Sunday, 30 April 2017

#London Walk of the Week: The First London Walks Guided Run with @hallett_g! #RunLondon #Fitness

Every Sunday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks repertoire and put it centre stage.

You can check out the full schedule at

But if you only take one walking tour this week, why not make it…

The Morning Run with London Walks!

Good for mind, body and soul. London Walks Runs. Debuting in the Summer programme. 

Andy – a committed jogger – has put them together and will lead them. 

First one is on 4th May from affluent, fashionable Holland Park and Kensington to The Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Speakers Corner and Marble Arch

Meet Andy just outside Holland Park Tube station at 7.15 am on May 4th

Holland Park Tube

Guided by Andrew

Jog London. With Andy. With live historical commentary.

London 5K morning run with guided commentary. Beautiful scenic route taking in some of central London’s most historical landmark buildings, stunning vistas and Royal parks. We will be using an app which you will need to download to hear crystal clear commentary as you run. Smart phone and headphones required.


Meet at Holland park tube 7.15 am Thursday 4th May 2017. 

You will need to download the Zello app to your smart phone from your app store to hear the commentary.  

The cost of a London Walks Run is £10 for adults; or £8 for students, over 65’s and discount holders. Plus data usage on your smart phone (no more than £1:50 if pay as you go, free if you have unlimited data allowance).

About Your Guide…


Andrew is "the Queen Mum's favourite". Or, in the words of the Evening Standard, "a class act". Astrikingly talentedyoung actor – and budding historian – he received rave reviews for his one-man show, "George VI in Heaven". Andrew is good company: laid back, friendly, fun, at ease with himself and his walkers and his handsome, historic old patch. Add to the mix the fact that he's completely in command of his material and you've got a great walk fronted by a very gifted young guide.

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

Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday Is Rock'n'Roll #London Day: The Roots of Rock'n'Roll in London

Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day! Join the Rock'n'Roll London walk this (and every Friday) afternoon at 2:00p.m meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station

Adam writes…

Along the route of the Rock'n'Roll London Walk, we delve into what I like to call the "parent musics" as we go – blues, a little bit of jazz, some skiffle of course and also folk.

I picked up a copy of Spin magazine in the Muswell Hill books and records branch of Oxfam recently…


It's not, as you can see, the U.S Spin magazine founded in the mid 80s, which ceased printing in 2012 but continues as a website here:

Spin was a magazine for folk musicians and fans. This issue was published and printed in Cheshire in 1966 and featured articles on the history of folk, as well as music and lyrics…

… and ads for record shops such as the famous, long-gone Dobell's on the Charing Cross Road…

The 1964 edition featuring Bob Dylan on the cover can change hands online for daft amounts of money…

Which is why I was delighted to grab mine for £1.50. Dylan does not feature on the cover.

But Bob Dylan's mate Martin does.

The fellow on the right, in the cover photo at the top of this post, playing the guitar, is Martin Carthy.

There are periods in the narrative of popular music when even the mighty New York City bows before our own London. The early-to-mid 1960s is one such era, and I'm always reminded of Bob Dylan's line on English folkie Martin Carthy (from a Rolling Stone interview in 1984):

"I ran into some people in England who really knew those [traditional English] songs. Martin Carthy, another guy named [Bob] Davenport. Martin Carthy's incredible. I learned a lot of stuff from Martin."

The aforementioned Carthy – brought up in Hampstead North London – influenced both Dylan and Paul Simon. Just one example of his influence can be heard in the short playlist below, which begins with Carthy's arrangement of the 17th century ballad Scarborough Fair. As you can hear, Paul Simon (track 3) lifted Carthy's arrangement wholesale. Track two is Dylan's reinterpretation of the melody with track four ending up in Nashville with Dylan and Johnny Cash on their lovingly ramshackle cut from 1969's Nashville Skyline album.

Carthy, I'm delighted to say, is still up on his hind legs and performing. His next London gig is at the Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club on Sunday 9th July. Catch up with Carthy on tour near you here:

The fellow on the fiddle on the cover of Spin is, of course, Dave Swarbrick, later famed for his work with Fairport Convention - I'll be returning to him in a later blog post. In the meantime, you can spend 40 minutes in the company of both men on Martin Carthy's 1965 debut album…

Here's the trailer for the Rock'n'Roll London Walk which meets at 2pm Tottenham Court Road station every Friday.

The Rock'n'Roll London walk is the ONLY London Walk with its own dedicated comic book! Written by Rock'n'Roll London guide (and Daily Constitutional editor Adam) you can buy a print copy on this afternoon's Rock'n'Roll London walk or download at the London Bookstore online:

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

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A #London Walks Soupçon For The #TowerOfLondon

DC Editor Adam writes… David calls them London Walks Soupçons. 

They're piquant little historical tidbits that he's methodically seeding into each walk's "page" on the London Walks website

He's had a lot of good feedback so far – visitors to like them, I hope that Daily Constitutionalists do too…

A Soupçon to accompany the Tower of London tours…

Nice Simon Thurley quote.

"For eight years in the 1980s and 1990s, I was the curator of the Tower and often experienced its cold walls out of hours. Somehow these hard stone faces seemed to have absorbed the essence of the events they had encircled and they radiated back to me both the misery and the magnificence of England's past. There are many places in the Tower where that history is so thick that it takes little imagination to be transported back into it. Most powerful of all is the basement of the White Tower, the oldest part of the castle, where you can still visit the rooms once known as the Black Hall and the Black Chamber." 

Simon Thurley, Houses of Power

The London Walks Tower of London tour goes at 11am on Wednesday mornings. More info at

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

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Café Laville Is "The Best Cafe In #London" According to LW's David @cafelavilleuk #LittleVenice

--> Where to grab a bite after/before a London Walk?

I've asked my London Walks colleagues to chip in their suggestions and I'll share them here regularly on The Daily Constitutional.

The Rules: All "reviews" were conducted anonymously and we paid our way. No kick-backs, no payola, no deals: these are the places that we London Walks guides - and London Walkers – choose when eating and drinking out and about in London. No buckshee burritos, nary a gratis granola bar was received in exchange for these recommendations.

And I promise never to use the word "eaterie". Seriously: have you EVER heard anyone SAY the word eaterie?

The Criteria: As well as the one-offs, the unique cafes, bars and stalls that make London so special, I'll be featuring reliable chains along the way. They have to be in London and within five minutes of the end of a London Walks tour.

I hope you enjoy them.

Have your say: As usual we'd like to hear from you – drop us a line with your own London foodie (and drinkie) tips.

Buon Appetito!

A.S-G London, April 2017

Cafe Laville is, in my opinion, the best Cafe in London. Goes without saying there are thousands of cafes in London and I've only been to a few hundred of them. But has anybody been to all of them? What would you make of somebody who'd been to every cafe in London? Nuff said?

So what's it got going for it? Why is it well nigh perfect? Why is it the platonic ideal of a London cafe? Why do I go to the Cafe Laville, at least once a week, week in and week out? More frequently when it's possible to do so.

You can start with the view…

 It straddles the Regent's Canal at its Little Venice end. The most beautiful part of the most beautiful canal in England. The back "wall" is a huge window affording breathtaking views of the canal, the barges, the sky and clouds, the mature plane trees. And their reflection in the water. The side "walls" are also huge picture windows. The roof is a glass roof. In short, where you're chatting, dining, daydreaming, luxuriating is suffused with light. But not baked with it - because the dining room is dappled with the shadows of the maturing plane trees on either side of the canal that form a partial canopy overhead.


As is the food. I almost always have the fish soup. I love fish soup and Alberto's is the best I've ever had - by a league or two. Why? Two reasons. 1. Because his grandmother in Calabria taught him how to make it. And 2. Because it is supremely fresh. Ahhh, freshness. Always the litmus test.

And that goes for everything Alberto and Co. serve up. Simplicity. Freshness. Flavours so intense they're the culinary/taste bud equivalent of the colours on an Impressionist artist's palette.

And as for the coffee... Well, once you've had Alberto's coffee you'll grimace at even a wisp of a thought of the sweaty sweet brown water you pay a lot more for at Starbbles.

Anything else? Sure, this isn't a chain, isn't a multinational. It's a small, local, independent. Surely no need to spell out the import of that.

And Alberto and his team are bright, friendly, helpful, fun. The service is really good without being in the least pretentious.

Lemme sum it up this way. Every summer I take the groups of a very upmarket American travel company on our Little Venice walk. They always want a pre- or apres-walk cafe for one of the bookends of that walk. They're discerning, discriminating travellers.

Cafe Laville is where I take them. And always - ALWAYS - they're over the moon about it.

Taken all together - that's my view, my experience, my opinion of Cafe Laville.

Find Cafe Laville here…

The Little Venice Walk takes place on Saturdays at 2 pm, Sundays at 2 pm and Wednesdays* at 11 am. On Saturdays and Sundays it's guided by Shaughan. On Wednesdays it's guided by Peter or Richard III. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Warwick Avenue Tube.  N.B. the Little Venice Walk ends back at Warwick Avenue Tube.   *The Wednesday Little Venice walk does NOT run in December and January

Here's a preview of the tour…

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