London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

A Walk in the Sunshine

As everyone who lives in the UK knows British weather is unpredictable to say the least.  Forecasts are likely to change slightly or completely.  Even so as soon as the 5 day forecast was available before my walk on 17 January I was on line looking it up.  Five days before my walk the forecast was for 4 days of rain and general gloominess and then a big bright sun on the day of the walk.  I kept my fingers’ crossed all week.  The day before the walk it teemed down with rain all day; sun was still forecast for the next day but my optimism was beginning to wane.   However, unbelievably the forecast was correct and it was a beautiful day.  Cold but sunny so with the right warm clothes on ideal weather for a walk around London. 

Twelve people turned up for my Mayfair walk on the Sunday afternoon including some friends and ex-work colleagues.  In addition my advertising on Ian Visits and Londonist had proved successful as 6 of the 12 came as a result of those adverts.

Readers of my blog will realise Mayfair is one of my favourite areas for guiding.  There’s lots to see and there are many interesting stories to tell.  The pavements are also wide (compared to areas such as Soho and Covent Garden) and it’s generally reasonably empty. 

This current walk – A Culinary Tour – came about because during the course of studying for my exam (in Mayfair) I realised there were lots of hidden cafes and restaurants in the most unexpected places such as Sotheby’s.  Combined with historical anecdotes such as Handel’s gluttony and Gunter’s famous ice cream shop in Berkeley Square I more or less had a walk. 

I know Mayfair really well now but forget that there are lots of places unknown to the general public such as Mount Street Gardens and Bruton Place with its cunningly hidden Pizza Express alongside upmarket restaurants such as Umu and “Steak Pie of the Century” pub, the Guinea.  I love taking people into Mount Street Gardens as they do seem genuinely surprised.  That’s what I love about being a guide – showing people the hidden parts of the City and hoping they will want to explore more themselves.