kept the Golden Heart for us since 1977, through the lean years and the good. If Spitalfields were a tall ship, with all the residents as its crew, we should have an effigy of Sandra hewn from oak as our figurehead and know that we could sail through all the vicissitudes of life’s great ocean with confidence, with her as our inspiration and spiritual guide.