Guide Spotlight: Washington, DC’s Matilda

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City, Berlin, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, London, New Orleans.

Free Tours by Foot thought yo u should know more about who we are! Our tours would not be so highly rated if it weren’t for our guides – the passion, knowledge and fun they bring to our tours. We’ll be featuring more information about our great guides in each city over the coming months.


Matilda hails from Austin, Texas but has lived all over the world, in Italy, Mexico, and France. After school, she moved to Paris and quickly fell in love with the city’s beauty, history, and baguettes. She became a tour guide to combine some of the things she loved most: meeting new people, spending time outside, and talking about history. After nearly 3 years in Paris, Matilda moved to Washington DC, and has loved rediscovering her own country’s history through this amazing city.

  • Why did you decide to become a tour guide?
  • 1962591_10152304338996015_521102845_n

Both of my parents are professors, so I’ve always been close to education, but the structure of academia isn’t for me. Tour guiding allows me to share my passion for history without being constrained by text books. One of my favorite parts of the job is researching each tour and putting my own spin on the stories.

  • What’s the best tour you’ve taken-anywhere in the world?

Other than our own Lincoln Assassination tour, the best tour I’ve ever taken was of the Gardens of Versailles. Not only is the setting amazing, but the stories behind why the palace was built and how the gardens were designed give you a peak into the mind of the infamous Louis XIV.

  • What’s the one thing you have friends and family do when they visit Washington DC?

I think the Library of Congress is one of DC’s best kept secrets. Maybe people skip it because a library doesn’t sound that interesting, but it is so much more than that. The building itself is beautiful, full of incredibly detailed murals, and functions asa museum with a series of rotating exhibits. Also like so many of DC’s treasures, it’s totally free!

  • Do you have a favorite tour group memory?

I don’t have one in particular because I’ve had so many great tours. But the best ones are always when the group gets involved- asking questions, or sharing their knowledge. I love it when I get to learn new things on my tour.

  • What would you be doing if you weren’t guiding?

Probably either writing about, photographing, or cooking food, which is what I do with most of my spare time now!

London food tour Leather Lane Market

London Leather Lane Market Food Tour

Posted by & filed under London.

London is a culinary capital and food tours here are becoming more and more popular. But at Free Tours By Foot we think paying upwards of £50.00 for a food tour isn’t necessarily affordable and value for money. So we’ve put together a self-guided food tour that is absolutely FREE to take – aside from the tasty treats you’ll need to purchase yourself!

Our food tour takes place in Central London on bustling Leather Lane Market. Providing tasty food and drink for hungry office workers during weekday lunch times, Leather Lane Market has an existence that can be traced back to the Medieval period, but the food today is all modern London: a mix of cultures, flavours and great tastes from across the globe.

This tour takes you from the northern-point of Leather Lane, down to the southern point so there are no directions – just make your way along the Market!

[Note: This tour should run when the Market is open – so Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 3pm.

We’d also recommend doing this with at least one other person so that you don’t get too full as you go!]

START: Corner of Leather Lane and Clerkenwell Road [Nearest Station: Chancery Lane (G)or Farringdon (H)]

FINISH: Corner of Leather Lane and High Holborn [Nearest Station: Chancery Lane or Farringdon]

 Click map to enlarge or click here for movable mapLondon Leather Lane Market food tour map

 

Stop A – Grill. My. Cheese. – Grilled Cheese Sandwich [Top of the Market, Leather Lane]

London Leather lane food tour Grill My CheeseChances are, you’re going to have the best grilled cheese sandwich of your life at Grill. My. Cheese.! With a secret signature blend of artisan cheeses, grilled on organic sourdough bread and grilled to order – these guys take grilled cheese seriously! Sandwiches are served with a variety of sauces and fillings to add a bit of pep – and you can get a bit creative if you’d like and order up a sandwich stuffed with macaroni and cheese with a side of BBQ sauce.

 

Stop B – King of Falafel – Falafel Wrap [93 Leather Lane]

The falafel wraps at King of Falafel are jam packed with fresh fillings and fine flavours before being grilled to perfection – giving the bread that chewy-on-the-inside-crispy-on-the-outside perfection. The wraps here are MASSIVE and it’s easy to share one between three on this tour. Plump for the standard order with falafel, lettuce, onion and tomato, then spice it up yourself with choices of harissa, sumac, chili sauce and fresh homemade mint dressing,

 

London Leather Lane Food tour PieMinisterStop C – Pieminister – Classic Pie and Mash [91 Leather Lane]

Pieminister is a London institution and they serve up some of the best, authentic, London pies in town. Pies here are a bargain at £4.50 and can easily be shared between two. Treat yourself to some tasty mash for an extra £2.00 or plump for their crispy superfood slaw. The pie menus change throughout the year depending on what is in season but expect huge choice – different meats (beef, chicken, venison), veggie options (goats cheese and sweet potato, wild mushrooms and asparagus), twists on classics (beef steak with Stilton cheese). If you’re counting calories (although everybody knows that food tour calories don’t count…) there are lighter pies that all come in at under 440 calories each!

 

London Leather Lane food tour Craft Beer HouseStop D– The Craft Beer Company – A Cheeky Drink and a Scotch Egg [82 Leather Lane]

The Craft Beer Company is a relatively new addition to London but they have rapidly spread throughout town, and luckily, have opened a branch here in Leather Lane. You’ll have LOTS to choose from here, as beers, ales and lagers change constantly and are brought in from all over the world. Half a pint, a can, a bottle, or the standard full pint – you’ve got options. Speak to the staff about what you like/don’t enjoy and they’ll help recommend the perfect pull for you. While drinking, take an opportunity to nibble on a British pub classic: the scotch egg – a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs then baked or fried. These tasty little treats are a true British staple!

 

London Leather Lane food tour Daddy DonkeyStop E  – Daddy Donkey – Burrito or Taco [50b Leather Lane]

Daddy Donkey has been at the top of London’s Mexican-food game for years. With choices of burritos, taco, or toastadas with a wide variety of filling choice. Juicy chargrilled chicken, pulled pork, dry-rubbed steak, shredded beef or veggie with home-made guacamole – everything here is delicious so choose your favourite! For the food tour, it’s a good idea to split one of these burritos between three – or an order of three tacos for one per person.

 

London Leather Lane food tour coffeeStop F – The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs – Coffee and Dessert [14-16 Leather Lane]

Purveyors of some of the finest coffee in London, The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs is located in a former warehouse with lots of space and seating. All the coffee here is delicious and employees really know their stuff (if you’re curious, you can teak a peek at their website and see what kind of equipment they use!) and are attentive and friendly. This is the perfect place to finish your food tour with a delicious coffee (or tea or a truly decadent hot chocolate) to aid your digestion! If you’re still feeling rumbly in the tumbly then there’s a lovely display of freshly baked desserts that may pique your interest!

 +++Join us on our guided and pay-what-you-like East London Food Tour!+++

London Graffiti and Street Art Tour

Food in the East End

Posted by & filed under London.

brick-lane-beigel-bakeLondon’s East End is a plethora of history, sights, smells and tastes! One of the hottest locations in town, the East End began centuries ago as a slum renowned for terribly poverty. Throughout the centuries the area has been populated by immigrants from all over the world: Jews fleeing from persecution, French Huguenots seeking a safe location to ply their fabric trade, and then the Bangladeshi community who have most recently turned the East End into the famed “Bangla-Town,” known the world over as one of the best places to go out in London.

As each wave of immigrants came to the East End, the streets, businesses and restaurants changed, evolved and showcased the cultural and gastronomical culture of those that came to call this area home. In fact, Brick Lane is home to the only building that has been a protestant church, a synagogue AND a mosque! All of this history is still alive in the East End, and one of the best ways to explore is by revelling in the delicious and varied tastes that are on offer.

Ethnic Food in the East End

Jewish influence - The Jewish influence in the East End is highlighted by London classics like the Beigel Bake shop – serving up traditional Jewish beigels and salt beef. The East End is also home to numerous kosher restaurants, making it a cultural destination for those of the Jewish faith traveling from the world over.

Brick Lane - Brick Lane is home to the best Bangladeshi food in town. Curry houses, Asian dessert shops, and supermarkets stocked with Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ingredients can all be found on this singular London street. The best part is that all of the places on Brick Lane that serve food are in competition with one another – keeping the prices low!

London Classics – Fish and chips, jellied eels, pie and mash and cockles are all traditional London dishes that got their start in the East End. Perhaps some dishes are for the more adventurous eaters, but all can be found full of flavour and easy on the pocketbook in this part of town.

Where to eat in the East End – Our Recommendations

Beigel Bake: Beigel Bake is a London institution that’s been serving up some of the finest bagels and most delicious salt beef in town since 1977. Londoners queue down the street on a daily basis to get a bite of hot and fresh fare being served here for 24-hours a day! A great spot for breakfast, lunch, late-night snacking, or even desert (look out for the luscious cheesecake!) at any time of the day or not, Beigel Bake is a classic London eatery and an absolute MUST when visiting the East End.

[Fresh beigels are a hard-to-believe price of just £0.25! Or get your beigel filled with traditional hot salt beef for an incredible £3.70.]

 

Poppies Fish & Chips: One of the questions we get asked the most a London tour guides is, “Where can I get great fish and chips?” The answer is Poppies! Poppies is the granddaddy of London fish and chip shops and has been serving delicious food since 1945. All fish is sustainably caught and perfectly fresh, cooked in the best batter you can find in the East End. Right alongside traditional mushy peas and hand-cut chunky chips. The portions are great for sharing, the staff is friendly, and a visit to Poppy’s is a true London experience.

[Prices for a standard order of fish and chips (at the only place in London that still wraps their meals in real newspaper) to takeaway is only £8.50!]

The closest underground stations are Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street, and Old Street.

East End Food Map

But to get our full experience and all of our recommendations, you’ll need to come along on our…

East End Food Tour

To get the best experience possible, why not book onto London’s ONLY pay-what-you-like food tour? Your expert guide will take you through the heart of the East End area, along cobbled streets and through modern markets, giving you the best example of edible culture in town. You’ll taste foods from over 5 different countries and your guide will help you choose the tastiest and most budget-friendly options, all with a touch of history, a lot of humour, and a great dose of culture.

See when our next tour runs and book your spot here.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall

Her Title Was a Gift – Known as Camilla Parker-Bowles her entire life, she was given the title Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as a wedding gift from the Queen.

She Was Previously Married – Somewhat controversially, Camilla was a divorcee’ when she married Charles, the Prince of Wales. Previously she had been married to Andrew Parker-Bowles from 1973 – 1995.

She’s Known the Prince of Wales for Decades – Camilla and Prince Charles dated before Charles’ ever met Princess Diana, having met in 1970.

She’s Only Recently Known the Queen – Despite her close relationship with Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son, she only met The Queen in the year 2000.

Her Ancestors Have Links With the Royal Family – Camilla’s great-grandmother was a mistress to King Edward VII, the great-great-grandfather of Prince Charles.

Charles and Camilla Are Related – Both the Prince of Wales and Camilla have shared ancestors dating back to the 17th century. Strangely, they are also both related to the late Princess Diana through shared ancestry dating back to King Charles II.

She is Technically The Princess of Wales – Because Princess Diana is closely associated with ‘The Princess of Wales’ Camilla has chosen not to use that title. However, her full title is as follows: Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Camilla is a Grandmother – She has two children from her first marriage and five grandchildren. One of her grandchildren, Eliza Lopes, was a bridesmaid at William and Kate’s wedding.

She Has A Historical Engagement Ring – Although not as famous as the one Kate Middleton wears, Camilla’s ring is a platinum-set, emerald-cut diamond ring that previously belonged to the Queen Mother.

She’s Important – When accompanied by her husband, Camilla is the second-highest ranking woman in England after the Queen! However, if Charles is not present, she drops in rank falling behind the Queen, Anne the Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra (the youngest granddaughter of King George V, Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin).

London o2 arena banner

Visit The O2 Centre – Climb Up At The O2

Posted by & filed under London.

London 02 arena (Fotolia)For the adventurous travelers among you, who are looking to do something memorable and different in London and who love the challenge of climbing up 52 meters to a beautiful view of London’s landmarks, the Up! At the O2 is for you!

What is it?
The O2 Arena was previously known as the Millennium Dome. Built for the turn of the Millennium in the year 2000, the arena held a number of special temporary attractions. In 2005 the dome was renamed at transformed into an exhibition space, restaurant and bar strip (called Entertainment Avenue), a bowling alley, and a performance arena.

In the summer of 2012, Up at the O2 opened to the public, giving visitors a chance to trek across the roof of the O2 arena. Visitors traverse along at 190m (623ft) long fabric walk-way, 53m(174ft) above the ground, from one side of the Dome to the other. In the centre of the roof, guests can stop at a central platform that provides 360 degree views of London, highlighting the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, Greenwich, Canary Wharf and even into the city, showing the Shard and the “Walkie Talkie” (the building that melted a car!).

Before taking their journey, visitors are kitted out in explorer gear: climbing suit, boots, harness, etc. Guests are taken up as a group with an assigned a climb guide who will accompany them along the route to keep them safe, but also to inform visitors about all the sights they are taking in. Visitors also have the choice to climb the O2 in the daylight hours, or after the sun has set to see the lights of London shine. One of the most interesting ways to see London, it’s a great experience for Londoners and tourists alike.

How to get to O2 arena

London o2 arena  mapThe O2 arena is located a 27-minutes tube ride eastwards from London Bridge. Take the Jubilee line to North Greenwich Station. The O2 arena is located right by the tube station on the peninsula by the river.

 

Visitor Information
Dates/times: 7 Days a Week, several times per hour
Summer Times (June to September): 10:00am – 10:00pm
Winter Times (October to May): 10:00am – 5:00pm
Cost: £26.00 Adult / £10.00 for Children (OVER 10 ONLY)
Website: Up At The O2
Note: In dangerous weather, Up at the O2 may temporarily close. All climbers must be over 1.2m tall (around 4 feet).

Ride London’s Only Cable Car

Posted by & filed under London.

Ride The Only Cable Car in London

What is it?
The Emirates Air Line is the first urban cable car in the United Kingdom and soars above the River Thames between the O2 Arena at Greenwich and the Royal Docks in the docklands area of East London. The views from the Air Line are amazing, giving riders a glimpse of the City skyline along with Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and even as far up as the new Olympic Park. The only cable car in London, the Air Line boasts “360 views of the city, ninety meters high.”

The cable cars are spaced 30 seconds apart and such high frequency means long queues aren’t a problem. Each cabin can hold up to 10 people, but planning your trip on a weekday when the Air Line is less busy can often mean getting a cabin entirely to yourself. It’s a quick journey from one side to the other – only about 10 minutes – but it is possible to book yourself for a roundtrip visit.

Visitor Information
Days: 7 Days a Week
Times: WINTER (October to March) 7:00am – 8:00pm Weekdays / 8:00am – 8:00pm Saturdays / 9:00am – 8:00pm Sundays
Times: SUMMER (April to September) 7:00am – 9:00pm Weekdays / 8:00am – 9:00pm Saturdays / 9:00am – 9:00pm Sundays
Ticket Prices: Adult – £4.50 single / £9.00 return
Ticket Prices: Children (5 – 15) – £2.30 single / £4.60 return
OYSTERARD DISCOUNT: Guests in possession of a valid Oyster Card can get a discount on their tickets of 25% each!
Website: Emirates Airline
Note: In high winds or dangerous weather, the Emirates Air Line may temporarily closE

London ImperialWarMuseum

The Imperial War Museum

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The Imperial War Museum is actually an organisation comprised of five locations around England – and three of them can be found in London (HMS Belfast / Churchill War Rooms). However, when in London referring to the ‘Imperial War Museum’ specifically means the war museum in the southern part of town. One of the most powerful and impressive museums in London, the Imperial War Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and, best of all, is totally free!

History
The Imperial War Museum as we know it today was founded in 1917. The initial idea was to collect artifacts and materials to illustrate Britain’s war efforts through the years. At the official opening of The Imperial War Museum a speech was given by Sir Alfred Mond, an MP who began planning of the museum, where he said: “…it was hoped to make the museum so complete that every one who took part in the war, however obscurely, would find therein an example or illustration of the sacrifice he or she made.”

After World War II, the museum was expanded to incorporate recent historical wartime events. The museum was enlarged and moved to the site where it sits now, in order to house the rapidly expanded collection of artefacts. The building and exhibitions that exist today were redeveloped in 2012 and the restored museum was officially opened by Prince William in July of 2014.

Holdings
Today the museum holds a significant archive to collect and preserve the private papers of individuals who have experienced warfare. Papers from soldiers to families, official documentation issued by war-time governments, propaganda materials and correspondence from heads of state are all carefully preserved and archived here. It is estimated that the museum is holding a collection of 24,800 papers.

Although the archives are not entirely on display to the public, there is a plethora of things for visitors to see. Art work, film clips, rotating exhibitions, photographs and a publicly accessible library are all contained within the museum. Rare artifacts, recordings of sounds, weaponry and materials salvaged from concentration camps sit along-side sculptures created by previous prisoners of war, recorded images playing on loop and even vehicles and aircraft.

Visitor Information
Days: 7 Days a Week
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Nearest Underground Stations: Lambeth North, Waterloo and Elephant & Castle Stations
Nearest Rail Station: Waterloo Station
Bus Routes: 159, 344, 360

Guide Spotlight: London’s Margaret

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City, Berlin, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, London, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington DC.

Free Tours by Foot thought yo u should know more about who we are! Our tours would not be so highly rated if it weren’t for our guides – the passion, knowledge and fun they bring to our tours. We’ll be featuring more information about our great guides in each city over the coming months.


New Change BuildingAn American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London nearly a decade ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries, and a major focus on the loves, lives, and losses of all our greatest (and some not so great…) Kings and Queens. American friendliness, a flair for the dramatic, a good sense of humo(u)r, and an unending love affair with King Charles II, all come together to help Margaret make you fall in love with London just like she did.

  • Why did you decide to become a tour guide?

It’s the perfect mix of informing, educating and performing! I love talking all things London and presenting history in a fun and understandable way.

  • What is the best tour you’ve ever taken – anywhere in the world?

My first trip outside the United States was a coach tour of England, Scotland and Wales. This is eventually what led me to live in London so it’s definitely the best tour I’ve been on!

  • When you have friends/family visit, what’s the one place you make sure they see/thing to do?

The Tower of London – ALWAYS. It’s so uniquely London and has something for everybody; Kings and Queens, gruesome stories of beheadings, the glamour of the Crown Jewels, the living history that the Beefeaters embody, suits of armour belonging to Henry VIII, etc. etc. It’s a fantastic, one-of-a-kind place.

  • Do you have a favorite tour group memory? 

Probably when I did a Westminster Tour on the day of the State Opening of Parliament. My group got to see all the Queen’s Guards lining The Mall and then carriages coming past carrying Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Phillip and then we got a wave from the Queen herself! Even I was taking photos like mad…Fashion Museum

  • If you weren’t a tour guide, what would you be doing?

Working in heritage, for sure. Castles, museums, archives, etc. Ideally I’d have a job where it’s socially acceptable to dress up in historical costume at every possible opportunity. Maybe reenactments of some sort. Or maybe just wandering the streets of London dressed up as Anne of Cleves…That’s normal, right?

London best pizza

Best Pizza in London

Posted by & filed under London.

Looking for the The Best Pizza in London? Pizza may be Italian, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great slice of pie here in Britain! London is a foodie-capital and there are plenty of places to pick up a pizza that will leave you (and your stomach) incredibly satisfied.  Be sure to also check out our London food tours page for information on both guided and self-guided London Food tours as well as our Guide to London on a Budget for articles on eating cheap in London.

Click map to enlarge.

London best pizza map

Homeslice [Covent Garden] – Homeslice offers whole pizzas, but also specialises in pizzas by the slice. Ingredients can also be a bit avant guarde: bone marrow, yogurt, Brussel sprouts and a variety of British cheeses. For those who like to try something a bit different, Homeslice is for you.

[[Budget Watch: A slice of pizza from Homeslice is as little as £3.25 – easy for any budget!]]

Pizza Pilgrims [Soho] – Originating at Berwick Street Market, Pizza Pilgrims now has a permanent home in Soho. Pizza Pilgrims specialises not just in dining in, but also taking out which makes it popular with Londoners working in the area. With a rotating menu that usually features around 10 different pizzas, as well as a delicious dessert menu, Pizza Pilgrims is a London staple and worth the wait, as tables cannot be reserved.

[[Budget Watch: A traditional margherita pizza is only £7.00!]]

Fundi Pizza [Hawker House Street Feast / Kerb Clubhouse] – “Hand Built Ovens – Wood Fired Pizzas” So goes the motto of Fundi Pizza, the creation of brothers Charlie and Rory Nelson. Having built their wood-fired pizza oven themselves (!!) they now specialist in outdoor cookery, which means these pizzas can only be picked up at street market stalls located throughout London. All their pizzas are cooked to order and are ready to be eaten in a shockingly fast 90 seconds!

Pizza East [Shoreditch] – Pizza East burst onto the London gastronomic scene a couple of years ago and is still just as popular as ever. Their original site – Shoreditch – is a converted warehouse, which fits in with the trendy-east London locale. Pizzas here are reasonable, not cheap, but the quality of fresh ingredients are worth the price. With a great wine menu, various starters highlighting an amazing cheese selection, and particularly delectable desserts (keep an eye out for the chocolate and salted-caramel tart) Pizza East is a fabulous meal from start to finish.

Santa Maria [Ealing] – Definitely out of the hustle and bustle of central London, Santa Maria is the brainchild of owners Pasquale and Angelo who wanted to bring their native Naples-style pizzas to London. Cheap, tasty, hot and fresh, Santa Maria is worth the short tube ride to the suburbs of London.

[[Budget Watch: The classic margherita pizza at Santa Maria is just £6.95 – tasty!]]

Santore [Exmouth Market] – We’ve got to be honest here: Nobody comes to Santore’ for the service. The somewhat abrupt staff divide Londoner’s opinions but many are of the belief that the quality of the food makes up for the lack of customer service. Here pizzas can be ordered by the METRE with hundreds of topping combinations you can choose from – they also offer ‘I panuozzi’ pizzas where the dough is baked, then filled with fresh toppings. Tasty however you take it.

Pizzametropizza [Notting Hill and Battersea] – The pizzas here are pure Italy, topped with genuine ricotta di bufala and mozzarella di bufala that tastes fresh and delicious beyond description. The pizzas here are thin and the emphasis is on quality not quantity, which means the pizzas are delicately created using only the finest Italian ingredients.

Saporitalia [Notting Hill] – A popular haunt for West-London locals, Saporitalia is located right in the heart of bustling Portobello – making it a great addition to a visit to the Market. Charming atmosphere, an authentic Italian menu, and a wide variety of pizzas to choose from – the baking of which you can see in their large wood-fired oven – all comes together to create the perfect pizza experience.

ICCO [Goodge Street] – Don’t judge a book by its’ cover! ICCO is low on the décor, looking somewhat like a 1970’s cafeteria, but the pizzas here are fresh, delicious, and SUPER cheap (a Margherita is just £3.95!). Whole pies, or by the slice, ICCO is great to dine in and take away. Chefs prepare the pizzas right in front of your eyes before popping them into the massive pizza-ovens that dominate the back wall and then serve it up hot and fresh!

[[Budget Watch: With an entire pizza setting you back just £3.95 this is the most affordable pizza on the list!]]

Franco Manca [Various Locations] – Now located throughout London, Franco Manca started off at the vibrant Brixton Market and rapidly became famous for their particular sourdough base. They’re still making their classic pizza standards, topped with UK-sourced ingredients with Neapolitan flair and a price tag to suit every budget.

+++If you prefer more local food and culture, come and join us on our pay-what-you-wish food tours of London!+++

London James Bond

James Bond Tour in London

Posted by & filed under London.

The world’s most famous spy, 007, is a British classic anti-hero. Although his exploits take him all over the world, a lot of James Bond films rely heavily on filming in London. For the true Bond-fans among you, here is a list of some James Bond locations you can visit while in town!

Click on map to enlarge or click here for movable map.

james bond london map

Somerset House (A)
Film: Tomorrow Never Dies and Goldeneye – Somerset House doubles as the War Office in TND and sees James Bond pulling up outside in his Aston Martin DB5. In Goldeneye the giant centre courtyard nestled in the middle of Somerset House was played off as a courtyard in St. Petersburg!
Nearest Station: Charing Cross or Temple

The National Gallery (B)
Film: Skyfall – It is here in Room 34 that James Bond first meets Q, who supplies him with a pistol.
Nearest Station: Charing Cross or Leicester Square

Whitehall
Film: Octopussy, A View of Kill, License to Kill, Skyfall – Whitehall is the real-life home to British government and has featured in a few Bond films. James Bond has been briefed ‘inside’ these buildings, and the major thoroughfare here was shutdown for the filming of Skyfall, where Bond not only runs down the road past the government buildings, but also stands on the top near the end of the film, overlooking the Whitehall district where he meets Mrs. Moneypenny.
Nearest Station: Charing Cross or Westminster

The Reform Club
Film: Die Another Day and Quantam of Solace – James Bond’s fictional club, Blades, first appeared on our screens in DAD where Pierce Brosnan fenced and had a brief conversation with Madonna! In  QoS the Reform Club stands in for the Foreign Office.
Nearest Station: Charing Cross, Green Park or Piccadilly Circus

Vauxhall Cross – The SIS Headquarters
Film: Goldeneye, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Skyfall – The real home of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, the building at Vauxhall Cross is famous the world over as the home of MI6 in the Bond films. Although destroyed in Skyfall, visitors will still find it standing safely in one piece on the riverbanks of the Thames.
Nearest Station: Vauxhall

And a couple locations that weren’t in films, but still have a place in James Bond history!

16 Victoria Square
Bond Connection: Fleming moved into this property in March of 1953 and it was here that he wroted 12 of his James Bond novels, before dying here in 1964.
Nearest Station: Victoria

Buckingham Palace
Bond Connection: In case you missed the widely-celebrated Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, Daniel Craig as James Bond traveled to Buckingham Palace. Once inside (followed by a pair of Welsh corgis), he met with the Queen – who then traveled with him to the Olympic Park and then parachuted out of a helicopter into the Olympic Stadium! If you haven’t seen it yet, treat yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AS-dCdYZbo
Nearest Station: Green Park or Victoria

Duke’s Hotel
Bond Connection: Duke’s Hotel was a popular haunt of Bond creator Ian Fleming. It was at the bar here that Ian first thought of the infamous “shaken, not stirred” line. It’s also said that both Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery celebrated their casting as James Bond with, of course, a martini. The bar is still open, still pouring martinis, and can be visited by Bond…or civilians just like us.
Nearest Station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus

27 Green Street
Bond Connection: This fabulous townhouse was the birthplace of Ian Fleming on the 28th of May 1908.
Nearest Station: Marble Arch

+++Come and join us on our pay-what-you-like walking tours of London!+++