Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November Is Quiz Month: Q30

November is Quiz Month on The Daily Constitutional! 30 Questions in 30 Days!

Question 30:

Last question! Fill in the famous London blank…



Answers tomorrow!


PUB QUIZ WALKS go every Thursday night in March 2012 – a walking tour & a pub quiz with prizes.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PUB QUIZ WALKS SCHEDULE

WATCH THE PUB QUIZ WALKS FILM HERE


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It's a London Thing No.55: Fitzroy Square On A Saturday Afternoon

It’s a London Thing is our Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.



Fitzroy Square On A Saturday Afternoon. It’s A London Thing.

Trafalgar is more famous. Hanover is posher. Hoxton is more fashionable. Kensington is older. But Fitzroy Square, for me, is London’s best square. Especially on a Saturday afternoon.

While the rest of London is off shopping on Oxford Street, going to football matches or at a matinee in the West End, Fitzroy Square is deserted.

I first discovered Fitzroy Square on a Saturday afternoon about six weeks after moving to London. Out on one of my rambles to try to make sense of the place (project status: 20 years in and still ongoing) I stumbled upon the empty square right in the heart of the city.

So plugged-in to the urban growl had I become that the stillness actually began to freak me out. It felt like some post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie from the 70’s – London laid waste and I, Charlton Heston-like, the only survivor. I turned and headed for the reassuring hum of the main drag.

It’s is an atmosphere that I have grown to love over the years – pockets of peacefulness slap bang in the middle of the word’s greatest commotion. It is contrary old London’s loveliest caprice.

Fitzroy Square also a great spot from which to revel in London’s constant fireworks display of architectural coups d’theatre. Classic stucco cowers as if aware that the Brutalism of the BT Tower lowers nearby. Glimpses of both mews and modernity hide around every corner.

It is dotted with plaques –Virginia Wolf among them. And there are no shops – an unusual and delightful break from commerce. If, however, the millennial urge to splurge seizes you, then French’s Theatre Bookshop is at hand, as well as of outstanding fish and chips at Fishbone in Cleveland Street.

Fitzroy Square On A Saturday Afternoon. It’s A London Thing.


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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

November Is Quiz Month: Q29

November is Quiz Month on The Daily Constitutional! 30 Questions in 30 Days!

Question 29:

Fill in the Soho blank…




Answers on December 1st.


PUB QUIZ WALKS go every Thursday night in March 2012 – a walking tour & a pub quiz with prizes.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PUB QUIZ WALKS SCHEDULE

WATCH THE PUB QUIZ WALKS FILM HERE


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The London Reading List No.24

Tuesday is great London books day on The Daily Constitutional. Give us your own recommendations at the usual email address




The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)
By G.K. Chesterton

"He walked on the Embankment once under a dark red sunset. The red river reflected the red sky, and they both reflected his anger. The sky, indeed, was so swarthy, and the light on the river relatively so lurid, that the water almost seemed of fiercer flame than the sunset it mirrored. It looked like a stream of literal fire winding under the vast caverns of a subterranean country."


The events of G.K Chesterton's outlandish, and at times lurid tale of anarchy, treachery, double-bluff and paranoia, cast an apocalyptic pall over London – the familiar, sedate old city seems on the brink of conflagration by its mere proximity to the narrative of Chesterton's classic.

Gabriel Syme has been recruited by a shadowy branch of the authorities to root out anarchist cells in a political tinderbox London of the early 20th Century. He gravitates toward bohemian Saffron Park, a thinly-veiled fictionalization of then-fashionable Bedford Park in the borough of Ealing. Famed residents of this “most significant suburb of the last century” (as John Betjeman) once described it included W.B Yeats, the actor William Terris, and the painter Camille Pissarro. Elsewhere in fiction it provides the model for Biggleswick in John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast.

In Saffron Park, Syme encounters the wild Lucien Gregory, and is led into the underworld of political London. A literal under-world, as it turns out: the scene in which Syme "descends" into the nightmarish realm of the anarchists, via a seemingly innocent and ordinary London pub, is a vivid set-piece.

Written at a time of great political upheaval (the run up to the First World War) the suspicious, cloak and dagger nature of the piece is, for many, an apposite tale for our security conscious millennial world of today. Chesterton himself, when asked to explain the more complex twists of the labyrinthine narrative, simply pointed to the subtitle of his most famous novel: The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare.

You can buy The Man Who Was Thursday (published by Penguin) HERE.


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If You Do One OTHER Thing in London This Week…

Our NEW weekly slot in which we point you in the direction of other great happenings and events in our great city. A new exhibition, a gig, a museum, a pop-up-shop – the best of London within a few minutes of a London Walks walking tour.


The First Actresses exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery runs until 8th January and turns the spotlight on the first female stars if the London stage from the 17th and 18th centuries. Running concurrently there is a free exhibition of portraits featuring contemporary stars of stage and screen.

Tickets for The First Actresses range from £9.00 to £12.10 and can be booked on 0844 248 5033 or at the National Portrait Gallery website – click HERE.

Also at the NPG website you can enter a fabulous prize draw to win a Fortnum & Mason hamper. Yum. Click HERE to enter.



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Monday, 28 November 2011

November Is Quiz Month: Q28

November is Quiz Month on The Daily Constitutional! 30 Questions in 30 Days!

Question 28:

Name that spire!




Answers on December 1st.


PUB QUIZ WALKS go every Thursday night in March 2012 – a walking tour & a pub quiz with prizes.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PUB QUIZ WALKS SCHEDULE

WATCH THE PUB QUIZ WALKS FILM HERE


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On This Day in London History…

This from David, just back from Paris but already out in the field…


92 years ago today – 28 Nov 1919 - Nancy Astor became the first woman in British history to take her seat in Parliament.



Thanks David. You can find her plaque (pictured) in St James’s Square in the vicinity of the Old Palace Quarter walk.




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In and Around London... Camden Town

Monday is mute on the London Walks Blog (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides, London Walkers and Facebook friends. Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.
















POST UPDATED 25/3/16

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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Sunday, 27 November 2011

November Is Quiz Month: Q27

November is Quiz Month on The Daily Constitutional! 30 Questions in 30 Days!

Question 27:

Can you fill in the missing word on this plaque…




Answers on December 1st.


PUB QUIZ WALKS go every Thursday night in March 2012 – a walking tour & a pub quiz with prizes.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL PUB QUIZ WALKS SCHEDULE

WATCH THE PUB QUIZ WALKS FILM HERE

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