Wednesday, 30 November 2016

#plaque366 The Spaniards Gate


A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series





The Spaniards Gate, Hampstead…






A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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#London Christmas Shopping No.2: Christopher St James Jewellery @CecilCourt

Daily Constitutional editor Adam Scott-Goulding writes…


It's back! The annual London Christmas Shopping Guide from The Daily Constitutional!



This year I'll be including museum gift shops and markets for gift ideas. 


As well as gifts I'll be pointing you toward local London shops for the best in Christmas food and drink. Where relevant, I'll list the London Walks tour that finishes near the shop in question.


As usual, you can drop me a line with your own tips by emailing the usual address, by leaving a comment below or via Twitter.


Karen Pierce-Goulding adds…


Christopher St James, Cecil Court




Christopher St James Costume jeweller extraordinaire! 

As well as lovingly replicated repro Art Deco brooches and necklaces there are authentic Vintage pieces too, as well as some gorgeous statement bracelets and earrings fashioned from Bakelite  - you could leave sporting a Carmen Miranda-inspired set of earrings or a costume choker as worn by Lady Mary of Downtown Abbey fame.

His, 'ow you say, quixotic opening times add an air of exclusivity to the proceedings – worth coming back another time if you are unlucky and find him closed at your first attempt.

My lovely colleague Richard Walker ends his Harry Potter tours in Cecil Court!


Christopher St James, Cecil Court WC2N 4HE Opening hours - Varied. Sometimes VERY varied! Best to phone 07768 548371.



Find Cecil Court here…





About your correspondent

Karen


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Karen comes trailing clouds of glory. Travel & Leisure crowned her "the world's greatest tour guide." She hosts the Canadian television travel show "London Next Stop." She won the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year award. She's the author of Royal London. She is, quite simply, a star turn – which is why she's the "go to" London guide for every major media concern. A reformed actress and occasional journalist, she was Independent Magazine's Cultural Heritage Correspondent. Her gold standard walks are, needless to say, vivid and entertaining.


Here's she is presenting her Canadian TV series London Next Stop







Christmas 2016 With London Walks…


On Christmas Day there are TWO London Walks: 

Walk up an appetite with The Christmas Morning 1660 Walk – meet at 11:00a.m by the big tree in Trafalgar Square



Walk off the pudding with The Christmas Day Charles Dickens Walk – meet by the big tree in Trafalgar Square at 2:00pm



A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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All Roads Lead To #London – The Rock'n'Roll #Pub Walk With Live Music Tonight!

DC Editor Adam writes…



As usual I'm leading the Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk tonight (Tottenham Court Road tube exit 1 7pm) but on tonight's walk there's a twist – at the first pub stop I'll be performing a 20 minute live set featuring a few of the songs that we discuss on the walk.





When thinking about what songs to pick for the set tonight, I was thrown back on just how pivotal London is in the story of Rock'n'Roll. 

There are periods in the narrative of popular music when even the mighty New York City bows before our own London. The early-to-mid 1960s is one such era, and I'm always reminded of Bob Dylan's line on English folkie Martin Carthy (from a Rolling Stone interview in 1984):

"I ran into some people in England who really knew those [traditional English] songs. Martin Carthy, another guy named [Bob] Davenport. Martin Carthy's incredible. I learned a lot of stuff from Martin."

Dylan was in London during the making of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album. Paul Simon washed up on these shores not long after. These two giants of world music are indelibly associated with New York City (Simon by birth, Dylan relocated there from Hibbing, Minnesota in 1961), but both benefitted creatively from their time here.

The aforementioned Carthy – brought up in Hampstead North London – influenced both Dylan and Simon. Just one example of his influence can be heard in the short playlist below, which begins with Carthy's arrangement of the 17th century ballad Scarborough Fair. As you can hear, Paul Simon (track 3) lifted Carthy's arrangement wholesale. Track two is Dylan's reinterpretation of the melody with track four ending up in Nashville with Dylan and Johnny Cash on their lovingly ramshackle cut from 1969's Nashville Skyline album. 




Tonight's Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk stops at the Alley Cat Bar in Denmark Street…


… where I'll discuss and perform a work by Dylan related to his period here in London, a song covered by Paul Simon, a Ray Davies number, a song from the Rolling Stones' first album (which was recorded upstairs from the bar in Denmark Street) and a couple more. The meeting place is Tottenham Court Road tube (exit 1) and the time is 7pm.

In the meantime, here's the Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk preview film…







A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.



Fortnum & Mason's #Christmas Window

DC Editor Adam writes…

Took a lovely wander with my family around the Christmas lights in the West End last Friday night. Fortnum & Mason's window is, as ever, an event in itself.

I was particularly fond of this huge Brussels sprout…




… and even more so of the little mouse suffering the after-effects of sprout consumption…





Should they be changing their name to FARTnum and Mason?




A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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