Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Triple

DC Editor Adam writes…

I'm out & about leading THREE London Walks tours tomorrow.

It's a big day for step counting.

Here are the totals…

Inside Covent Garden (10:00am Covent Garden tube)

Old Kensington (2pm High Street Kensington tube)

Jack the Ripper (7:30pm Tower Hill tube - by the tram)

Book for all three tours here…

Inside Covent Garden

Thursday 6th & 20th June

Meet at Covent Garden Tube 10.00a.m

The West End revealed - looking beyond the shops and chain cafés to the rich history of London's playground. Where possible, we'll take in a few interiors, too.

Tour ends in Trafalgar Square

£10/£8 Pay on the day or book now…

Old Kensington

Thursdays 6th & 20th June 2019
Meet at High Street Kensington tube

A walking tour of London's royal village…

Jack the Ripper

Thursdays 6th & 20th June

Meet at Tower Hill Tube by the tram 7.30pm

The word's most enduring crime story – social history, conspiracy and gruesome murder make for an intense night.

Tour ends at Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street station.

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Ascot In Numbers

Karen Pierce-Goulding writes…

It was a bit of a bunfight getting in to Windsor Castle on Monday morning this week –  on the first day of the races at Royal Ascot. 

It reminded me of the inimitable Alan Jay Lerner’s take on the English Aristocracy in My Fair Lady 🎼 What a smashing, positively dashing spectacle the Ascot Opening Day! 🎼

Here’s a round-up of Ascot in numbers…

Something in the region of 279,000 people will attend Royal Ascot

Ascot has more private boxes that any other sporting facility in Europe – 222

330 Chefs will be on duty

The Bar Bill:

51,000 bottles of champagne
125,000 glasses of Pimms
174,000 pints of beer

Which will be mopped up by…

5,000 kilos of salmon
7000 Cornish and Folkestone crabs
2,900 lobsters
2,400 kilos of beef sirloin
3,700 rumps of English lamb
10,000 Angus steaks.


Click below to book a place on one of my tours…

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Hoarse? Dark Brown Voice? Try My Tincture!

DC Editor Adam writes…

Outside in all weathers guiding tours, I like to think I know a thing or two about battling the cold weather and its attendant agues & annoyances.

I'm re-posting this one - originally posted in 2017. It follows a discussion last night with my Westminster guiding colleagues down the Horse & Groom in Belgravia. 

The Daily Constitutional Cough Tincture

I fear I am beginning a journey into eccentric old age akin to that of Kurtz in Conrad's Heart of Darkness – when they send a team to get me back, I will be too far gone to ever return home.

I have taken, gentle reader, to making my own cough medicine.

In my all-too-rare moments of clarity I catch sight of myself and sigh, "Dearie me."

Having said that, it is outstanding cough medicine.

Here's the recipe…

You will need…

50g Soft Eating Liquorice

Balsamic Vinegar

Dried Sage

Chamomile flowers


Whole cloves


Chop up the liquorice into small pieces and place in a pan with half a mug of water.

Add a good glug of Balsamic vinegar and 6 cloves.

Bring to the boil, stirring continually, and simmer until the mixture is slightly gloopy and the liquorice has more or less dissolved.

While the mixture simmers…

In a mug or small teapot, place three heaped teaspoons of dried sage and one teaspoon of chamomile flowers. Fill with boiling water and allow to brew for a few minutes – for about as long as a good cup of builder’s tea.

Strain the mixture and add the result to the simmering liquorice solution.

Stir in 2-3 table spoons of honey.

Strain into a jar or bottle.

How To Take…

This tincture works best as a gargle.

Exercise caution with the cloves and never replace them with clove oil, which is much more potent and can burn, even small quantities.

And please take note: don’t keep it hanging around in a bottle/jar for more than two days, due to lack of preservatives. 

Click the button below to book a place on one of my scheduled public tours…

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The Daily Constitutional London Library No.2 The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948

Welcome to The Daily Constitutional London Library

In this ten-week series of posts I'll be drawing in literary fiction, popular fiction, graphic novels and non-fiction to create a reading list as disparate and inspiring as London itself. 

The 10 titles are linked in so much as each one features at least one London location – each post will also feature a map to one of the locations

No.2. The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948

By Janie Hampton

Adam writes… 

Janie Hampton’s wonderful book on the 1948 Olympics tells the tale of London’s second hosting of the Games.

For those of you stifling a yawn at this point, perhaps anticipating lists and times and heights and team sheets and medal tables, well think again. Hampton’s narrative is just that: a narrative, a tale well told, mercifully free from dry match facts and mere sports reporting.

Instead, Hampton treats us to the stories of the people who made the Games: the posh rower who thought his official Olympic blazer to be of such poor quality that it must have been “cut with a spoon”; then the athlete who found her blazer so smart that she wore it to her sister’s wedding. 

There are tales of the American and Canadian teams sharing their ample rations with the deprived European teams – and of the French captain complaining strenuously about the British food!

Every corner was cut, every penny pinched. Teams were put up not in a swish Olympic Village, but in schools and army barracks. One official even expected the cycling competitors to be able to ride their own bikes to Herne Hill for the races!

The Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen remains the heroine of the ‘48 Games, winning four gold medals on the track. Despite the fact that she beat British girls into silver position to take three of those golds, the London crowds took her to their hearts. And her journey is here too – from Nazi occupied Holland to the Hunger Winter of ’44 to the winners’ podium at Wembley.

But it is the unsung heroes who make the story such a delight. The overall tale that emerges is humane and moving, nuanced and rich, truly Olympian. Left to a sports reporter, there’s every chance this book would have garnered as many gold medals as the British track and field competitors in 1948 – none at all. In the hands of Janie Hampton, it’s a story worthy of as many garlands as the great Fanny Blankers-Koen herself.

The Herne Hill Velodrome…

… where the cycling events took place in 1948 is still on the go! It opened back in 1891 and is one of the oldest cycling tracks in the world. During WWI Crystal Palace F.C played their home games here – having been turfed out of their own ground by The Admiralty who needed it for the war effort. And in the post-WWII period the London Welsh Rugby Club found a home here.  

Visit their website here:

Next week… 

The Orton Diaries

By Joe Orton 
Edited by John Lahr

Click the button below to book a place on one of my scheduled public tours…

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Monday, 17 June 2019

The Monday Photoblog… Shops on Jermyn Street

DC Editor Adam Scott-Goulding writes…

Monday is ALMOST mute here on The Daily Constitutional. I always launch the week with a few London photos, grouped on a theme or neighbourhood.

This week: A few Jermyn Street shops ahead of my Village in Piccadilly Tour next Monday…

The first Royal Warrant issued by HRH the Prince of Wales was to shirtmaker Turnbull & Asser in 1981

Beau Brummel's hat

Church's shoes, handmade in England

Musician & broadcaster Jarvis Cocker modelling for T&A

The Monday Photoblog will return next week. In the meantime, if you'd like to share a London photo with me, please do! Perhaps you joined me on a tour and snapped a great shot. Drop me a line.

You have FIVE opportunities to join me on the Village In Piccadilly tour this summer & autumn 2019…

Monday 24th June – 2.30pm meet at Piccadilly Circus tube by Eros

Monday 15th July – 2.30pm meet at Piccadilly Circus tube by Eros

Monday 12th August – 2.30pm meet at Piccadilly Circus tube by Eros

Monday 2nd September – 2.30pm meet at Piccadilly Circus tube by Eros

Monday 7th October – 2.30pm meet at Piccadilly Circus tube by Eros

Click the button below to book a place on one of my scheduled Village In Piccadilly public tours…

Watch a preview of the tour…

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