Saturday, 20 February 2016

London Spy 19:02:16 Our Weekly #London Review #LondonSpy

It's our weekly London roundup starting with a few headlines that caught the eye in London over the last week or so, click the links for the full stories…

SOCIETY: I've been chuckling away for quite some time now at Highgate Mums on Twitter, a feed dedicated to the wit and wisdom of posh North London parents and their decidedly first world problems…

Life as a "Living Statue" in London…

As street entertainers are removed from Trafalgar Square, here's a piece on life as a living statue in Covent Garden…

“People think I just paint myself gold,” says Valy, “which I do. But being a living statue is harder than that – harder than many people think. It’s important to do it properly, and I try to do it as well as I can. I don’t just mean the performance.”

After a long week of fixing sinks and installing pipes, every weekend Valy descends on Covent Garden, accesses the on-site store where his equipment is kept, and wheels an 80 kilogram box of costumes and staging apparatus to his allotted area. Often he will arrive up to several hours early to ensure that no opportunist entertainers encroach on his patch.

Full Story:

BEER: It's London Beer Week from 22nd - 28th February.

The Independent reports…

London Beer Week is a chance for the city to celebrate its enormous contribution to the current British beer revolution, with a seemingly endless stream of entrepreneurial hop-heads re-establishing London’s place on the top table of brewing locations.

There were only two breweries in the capital as recently as 2006, but some areas of the city, notably Bermondsey and Hackney, are now so dense with active fermenters that the air increasingly smells of malt and hops.

The Independent lists its Top 10 London beers here:

Here's the Guardian's tips for the best craft beer pubs in South and the top ten in East


Catch up with the latest developments in the campaign to preserve a priceless corner of London at the Spitalfields Life blog…

I learnt recently that British Land’s slogan is ‘Creating Places People Prefer’ yet this shows what they want to do to Norton Folgate in Spitalfields - demolishing more than seventy per cent of the buildings on a site which sits entirely within a Conservation Area.

In 1977 the newly-formed Spitalfields Trust, including Dan Cruickshank and with the support of Sir John Betjeman, stopped British Land from redeveloping Elder St in Norton Folgate, but now British Land have come back again to obliterate the neighbourhood under a hideous corporate plaza.

Their plans show no respect for one of the last fragments of distinctive Spitalfields streetscape which has evolved over centuries, replacing it with bland corporate office blocks of up to thirteen storeys, offering little to the tech industries and small businesses which thrive in the East End.

By The Gentle Author – visit and follow events on Facebook.

In Brief…

WORK: London Office Offers Free Beer – Evening Standard

THEATRE: BBC To Film Guys & Dolls – Playbill

TRANSPORT 2: UK's 10 Slowest Roads Are ALL In London – Time Out

BOOKS/FASHION: Three Books on British Menswear – Wall Street Journal

EXHIBITIONS: Highlights From The Classic Car Show – Top Gear

DC Catch-Up

Stories you may have missed on The Daily Constitutional this past week…

SUNDAY: For Valentine's Day I shared a tale that proves romance is alive and well and living in the East End of London 

MONDAY – as always – is In & Around London, the weekly photoblog, this time around calling in on Fitzrovia 

On TUESDAY I unraveled the difference between a night school and a knight school 

THURSDAY saw the return of David's photoblog series Londoners 

On FRIDAY I sang the praises of Lucky Seven record shop in Stoke Newington 

If You Do One OTHER Thing In London…

Our weekly slot in which we point you in the direction of other 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.

Book Tickets for Whistleblower

Whistleblower – The Story of Edward Snowden by Richard Roques is on NOW at Waterloo East Theatre running to the 6th March.

Richard Roques is known to many of you as our very own Richard III, London Walks guide and Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent. 

"Whistleblower is always watchable. Events unfold with a thriller-like momentum…" Lyn Gardner The Guardian 

"What’s impressive is the theatrical ballsiness of this London fringe production…" Kate Bassett The Times 

The Waterloo East website is at

Walking & Footwear News

Every week I keep an eye out for walking stories in the news and every week my Google searches return screeds of links to tales of The Walking Dead, the cult US TV show in which zombies have taken over the world.

Some of you will remember last Halloween, The Daily Constitutional enjoyed – endured? - a Walking Dead-style makeover…

… and I went the whole zombie hog with my London Walks Podcast colleague Andy…

Well, it seems that some Walking Dead "fans" go even further and try to bite chunks out of the actors in the show…

Two months ago, Norman Reedus was bitten by a misguided fan of The Walking Dead at New Jersey's Walker Stalker Con. Now Tyler James Williams, who played Noah on AMC's zombie-apocalypse television series, says he was bitten as well.

"I got bit one time. I think it was like, 'Haha. A joke.' But it wasn't funny," Williams told TV Guide. "The last show I did, I was kind of ripped apart, so I think they thought it would be fun [to] reenact it, maybe? And I just did not see it coming. They went in for a hug and bit me on the shoulder."

Now I'm not above a bit of zombie action myself (see pic above) but if anyone tries to take a bite out of me on the Ghosts of the Old City walk tonight, there will be BIG trouble.

Read the full story at

Read in London This Week

A lovely review from Dianne Murphy. We don't badger and beg our London Walkers to go on TripAdvisor and write reviews – we think that would be insulting and a waste of your time. So when our London Walkers do take the time to share a few kind words we are deeply appreciative…

Seen In London This Week…

Shared on Instagram, a snap of The Ace Cafe fabled bikers' hangout in North London

A photo posted by London Walks (@dailyconstitutional) on

London Spy will return next Saturday.

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

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