Make the most of London

Unusual Work Christmas Parties

September 25, 2018
Unusual Work Christmas Parties

Need to organise a Christmas works do with a difference? 


Being a small business owner, one thing I don't miss are those awkward Christmas work dos, where I am desperately trying to look like you are having a good time whilst sipping a glass of paint thinner disguised as white wine. 


Give your team an experience they can share and remember


Corporate clients include software and fintech companies, creative agencies, international banks, hedge funds, insurers, accountants, councils and smaller private companies who want to make their clients and staff feel special.

This is your chance to get out of the office and to explore an area of London you all perhaps think you know very well...but do you?!


Make merry this Christmas time and join us for a private Christmas themed walk or treasure hunt. Contact us about creating a unusual Christmas party!


www.londonguidedwalks.co.uk/unusual-christmas-parties.php


 

Pancakes in Covent Garden

February 13, 2018
Pancakes in Covent Garden
If you have a love of pancakes then you are sure to enjoy Pancs in Covent Garden.

No matter whether you prefer savoury or have a sweet tooth there is sure to be something that suits your palate. We ventured down to the lower level of Covent Garden Market, following our noses to the warm and welcoming smell of Pancs. 



Having chosen Duck Confit Panc containing duck, stilton, rocket, mustard and honey and a Chicken Teriyaki Panc with chicken, pepper, lettuce and teriyaki we say down on the raised bench to watch their creation. With wooden cutlery we tucked in! The light golden pancakes were firm without being tough. The duck and stilton combination worked well. I was worried that with the honey it may be too sweet or there would be too much liquid. We needn't have worried. The pepper and lettuce added a nice contrasting texture to the chewy pancake and chicken in the Chicken Teriyaki Panc. Other savoury options include Mexicana Beef Pacs with coleslaw, beans pickle and chipotle.




We did manage to leave a little space for dessert. We chose to share the very green matcha mille layer pancake cake. Would this thousand layer pancake cake taste as good? The texture was light, the thickness of the filling was spot on. It was the perfect level of sweetness with a familiar dry matcha aftertaste.



If you are a pancakes for breakfast kind of person then the breakfast Pancs are just right for you - Royal Panc (salmon, egg, cheddar, spinach and hollandaise) or the Benedict Panc.


Pancs address: 32 Market Building, Covent Garden London, WC2E 8HD
Opening times: Monday - Sunday 10.30am - 8pm
If you can't get there perhaps give Deliveroo a go!


 

Pancake Day in London

February 13, 2018
Pancake Day in London
It is Shrove Tuesday! While Brazilians donne their carnival colours and Danish children dress up and 'hit the cat out of the barrell' we English partake in pancake races.

If you are stuck for something to do today then you are spoilt for choice for pancake-related events in London:

Parliamentary Pancake Race, Westminster

Now celebrating 21 years of tradition, the parliamentary pancake race in Victoria Tower Gardens where MPs, Lords and members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery willingly swap their warm woolly hats for distinctive white chefs’ hats. It really is a sight guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Find out more  Here's a short video of the fun



Leadenhall Pancake Race, Leadenhall Market, City of London
Watch competitors from City law, banking and accountancy firms race round the iconic Victorian market while they attempt to successfully flip a pancake in front of the crowds in an attempt to claim the highly desired frying pan trophy. 12 noon - 2.30pm

Inter-Livery Pancake Race, Guildhall, City of London
Every questioned what the livery companies in the City of London do? Well, part of that answer is pancake racing! Each Livery-staffed team is drawn from companies which are linked to pancakes; the Poulters provide the eggs, the Fruiterers the zesty lemons and the Cutlers the forks. Money raised from the event is donated to the Lord Mayor’s Charity. 12 noon - 1pm Read more

Better Bankside Pancake Day Race
Each Shrove Tuesday local businesses compete with their neighbours in a pancake flipping relay. All proceeds from entry fees will go towards a local charity Paintings in Hospitals, a charity that uses visual art and creative activities to improve the health and wellbeing of patients, carers and the public. Donations welcome. 12.30pm Read more

Camden Market Pancake Race
Grab a pan and race across the market’s cobbled North Yard for at chance at being crowned the fastest flipper. To help raise money for the C4WS Homeless Project at Camden Market’s first ever pancake race. 

 

Winter Lights Festival 2018, Canary Wharf

January 16, 2018
Winter Lights Festival 2018, Canary Wharf

It’s back! From tonight Canary Wharf will be illuminated by sculptures, structures and installations as part of the Winter Lights Festival, an annual celebration of light technology and art.

Over 30 cutting edge installations and artworks provided by artists from across the world including UK, Greece, Australia, New Zealand and USA. They will be on show both indoors and outside from 5-10pm across Canary Wharf estate where you can also enjoy an array of over 300 bars, shops and restaurants and not forgetting Canary Wharf’s ice rink in Canada Square where a special offer for 2 for 1 will be available during the festival. You can buy your tickets here: http://www.icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk/

I am particularly looking forward to seeing Amanda Parer’s Intrude, huge inflatable and illuminated white rabbits in Jubilee Park. 

In past years, what I found interesting was to leisurely walk around Canary Wharf at night; a place which has the reputation of being full of men in dark suits walking in what could be described as a human version of an ants nest. The illuminations drew in a wide variety of people all seeming to enjoy the unexpected freedom of movement compared to the crowded streets of central London for Lumiere London 2018.

For more information:

TUESDAY 16 - SATURDAY 27 JANUARY

5-10pm
Throughout Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
London
FREE


Website: https://canarywharf.com/arts-events/events/winter-lights-2018/

Downloadable brochure: https://canarywharf.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/canary-wharf-arts-events-winter-lights-2018-brochure.pdf

Restaurant Offers: https://canarywharf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/canary-wharf-winter-lights-restaurant-offers-2018.pdf

Twitter: @yourcanarywharf

Instagram: @canarywharflondon


Here are some photos from previous years:












 

Christmas Gift Vouchers

December 19, 2017
Christmas Gift Vouchers
There's less than a week till Christmas!

If you tend to leave it all to the last minute, we have the perfect solution - avoid the pain of christmas shopping and buy a gift voucher for your friends, family or colleagues.

Buy online, your gift voucher will be emailed to you for you to either forward or to print out yourself.
Prices start from £25. All Christmas gift vouchers are valid until 25 June 2018. 

Choose from a variety of gift vouchers:

Walking tour gift vouchers options:
1. for two people to join others on a guided walk

2. for a private tour where they choose the tour and a date and time to choose them. For up to 10 people.

Treasure hunt gift voucher options:

1. for two people to join others on an organised treasure hunt

2. for four people (a team) to join others on an organised treasure hunt

3. for a private treasure hunt where they choose the tour and a date and time to choose them. For up to 12 people.

See all our christmas gift voucher options

 

Who's your favourite Scrooge?

December 14, 2017
Who's your favourite Scrooge?


There is one question whilst doing my Christmas Carol Tour which I always get asked: who is your favourite Ebenezer Scrooge?

Hmmm….who do I think plays ‘a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping….old sinner’ the best? 

It’s fair to say there is plenty of choice:

  • 1910 Marc McDermott - A Christmas Carol (silent film)
  • 1938 Reginald Owen - A Christmas Carol
  • 1951 Alastair Sim - Scrooge (UK) & A Christmas Carol (USA)
  • 1962 Mister Magoo - Mister Magoo’s Christmas
  • 1970 Albert Finney - Scrooge
  • 1983 Scrooge McDuck - Mickey’s Christmas Carol 
  • 1984 George G. Scott - A Christmas Carol
  • 1985 Cosmo Spacely -A Jetson Christmas Carol
  • 1988 Bill Murray - Scrooged 
  • 1988 Rowan Atkinson - Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
  • 1992 Michael Caine - The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • 2000 Vanessa L. Williams - A Diva’s Christmas Carol
  • 2009 Jim Carrey - Disney’s A Christmas Carol 

When I conjure up an image of Ebenezer Scrooge ‘where the cold had ‘nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheeks, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue’ I tend to see Jim Carrey’s Disney’s 2009 version. Perhaps this is unfair as being the most contemporary of the Christmas Carol films it has been seen more recently. Also this is a digital animated adaption where the actor’s facial features are imposed onto a character’s physical features. For those of you who are no fan of animated films be not alarmed. It s directed by Robert Zemeckis, director of Back to the Future, Forrest Gump and The Polar Express. The level of detail in this production is staggering and being animated means the world in which Scrooge lives and visits can be more imaginative. But close you eyes and you will hear a Scrooge of Christmas Past. Clearly Carrey has mimicked who is for me the epitome of Scrooge: Alastair Sim. 

In the same year Elstree Studios were busy filming African Queen, MGM was churning out musicals Show Boat and An American in Paris and Disney had released Alice in Wonderland, George Minter Productions were filming both at Nettlefold Studios, Walton-on-Thames and on location (St James’, Hyde Park and Southwark). Alistair Sim is the embodiment of Scrooge - a walking corpse. He is the Scrooge for ‘no children asked him what it was o’clock’ and ‘even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts’.

Notable credit, however, goes to Michael Caine who put on a jolly good show as Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). It’s a hard pill to swallow being upstaged by a pig with ringlets and a frog with ping pong ball eyes. Remove the furry stars and you’re left with Caine’s deeply felt take on the tragedy of Scrooge’s life — a life to that day wasted in the idle pursuit of monetary gains, years he can never regain. Why is Michael Caine not my favourite Scrooge? He simply cannot sing. Many an actor has gotten away with sing-talking in their career and Michael Caine is one of those. Even though the notes are rarely hit, it kind of suits an old man on the route of redemption and being in tune isn’t half as important as singing from the heart.

Who is your favourite Scrooge and why?


Come with us on our Christmas Carol walking tour in the City of London. Explore the icy alleyways and dark court-yards haunted by Scrooge as he went on his business, wringing money out of his customers, and treating with disdain the poor and those who would try to help them. Get your Christmas Carol Walk tickets now

Other blog posts you may enoy:
Why did Charles Dickens Choose the name Ebenezer Scrooge?

 

Howard's End London Filming Locations

November 21, 2017
Howard's End London Filming Locations
The BBC's latest version of Howard's End has now hit the UK's TV screens. For those who have joined me on my Georgian London walking tour will see a familiar sight, Myddelton Square, Clerkenwell.


Myddelton Square, Clerkenwell 2015


Myddelton Square 2017

You'll notice the chapel has moved closer up the street and a large Victorian red brick building has replaced the small Georgian workers homes of Arlington Way.

Even though this majestic flagship square exudes Georgian elegance, a touch of movie magic (or in this case mini-series magic) was needed in order to transport us back to just after the turn of the twentieth century, when Howard's End was set.

Nearly. Almost. But not quite. 
On 11 January 1941 the north side of the square was bombed. Nos 43 - 53 were rebuilt in 1947 - eight as flats behind a 'facsimile' facade. These post war flats are, however, included in the opening scene of Howard's End Series 1, Episode 1 


Post war flats in BBC's Howard's End Mini-series

Read more about filming in Myddelton Square, Clerkenwell: https://www.londonguidedwalks.co.uk/blog/bbc-filming-in-clerkenwell)

Book a private Georgian London Tour


 

The Writeidea Festival 2017

November 14, 2017
The Writeidea Festival 2017
The Writeidea festival 2017 is nearly here!

This free annual festival has a diverse programme of over 40 events over this coming weekend (17-19 November) at the Idea Store, Whitechapel

The Writeidea festival, backed by the Arts Council, will include a breadth of authors such as Stella Duffy, Alan Dein, The Gentle Author and Irenosen Okojie who will be talking and reading from their own work combining well-known names with emerging writers, all bringing their own local, national and international perspective on fiction and non-fiction writing. FREE tickets are now available for all the events.

My Top Events:



The Gentle Author: East End Vernacular, Artists who Painted London's East End Streets in the 20th Century
Friday 17 Nov, 7pm
The Gentle Author presents a magnificent selection of pictures - many never published before - revealing the evolution of painting in the East End and tracing the changing character of the streets through the twentieth century. 

Helen Babbs: Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways
Saturday 18 Nov, 1pm
'Adrift' explores the people, politics, history and wildlife of London’s canals and rivers, journeying by boat from east to west over the course of a year and taking in the River Lea, Lee Navigation, Limehouse Cut, Regent’s Canal and Grand Union. Blending nature writing, social observation and memoir, it is an intimate and unusual portrait of London, and of life.

Julian Woodford: The Boss of Bethnal Green
Saturday 18 November, 1pm
Julian Woodford uncovers the breathtakingly appalling life of Joseph Merceron (1764–1839), gangster and corrupt magistrate, who accumulated enormous wealth while presiding over the creation of the poorest slums in Regency London. 

Clive Coward: Nigel Henderson’s Streets: Photographs of London’s East End 1949-1953
Sat 18 Nov, 2.30pm
Clive Coward will bring to life Henderson’s journey from Bloomsbury to Bethnal Green, showcasing hundreds of images of East End street life after the second World War, while establishing Henderson as an important artist within the British art scene of the 1950s.

Jerry White: Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison
Sat 18 Nov, 4pm
Jerry White introduces us to the Marshalsea’s unfortunate
prisoners—rich and poor, men and women, spongers, fraudsters and innocents. Told through these extraordinary lives, Mansions of Misery gives us a fascinating cross-section of London life from the early 1700s to the 1840s. 

Sheila Rowbotham: The Dilemmas of Socialist new Women in the 1880s and 90s
Sat 18 Nov, 4pm
Sheila Rowbotham describes how three young women, Helena Born, Miriam Daniell and Gertrude Dix, who feature in her latest book, ‘Rebel Crossings’, combined a search for personal sexual freedom with attempts to create an alternative to capitalism. Their stories span liberalism, socialism, anarchism, alternative forms of spirituality and the London Fabian Society.

Christine Wagg: Peabody in the East End
Saturday 18 Nov, 5.30pm
In 1862 George Peabody, an American merchant banker and philanthropist, founded the Peabody Trust to "ameliorate the conditions of the poor and needy” of London. He gave his trustees a total of £500,000 to build affordable housing, and “Peabody Buildings” remain a feature of London to this day. 

Follow @Writeideafest and don't forget to tweet us @guided_walks 
 

Woodstock Terrace, Poplar

November 14, 2017
Woodstock Terrace, Poplar
There are so many interesting details to see in Poplar. One of the bigger details is the beautiful Woodstock Street facing west onto Poplar Recreation Ground.

The street was built in the mid 1850s during the Victorian perood. Like many tenancies of the day, the covenants prohibited the lessees and their tenants from practising specified noxious trades, including the boiling of horseflesh (to create cat meat), tallow melting and soapmaking, and from using forges, anvils or steam engines on the premises. Tailoring the requirements to fit those who wouldn't need to work from home; the ever-increasing middle class.

Woodstock Terrace was thought to be one of the most respectable streets in Poplar. In 1881 the occupants included two clergymen, two schoolmistresses, a schoolmaster, a wine merchant, three clerks and two master mariners. 

 

Gold Christmas at the National Gallery

November 13, 2017
Gold Christmas at the National Gallery

Image Credit: NG1 Sebastiano del Piombo incorporating designs by Michelangelo about 1485 - 1547. The Raising of Lazarus 1517-19. Oil on canvas, transferred from wood 381 x 289.6 cm © The National Gallery, London

Celebrate the festive season at the National Gallery and take part in gold-themed activities and events.

17 November 2017 – 1 January 2018 


Gold shines brightest in the National Gallery during the festive season. This year, visitors are invited to celebrate the holidays by exploring the scintillating presence of gold throughout the collection. View early Renaissance pictures with backgrounds of real gold leaf. In the low-light conditions these backgrounds shimmer. Their surfaces could be further embellished with patterns, punches, and stamps. Gold leaf continues throughout the gallery used for eye-catching frames. How many can you find?

See how artists captured the magical effects of gold in oil paint in the depiction of golden objects: glittering jewellery, extravagant fabrics, and golden gifts all feature in the stories told by our paintings.

Special labels displayed from 1 December will adorn the walls of the National Gallery to highlight the GOLDEN facts about specific paintings, and a series of online films will provide a more in-depth exploration of the use of gold in art.

Get Social
From 17 November until 1 January 2018, visitors are invited to share their favourite gold artwork on social media using the hashtag #ArtGold. Don't forget to tag us on instagram (@walk_london) for a repost and twitter (@guided_walks) for a retweet.

Snapchat users have not been forgotten. When at the National Gallery they can give their selfies an 'OldMaster' sparkle with a National Gallery inspired gold-frame filter.

 

Special Seasonal Talks and Workshops at the National Gallery

Free lunchtime talks 

Gossaert's The Adoration of the Kings
Wednesday 6 December. Location: Room 14. Time: 1–1.30pm 

Crivelli’s The Annunciation with Saint Emidius
Wednesday 13 December. Location: Room 59. Time: 1–1.30pm 

Poussin's The Adoration of the Golden Calf
Wednesday 20 December. Location: Room 29. Time: 1–1.30pm 

Life drawing salon: Tutored life drawing classes exploring different themes. 

The Wilton Diptych and patterned gold
Friday 8 December. Location: Pigott Education Centre (Rooms 2&3). Time: 6.30–8.30pm
Tickets: £16/£15 conc./£14 Members
Experiment with gold leaf and gold-coloured drawing tools in a life drawing workshop inspired by The Wilton Diptych. 

Workshops 

Heavenly gold: The Wilton Diptych in intaglio
Saturday 16 December
Location: Pigott Education Centre (Rooms 2&3). Time: 10.30am-1pm
Tickets: £78/£68 conc./£62 Members
Discover the traditional intaglio printmaking technique of drypoint as you design and make your own shimmering, golden prints inspired by The Wilton Diptych. Combining close observation of the painting with your own creative ideas, you will translate motifs from the painting into print using etching needles, ink, liquid gold, and a printing press. No experience necessary. Limited to 12 places. 

Family holiday events over Christmas 

How’s my halo?
Wednesday 27 – Friday 29 December. Location: Meet in Room 59. Time: 11am-1pm & 2-4pm (drop-in) Create your own magnificent halo inspired by Cione’s Adoring Saints altarpiece and other radiating crowns found in the Gallery’s Renaissance paintings. 

Adults 

Talk and draw
Friday 8 and 15 December.
Location: Room 52. Time: 1–2pm.
Jacopo di Cione and workshop, The Coronation of the Virgin: Central Main Tier Panel Spaces are limited to 40 people on a first-come, first-served basis. 


 
Hazel's London blog

"Simply put... I love London; its architecture, its history and its people. After 15 years I still enjoy what this amazing city has to offer.

I am active Londoner, a keen theatre-goer and foodie.

I am available for event, restaurant, afternoon tea and book reviews, plus radio and TV interviews. Get in touch."

Contact Hazel: blog@londonguidedwalks.co.uk

Twitter: @Guided_Walks           

Skype: Hazel.Baker

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