The sun actually made an appearance this weekend and Saturday was a scorcher. In the morning I was met by Gordon and Vivian from Manchester, Lis from Denmark and Michelle from Australia.
We made our way from Trafalgar Square to St Paul's and even managed to stop off for a drink in a 17th Century pub on the way. Here they are outside St Paul's cathedral at the end of the walk.
It looked like it was going to be another sunny day on Sunday for the east end walk, and was, except for a freak 45 minute deluge complete with thunder. However, Sanjeev, Josephine, Ant and Anna carried on regardless and by the end, we had all dried off again. They were a lovely group, and although Anna (from Greece) was the only non Londoner, she was strangely the only one to have previously visited Columbia Road flower market. Here they are just outside a pub called the Birdcage on our way from the market.
Incidentally, the fashion for keeping caged birds, which at one time could also be purchased from the market, was brought over by the Huguenots in the 17th Century.
Thanks to everyone who came on walks this weekend.
Best Tattoos - Michelle
Most Danish - Lis
Most involved in the Olympics - Anna
Best Moustache - No Winners
Best prepared with sun cream - Michelle and Anna
Best knowledge of good curry restaurants - Sanjeev and Josephine
A few weeks ago I was joined by two young ladies, Simone and Silke from Germany and we did a walk around Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Shoreditch.
As a matter of intrigue, I asked them how they had come to hear about my walks and Silke said she thought she'd seen them recommended in a magazine ... in Germany.
I thought this strange, as my Marketing team, Strategists and Communications team people, not to mention Press & PR agency had never mentioned it. Also, I was acutely aware that I am yet to open the German branch of Bowl Of Chalk.
Anyway, the other day, Silke very kindly sent me some scans of the aforementioned magazine, which is called Spot On and a mixture of German and 'easy English'. The cover looks like this:
The headline 'When Sport Kills' looks a bit worrying. Anyway, the proof is in the pudding (as we sometimes say in England) and below is the page on which Bowl Of Chalk is included as one of the top ten things to do in London, alongside eating pie and mash. Thanks very much to Silke for bringing it to my attention.
If you're in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and fancy exploring the city in between visiting the venues and watching copious amounts of sport, why not come on a fun, informal and informative walking tour ... with me (as recommended by Time Out in their list of 101 Best Things To Do In London).
You can either choose from one of my three 'pay what you want' weekend walks which are taking place every weekend throughout August, or, if you have a spare few hours during the week, get in touch and I'd love to show you around this amazing city. I can either suggest an itinerary, or if you have some sights or areas that you'd particularly like to see, let me know and I'll build a tour around them.
Here are just a few of the people who came on walks during July:
Simon & Fion from the U.S.A in St James's Park, (which is right by where the beach volley ball is currently being played) with Buckingham Palace in the background.
Colin & Co. over from LA, enjoying a well deserved drink in the 17th Century pub, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
Valerie, Vladamir & Polina from the U.S.A via Russia and Ukraine, with a very life like statue in Piccadilly on our way to St James's Palace.
Sheree and Cortney were over from Wisconsin and should probably get an award for putting up with me for a whole three days. However, they did visit the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, The Churchill War Rooms and Harrods ... to name but a few.
Silke and Simone from Germany who explored Spitalfields, Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Hoxton.
Margie, Luca, Bianca, Alma & Anita from Italy outside Dennis Severs' House near to Old Spitalfields market.
One of the Sunday groups, having just had a mooch around Columbia Road Flower Market.
I look forward to hearing from you, and if I don't, then I hope you have a great time in London during the Olympics anyway.
I am delighted to announce that Bowl Of Chalk's Sunday east London walk has been featured by City and Angel Magazine in a full page spread, with words and pictures and everything in their current hot off the press August edition.
They say "Bowl Of Chalk offers an education in our capital's long history that goes well beyond the guidebooks. You'll never believe what's right under your nose ..."
On Saturday morning I met Kate and Dave for the walk from Trafalgar Square to St Paul's. It was actually Kate's second walk with me, having already been on the east end walk. As they were both Optometrists, I was keen to take them to see the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, who reside within Apothecaries' Hall, but unfortunately it was closed. However, we did manage to nip in to Inner and Middle Temple to see the amazing 12th Century Temple Church.
In the afternoon, I met Jay and Angel (Angelique) who came for a wander from St Paul's to the Monument. Here they are outside the Anchor Pub on Bankside. They've currently got some measurements on the floor showing you the distances jumped by both the Olympic and Paralympic Long Jump record holders, so it's quite fun watching people trying to see how far they can jump. You can also see the Shard rising up in the background.
On Sunday I met Anne Marie and Vincent, who had come to have a look around the east end from Germany, via France. Here they are standing in front of one of street artist Eine's shop front letters. You'll see these everywhere around Shoreditch, Hoxton and Old street.
Thanks to everyone who came on walks last weekend.
Most Australian - Dave
Most Mauritian - Angel
Best Moustache - No Winners
Most Multi Lingual - Anne Marie & Vincent
Repeat Offender - Kate
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.