Non-trivial tour guide and travel advisor Daryna Venger

City of London + Guildhall gallery

A trove for the curious, this tour consists of three parts: from the Blackfriars Bridge and to the City of Mary (including St. Paul’s Cathedral); visits to the City Hall and its gallery; from the Bank of England and to the Tower — and all these parts equally show us 2000 years of history on one square mile. Beginning at The Blackfriar.

How and why London is different from other cities of the world, how turning points in the history of London (the plague, the Great Fire, the Second World War) only improved the dynamics of the city, and how to let the rhythm of this grandiose city through oneself. We will see the oldest operating pub in the city, a cafe that does not have a door, talk about the author of the first explanatory dictionary of the English language who personally ran for oysters to his beloved cat every day, and much more. We are waiting for modern objects of street sculpture — Angel Wings, Shepherd, Wild Love Table, Nail — discussing which we will contemplate a lot of philosophical ideas. We will climb to the observation roof and take a very close look at St. Paul’s Cathedral from a height. We will be able to see a unique park in memory of heroic deeds and a monument to the husband of Pocahontas. It is unbelievable how the places of public life and work of H.G. Wells, Queen Anne and her famous mistress, and the Roman soldiers from the legion that executed Jesus are all here in this tiny patch of land!

In the second part of the tour, we will see the Guildhall Art Gallery, whose paintings were created from 1670 to the 21st century. There we will also be able to look into the ruins of London’s Roman amphitheater, where crowds of people once gathered to watch wild animal fights, public executions, and gladiatorial fights. The Guildhall Art Gallery is home to the works of art of the City of London Corporation and its extensive collection of 4,500 works includes more than 1,300 oil paintings. The collection is mainly of the Victorian era, with a number of selected pre-Raphaelite items, and important ceremonial and topographical paintings are also presented. Famous paintings in the collection include John Singleton Copley’s huge painting «The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar», «September 1782», William Logsdale’s «November Ninth, 1888» and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s «Ghirlandata».

In the third part of the tour, we will get to see the Bank of England, which imitates the pound image, and learn a lot of interesting things about the British currency! Plus, let’s remember how the career of the British physicist Isaac Newton is connected with the royal mint and where Reuters and Lincoln drank tea. We will visit the Royal Exchange and in it, we will talk about Jules Verne, who has been here many times. As for fans of Harry Potter, we will visit the place where Diagon Alley was filmed — Leadenhall market. Of course, I will not miss the opportunity to show you the Tower — castle, prison, zoo, treasury, mint, museum — after all, it has historically been all of these! Mandatory photos against the Tower Bridge are also in the plans!

We will finish in the most delicious Spanish place in London — at Bravas Tapas in St. Catherine’s docks, where while tasting their legendary gazpacho we will discuss how Spanish tapas appeared in general. The name literally means «lid» and in the old days tapas literally protected alcohol from… flies. That is why the snack was placed directly on a glass or jug of alcohol. Most often, bread or a piece of ham was used for this purpose. That’s why they are of such a particular size and shape! The rest is during lunch with Daryna!