I Want a Picture-Perfect White Christmas in London
In December our thoughts turn to Christmas. We think about our family, friends, Christmas cards, food (lots of it!) and presents – will Santa pass by this year? Also, just as important, the reason for Christmas: the birth of Jesus. But what we also think about is the weather – will it snow? This question set me thinking – why do we feel Christmas isn’t really Christmas if it doesn’t snow?
The Black Sailors of Georgian London
Inspired by the new exhibition “Black Greenwich Pensioners” at the Old Royal Naval College (which at the time of writing I have yet to visit), my mind recently turned to Britain’s Black seafaring past, particularly to the time Britain was most actively involved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the enslavement of Africans, a time which loosely coincides with what we refer to as the Georgian age (1714-1837).
Guiding Teenagers Around London
Blue Badge Tourist Guides conduct many different types of tours, from individual families to large groups, and each type requires different skills to be successful. Here, Olga Romana shares her experiences of guiding student groups.
I have worked with students my whole life!
Public Walking & Virtual Tours By London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides
In addition to offering customized private tours, many London Blue Badge Tourist Guides also conduct regular walking tours and virtual tours for groups. Joining a group tour can be a fun and affordable way to take in the sights. For locals, a walk with a knowledgeable and passionate Blue Badge Tourist Guide can reveal fun facts and hidden gems you may not have been aware of.
Because I’m a Londoner: From Postman to Blue Badge Tourist Guide
This is part of a series of articles written by London Blue Badge Guides who used to be key workers in our capital city. First up is Neil Parker, who worked for 30 years as a postman before becoming a tourist guide.
I qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide in 2013 and now, as my mates from the post would say, ‘I’m paid to be me!’ At least I was until March 2020 when Covid-19 arrived. This got me thinking, what was life like for my mates in the post? So, after it reopened, I went to the pub to find out.
Introducing Millie the Blue Badger Cartoon
Hello Internet! I’m excited to introduce myself to you as one of the newly hatched Blue Badge Tourist Guides! While I’d already been guiding for a number of years, it was only in 2020 that I finally qualified as a Blue Badge Tourist Guide…
Posts in: Food & Drink
London has been enjoying a Gin Renaissance in recent years, with over 20 new distillers appearing in the capital, and pubs and bars throughout the city declaring themselves Gin Palaces. You many even have enjoyed a tipple of the juniper-infused drink yourself in recent months. If so, you were probably imbibing a form of London Dry.Read more
If you fancy sampling some traditional English dishes the next time you’re able to visit London, try one or more of these staunch favourites!Read more
What could be more quintessentially English than afternoon tea? This is often one of the top items on London visitors’ itineraries, but many are unsure of where to go or surprised by how expensive it can be. I’ve been enjoying and writing about the afternoon tea ceremony since I first moved to London nearly 30 years ago. How times have changed! The landscape has grown, both in terms of price range and creativity of menus. Restaurants and hotels have become more imaginative with themed teas, such as the Mad Hatter Tea at the Sanderson Hotel and the fashion-orientated Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
There’s no doubt that going to brunch can be the highlight of a great weekend. Like with many culinary traditions, the origins of the meal called brunch aren’t entirely clear. Some food historians suggest it may have sprung from huge feasts held in England after a hunt. (We do know that the word first appeared in print in an 1895 Hunter's Weekly article.) Others think it may relate to the big meal Catholics would have after mass.Read more
Think of classic British food, and you probably think of fish and chips, one of the most popular and famous national dishes. What you may not know is that the origins of the dish stretch beyond our shores. The story of the humble chip goes back to the 17th-century in either Belgium or France – there are differing opinions – and fried fish was introduced into Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.Read more
Touring London is a great way to top up your step count and burn off calories. So why not reward yourself for all that hard work? Blue Badge Tourist Guides know where to go for the tastiest treats, and nothing beats ice cream on a warm day. In no particular order, here are some of the best ice cream shops in the capital, tried and tested by this Blue Badge Tourist Guide (well someone had to do it).Read more
At the last count there were around 7000 pubs in London. Of course all of them are individual and have their own style. But of all of these, where are the pubs that have something about their history or atmosphere that sets them apart?Read more
The fabulous Grade II-listed gin palace Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood has been beautifully restored as a restaurant and bar. The establishment has 50 kinds of marble, Romanesque columns, cut glass chandeliers and carved mahogany.Read more