Saturday, 27 February 2016

London Spy 27:02:16 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…

PUBS: Bad news and good news in Camberwell – a few of the old boozers are closing but the pub scene in SE5 seems to be "stabilising" according to Camberwell Blog

The past few years have seen a lot of Camberwell’s pubs shut down. Just in the last five years or so I can think of the The Bickleigh, The Cadeleigh Arms (my old local), The Prince of Wales, The Brewers, The Bricklayers Arms, The Flying Dutchman (no longer a pub but still active as an events space specialising in kink), The Ivanhoe, and The Corrib Bar (soon to be a legal church, rather than an illegal one?).

But recently things have stabilised, and even seem to be getting better; there might be fewer pubs, but when I first moved here 20?years ago The Grove (now Grand Union) was the only ‘nice’ option, until The Sun and Doves (now The Sun) opened.

Read the full story on The Camberwell Blog:

PLAQUES: With our #plaque366 project well under way here on The Daily Constitutional (posting a plaque-a-day during 2016) I was pleased to read there are to be some new plaques in London…

Playwrights, movie stars and the first black footballer to play for England will be honoured with blue plaques in London, English Heritage has announced.

Irish writer Samuel Beckett, screen icon Ava Gardner, and West Bromwich Albion's Laurie Cunningham are among those to be honoured by the charity.

London's blue plaque scheme was set up 150 years ago to link famous people with their homes and other buildings.

The scheme's chair called the list a "wide range of talent". Prof Ronald Hutton said it "will celebrate stars" who "made London their home".

Read the full story at the BBC website

EXHIBITIONS: Super exciting announcement from The V&A – we're back to the swinging 60s this September with the Records and Rebels show…

Full story at the V&A Website:

In Brief…

FOOTBALL: Mayor Approves Spurs Stadium Plans – Sky Sports News

ER, BEAUTY?: Pop Up Bunny Spa in Covent Garden – Evening Standard

GOING OUT: Trendy Theatre Bars – WhatsOnStage

FASHION: The Daily Beast at London Fashion Week – Daily Beast

DC Catch-Up

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

Also on TUESDAY we added classic BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? to the As Seen On TV series of blog posts celebrating classic London telly

On WEDNESDAY we visited Mr Punch at the National Gallery 

And on THURSDAY David was inspired by the play Whistleblower at Waterloo East Theatre 


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.

The Royal Society of Chemistry is celebrating its 175th anniversary this week.

To mark the occasion, they have been compiling a series of portraits of chemists down through the ages – from the great and the good, the monumental names of science, to the modern innovators and noteworthy contemporary chemists.

The exhibition – called 175 Faces – is on display at the Royal Society of Chemists on weekdays only. If you are unable to get along, then never fear. The jolly helpful chap at the RSC last Monday pointed me in the direction of the website where all the portraits have been collated

The show – which is free – at Burlington House closes on the 4th March. There's also an opportunity to add yourself to the collection (!) by taking a selfie and sharing it wit the Royal Soc. on Twitter!

Here's how to find Burlington House, home of the Royal Society of Chemistry…

Walking & Footwear News

I LOVE London Fashion Week. I don't go anywhere near it, of course, on account of being a saggy middle aged man with a penchant for second hand waistcoats that preceded last year's fad for "vests" (as my American cousins like to call 'em) by a coupla decades. (Said penchant looks set to carry on until the day they put me out feet first to Golders Green Crematorium regardless of fickle fashion.) So what do I LOVE about Fashion Week, then? It's the super-serious Zoolander tone of the journalism, that's what.

For example, did you know that wearing chelsea boots with a suit is "look" is "hard to pull-off"? No? Well, read on…

Wearing boots with a suit is a tactical endeavour that’s really about one minor detail: the length of your trouser. Ideally, you want your hemline to stop at exactly the right place, so it shows off your shoe.

Full story in The Guardian 

The single best line of prose that I have read this week came from in their wonderful account of the weird world of high fashion footwear…

You can always count on London for some wackadoodle fashion.

Ha! Read the full story – and check out the mad shoe pics – here:

Last word on shoes – a Life Hack on how to break 'em in double quick from Cosmopolitan…

The downside to new shoes is WEARING THEM IN. It's the devil's work. Why, when you look so shiny and new, must you inflict such pain on our poor feet? Blisters are unsightly and so is a woman who walks like Bambi on ice because she's in severe shoe-related pain.

Full story HERE:

Seen in London This Week 1: Look Down, Not Up

Okay, so it rained a wee bit on last week's Urban Geology walk with Ruth…

The unusual spectacle of a walking tour guide directing her walkers to look DOWN

… but were we downhearted? No!

Thanks Ruth for a fantastic afternoon of looking down!

Seen In London This Week No.2

On a visit to the Science Museum…

Heard In London This Week…

I was delighted to feature in a cameo role on the excellent Rock'n'Roll Archaeology Project Podcast this week!

Last summer Christian Swain, musician, musicologist and damned fine storyteller, joined me on the Rock'n'Roll London Walk. Here we are in Soho, outside "the toppermost of the pop-ermost", the London Palladium…

You can download the Rock'n'Roll Archaeology podcast from iTunes here:

London Spy will return next Saturday, have a great London week!

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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