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Wedding ring shop, Hatton Garden in London. Photo Credit: © Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons.

Shopping In London For Valentine’s Day Gifts Of Love

Why is February 14th the most romantic day of the year? According to legend, Valentine was a Roman priest who defied Emperor Claudius. The emperor believed that single soldiers were more effective than married ones, but Valentine challenged the ban and continued to help young lovers, and he paid for his defiance with his life on this very day.

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Entrance to Veeraswamy Indian Restaurant in London. Photo Credit: © Alex Muller via Wikimedia Commons.

History of Curry in London & Best Indian Restaurants In London

Visitors to London often want to try Indian food, one of Britain’s most popular cuisines. The United Kingdom celebrates National Curry Week every October. Although curry is an Indian dish modified for British tastes, it is such a favourite with locals that it contributes more than £5 billion to the British economy. Hence it was hardly surprising when in 2001, Britain’s Foreign Secretary referred to chicken tikka as a true British national dish.  Read on for some tips on the best places for Indian food in the capital, as well as some fascinating history and fun facts – including which restaurant shares a birthday with Her Majesty the Queen.

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British Museum in London: Noor Inayat Khan, bronze by Karen Newman. Photo Credit: ©  Ingrid M Wallenborg.

8 Exceptional Women At The British Museum in London

Did you know that the word museum means a “Temple to the Muses”, all of whom were female? The British Museum in London is a museum of world history, but all too often that history has ignored half of the world. This is true even though women have wielded power in a variety of ways. In ancient Greece, Aristotle believed it was the natural order of things for women to be subordinate to men, that men were more virtuous, brave and intelligent. He also believed that men’s blood was hotter than women’s blood! Well, on both counts, he was wrong of course.

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The interior of the Crystal Palace in London during the Great Exhibition of 1851. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Dinosaurs And Destruction at the Crystal Palace

Most Blue Badge Guides, when conducting a tour of London, will give priority to what people can see. Occasionally, however, they will mention a building that has been lost to fire, bombing or development. One such is the Crystal Palace, originally found in Hyde Park.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Interactive Water Fountain

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walks & Tours

There is no better time to visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than spring or summer.  The Park opened fully in April 2014 and has since welcomed millions of visitors. It covers 560 acres and people visiting can enjoy the beautiful parklands, idyllic riverside lawns, giant climbing walks and intricate fountains.

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Sky Garden Restaurant in London. Photo Credit: © rhubarb, Sky Garden.

A View From Above: 10 London Rooftop Bars And Restaurants

Who doesn’t love a great view? And even better if there’s good food and/or classic cocktails to go with it. As you take a break from sightseeing for refreshment and relaxation, let your Blue Badge Tourist Guide help you seek out the most stunning vistas across London.  With an ever-increasing number of steel and glass skyscrapers heading for the heavens in the financial district, the area known as the City of London is a great place to start.

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London Chinatown - Chinese New Year Parade - Dragon Dancers. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in London

The wonderful Christmas lights in Central London are coming down, and red lanterns are beginning to appear around Soho and in particular Chinatown. This is part of the celebration for Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival. This year it falls on the 28th January, the first day of spring in the lunisolar calendar.

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Harry Potter: Platform 9 3/4 at London's Kings Cross Station

Why London Has The Best Literature Tours In The World

If you’re a fan of literature, there’s no better place to visit than London. Book a tour with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and walk in the footsteps of authors like William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Charles Dickens. The city has preserved its history so well in places that you can still feel the source of the writers’ inspiration.

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Pearly King and Queen in London. Photo Credit: © Vilakins via Wikimedia Commons.

Pearly Kings And Queens On The Streets of London

As well as the important buildings and monuments, Blue Badge Tourist Guides have to be aware of distinctive characters on the streets of London. None are more distinct than the Pearly Kings and Queens who dress up in the ‘colourful’ costumes and raise money for charity. In fact, a Pearly costume is usually made from black and white materials, with occasionally a brightly coloured scarf (as on this photograph) or feathers adorning a pearly hat or cap.

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Mural of Alfred Hitchcock in London. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

Hunting for Alfred Hitchcock in London

The famous film director Alfred Hitchcock lived half of his eighty years in London and half in America. He was born in the East End of London in Leytonstone into a family of shopkeepers and fans of his work can see several memorials to him in the area. The house in which Hitchcock was born is long gone and has been replaced by a garage but they do have a plaque on the wall commemorating him as well as several nearby places named after him.

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Tutankhamun London Exhibition_Tutankhamun statue. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

Tutankhamun Exhibition London At Saatchi Gallery – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

To celebrate the upcoming centenary of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of the young Egyptian Pharoah, the Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharoah exhibition runs at the Saatchi Gallery in the Duke of York HQ until 3 May next year.

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George Eliot painting. Photo Credite: © Edwin Lerner.

Celebrating English Writer George Eliot 200 Years After Her Birth

Blue Badge Tourist Guides are used to standing in front of statues and telling their groups about the people portrayed in them. The subjects of these statues are far more likely to be men, with only about ten percent portraying women – and most of those are of royalty, such as Queen Victoria. Britain has produced a large number of successful female writers but there are very few monuments to commemorate them.

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