This July-in-review blog post is brought to us all by Sue Hillman of It’s Your London touring company.  Providing custom tours tailored to your personal interests, It’s Your London will help you make the most of your time in this phenonemonal city. (For more information, see our previous blog post as well visit www.itsyourlondon.co.uk)

Here’s your review of July 2010 when I did the reverse trip and went to visit the USA!  I spent 2 wonderful weeks in New York and New Mexico but still managed to have a very busy July around that so here goes…..

One big highlight was my trip to Wimbledon on finals day but not on the famous Centre Court sadly.  Each year Wimbledon runs a public ballot and you put your name in to them and if you are very lucky they send you a letter with your offer of tickets – mine were for Court 1 on 4th July. When I opened the letter I thought it was for men’s final but I was still very excited to have won anything. It meant we could skip all the queues, have a leisurely morning coffee before the matches started, tour the whole venue at peace and then settle in on Henman Hill to watch the main match. It was absolutely packed and is very steep so it’s easy to slip away downhill at the exciting moments!  The photo shows how busy it was. We took our allotted seats on Court 1 for a wonderful women’s invitation doubles match with Martina Navratilova as the star player playing with Jana Novonta versus Tracey Austin and here’s a shot of that wonderful venue in action.  We also saw Pat Cash in doubles and managed a glass or two of Pimms to complete the experience.

A great event in my neighbourhood is the annual street party when all the residents of my cul de sac get together in the Notting Hill garden we have at the end of our road. We take a few hours to chat over wine and snacks about life, the local events, house renovations and who is new in the area.  It really doesn’t feel like you are living in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world and I always look forward to it One photo of the garden gives you an idea of how lovely it all is.

I had some visitors with my tour company (It’s Your London) and we did many of the key London sights but they had also requested a visit to Billingsgate Fish Market so off we went for the 6.15am start of our tour!  A very well informed guide took us round the trading floor explaining how to spot good quality fish and shellfish and how to spot the duds!  We saw loads and learnt a good deal too. We squealed at the eels in their trays and I have put in a photo of them to save you having to get up that early!

With the World Cup so far behind us now, it was time to step back into the world of football and with the help of complementary tickets we went to see the Tottenham Hotspurs in a friendly against Villa Real. The atmosphere was great with loads of kids as it was a summer pre-season game but unfortunately Spurs spoiled the party with lax defending and lost 4-1! There’s a photo to give you the feel of the place. Spurs’ ground is not the best looking and there is talk of them bidding to take on the Olympic stadium after 2012 which would be fun but it’s not in Tottenham and that makes it a bit odd for supporters…..

Each year the Serpentine Gallery runs a competition to design each year’s pavilion. This year’s was won by the architect Jean Nouvel who has brought us an exciting structure in bright red to sit beautifully in the green of Hyde Park, a modern vision against the classic style of the gallery itself. Also, a good place for a glass of wine or snack on a summer’s day as the photo shows.

Food and drink in July?  A great tapas restaurant in Kings Cross called Camino, a good pub of Trafalgar Square called the Old Shades, a rocking Saturday night bar in Soho called Cafe Boheme and cocktails at the top of the Peninsula Hotel in New York (couldn’t resist putting that one in!)

Sue Hillman

www.itsyourlondon.co.uk