Nunc Est Bibendum


” “Nunc est bibendum”, of which “Now it is time to drink” is but one of the many possible translations, is one of the most famous quotations from Latin literature. It comes from the first line of carmen XXXVII of Horace’s Odes, Book I, a poem written to celebrate the news of the death of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, in 30 B.C. Sabidius’ purpose in this article is to analyse the grammatical significance of this short clause and, in particular to discuss whether ‘bibendum’ is a gerund or gerundive…”


“This building at the corner of the Fulham Road and Sloane Avenue was once the UK headquarters of the Michelin tyre company. The building that today occupies an entire city block was built in stages behind the ornate original section on the Fulham Road end. What today is an oyster bar, once featured the fitting bays of the tyre company and an office that sold the famous Michelin maps. Over 30,000 tyres were stored in the basement of the building and brought up to the fitting bays using a lift and a purpose built sloped floor.

The building was one of the first in the UK to employ the ferro-concrete construction system developed by François Hennebique. This system was also employed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the construction of a Co-op warehouse, now a Malmaison Hotel. Among the features of this construction system are the ability to create large open interior spaces free of supporting columns and, of particular importance in a tyre warehouse, fire-resistance.

The building’s designer was François Espinasse who was employed by Michelin as an engineer. He is also believed to have designed the company’s Paris Headquarters. The design of the building defies accurate classification. It has features of Art Nouveau but has hints of the Art Deco style that was to become popular in the years to come. Among the decorative features of the building are three large stained glass windows featuring Bibendum, the famous Michelin Man.”

From Historic England entry:

“1905, extended. 1910. Architect, J Espinasse of Clermont-Ferrand. Two storeys, concrete and brick construction faced with glazed terra-cotta. Three bay front, the ground floor divided by ornamental piers, with ornamental ironwork below lintels. Ornamental cornice over. Large round arched central window with shaped gable over with tyre models as kneelers. Windows to right and left with rectangular heads beneath ornamental panels decorated with wheels and foliage. Small octagonal corner turrets to full height but with some red brick. Left hand return of 9 bays, right hand of 5, with further, simpler windows behind. Return sides continued in similar style. Segmental and square headed windows on ground floor. First floor windows flat headed with words “Michelin Tyre Company Limited Bibendum” over. Ends with windows between piers; ornamental frieze between storeys. Open segmental pediments at intervals with inset faience tyres. The material is Bermentofts Marmo facing. Series of pictorial tile panels on the side elevations (ground floor) and inside the drive-in by Gilardoni Fils of Paris. The panels represent the racing successes of cars with Michelin tyres between 1900 and 1908, and in the fitting bay Edward VII and Prince George in their Michelin type fitted car.”

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