City Walks with Grethe

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Salt beef on Rye

Posted by [email protected] on November 28, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (7)

You don't have to go to New York to experience the taste of a Salt Beef on Rye sandwich. Just go to a quiet piazza just off Cannon Street outside the church St. Mary Abchurch, here you will find street food at its very best: lovely rye bread thickly sliced and spread with mustard, and lots of juicy tasty salt beef and topped with slivers of gherkin. You watch while it is being prepared by a friendly street trader. On a fine day you can sit on a bench outside the church relishing every mouthfu...

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Lord Mayor Show

Posted by [email protected] on November 5, 2012 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

It is that time of year again when the newly elected Lord Mayor will take to the City's street to show himself to the crowds. If you go to the Guildhall, you will be able to see his golden coach on display in a large glass case just outside the offices. And if you go into the splendid Guildhall Art Gallery, you will see several historical paintings depicting the Lord Mayor's procession  - either in the coach or on a barge on the Thames. The Lord Mayor used to travel on the river to Westm...

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Music in City churches

Posted by [email protected] on October 11, 2012 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

St. Stephen Walbrook is the perfect masterpiece created by Sir Christopher Wren. Beautiful proportions, bright and airy with a stunning dome, which is a mini version of the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. A modern altar by Sir Henry Moore and lovely circular seating. Imagine sitting in these divine suroundings and listening to music by an exciting new international trio called Varietas. Some pieces of music were played together, but each member of the trio, consisting of piano, flute and oboe a...

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What a summer!

Posted by [email protected] on September 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

What a summer it has been!

First the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, then Celebrate the City and the City of London Festival, and lastly the Olympics and Paralympics.

I am pleased to say that I took part in everything.

I was invited to the Tower of London on the day of the Flotilla on the Thames,and although it was a very wet day,I had a splendid time seated with hundreds of others for a delicious lunch and later afternoon tea. There was entertainment and music and we had a fant...

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South of London Bridge

Posted by [email protected] on March 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The area to the South of London Bridge is called Southwark or Bankside. This is where in the past you would come to relax and have some fun. Hence all the theatres were here, especially the Globe and the Rose, both associated with William Shakespeare. Did you know that there is a memorial to Shakespeare in Southwark Cathedral? He is shown reclining in a niche with a window above depicting characters from his comedies on one side and the tragedies on the other. There is much else to see i...

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Anyone for Tea?

Posted by [email protected] on February 6, 2012 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

A very narrow building in the Strand has been the home of Twinings Tea for 300 years. At the time Thomas Twining opened his tea house in 1706, coffee hourses were everywhere in London, and were the places to meet. It shows nothing has changed, as everone these days meet in the modern coffee houses that have sprung up everywhere. Anyway, tea was different and soon became very fashionable. Often I am asked on my walks by visitors to London where they can buy tea, and in many cases my walks end ...

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City Churches

Posted by [email protected] on January 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hidden away behind Carter Lane is a church called St. Andrew's by the Wardrobe, a curious name that relates to the fact that for centuries the Kings of England kept all their clothes, uniforms and other belongings in a building nearby called 'The King's Wardrobe'. I found myself there on a freezing cold day last week as a 'church watcher' and spent some time familiarising myself with the Church. A couple of things are worth mentioning: There is a large print that shows what the area was like ...

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New Year in the City

Posted by [email protected] on January 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Eac year in January the City holds a service at St. Michael Cornhill. This is a church that is famous for its organ concerts that have taken place every Monday lunchtime since 1919. The music and singing at this year's service was wonderful, and the sermon by the political sketch writer Quentin Letts very witty and topical. The church was packed to the rafters, and at the end of the service, most people made their way through the alleyways criss-crossing Cornhill and Threadneedle Street to th...

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In the House

Posted by [email protected] on December 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

During the Spitalfields Festival there is an opportunity to look into the elegant houses in the area which were once the homes of the French Huguenot silk merchants who had fled religious persecution in France and settled in many different areas of Europe. They were not allowed to trade in the City, so settled just outside the City gates. They were a great asset to this country, and many became very wealthy. Several houses have been renovated, and during the event called 'In the House' five h...

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Our Roman heritage

Posted by [email protected] on December 12, 2011 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The streets in the City are named after the trades that were based there, so we have Bread Street, Honey Lane, Wood Street, Love Lane (!) etc. I was walking through Ironmonger Lane with a friend when we noticed the door of No. 11 was open. I called out: Roman mosaic! Yes, said the doorman, would you like to see it? We certainly would! He took us down into the basement, through long corridors, not a soul around, and then left us in a room on our own. In the middle of the floor was a glass cove...

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