Tuesday, 19 January 2016

#London Walks Guides' Tips For Winter Walkers No.1

Outside in all weathers, the London Walks guides know a thing or two about battling the cold weather.

In this short series we're sharing our winter weather tips with our lovely London Walkers, a hardy bunch who join us rain or sleet in the winter months.

DC Editor & London Walks guide Adam kicks off the series…

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 to listening to Hildegard von Bingen and reading comic books and enjoy both equally; I make gallons of homemade soup using recipes of my own devising which invariably turn out to be the colour of an unhealthy looking dragon and taste like old shoes and I force my family to eat, regardless of their protestations; I own more waistcoats than there are days in a month; I have long-since ceased to pair my socks and will seize any colour/pattern combo from the drawer of a morning as long as they add up to an even number; I cultivate ill-advised facial hair. I am contemplating taking up knitting; I am already a source of deep embarrassment to my daughter and she is only eight-years-old.

If all this wasn't bad enough, I now make 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…

Daily Constitutional Tincture For Sore Throats

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, one-person 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, but won’t cause undue harm if swallowed.

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. Similarly, don’t brew up vast amounts of the stuff as it is sure to go off and/or blow up your medicine cabinet.

The series will continue with tips for keeping warm on a London Walk, getting warm after a walk and a number of tried-and-tested cough remedies.

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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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