I kept going back to those pictures of the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar that I posted yesterday, trying to figure out why they seemed so familiar. Sometime this morning, I finally made the connection.
They reminded me of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s “The Roses of Heliogabalus”, which I saw at the Leighton House Museum the last time I was in London.
There’s a grim story behind the bright, pretty scene portrayed in “The Roses of Heliogabalus”. According to legend, the Roman emperor Heliogabalus (sometimes known as Elagabalus) had a false ceiling installed over his dining room, and filled the space above it with rose petals. When the ceiling was released, the mass of petals would fall to earth, smothering his unwanted guests.
Since the mass murder of barroom patrons is frowned upon by the Liquor Control Board, I have no doubt that the management of the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar will stick to the more traditional way of letting its clientele know when it’s time to go, by blinking the lights and shouting “Last Call!”
Still, it might be a good idea to leave a little early, just in case.