If you are looking for the best free self-guided tour of East London, this is my recommended route. I recently worked with the British Council to guide a group mostly Hong Kong citizens around some of the best social enterprises in London. A great group NGO workers, academics, and social entrepreneurs. Get in touch via the comments if you’d like take this tour with me.
Bromley By Bow FoodCycle is a charity social enterprise that combines volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to create tasty, nutritious meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation.
Service with a smile
Learning more about Foodcycle
We stopped for a talk from Helena Chouchani to learn more about their growing number of FoodCycle Hubs across the UK, and franchising plans for expansion. Of course we stayed for a yummy lunch too!
Bethnal Green Bikeworks runs a variety of community cycling programmes including employability for disadvantaged groups, all ability cycling, bicycle reuse and recycling, school cycle training and more. As a business it provides cycling services to consumers and organisations – so buy your next bike from here!
Beautiful shop (and group!)
We were lucky to have a private tour from co-founder Jim Blakemore. He talked about the entrepreneurial journey, and how their social outcomes can continue to grow as the business grows.
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Old Street
The chefs at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant
I promise not all my recommendations will be social enterprises, but I had to include at least one, and Fifteen is the most famous example in London. Operating since 2002, this restaurant takes 15 disadvantaged young people per year through a 12 month apprenticeship, in the skills of becoming a chef.
The food is modern British, and scrumptious. For our large group, we were served sharing plates for mains. Passing these meaty plates around added to the feeling of being with your extended family during the holidays. Dessert was fantastic, with the chocolate mousse sticking in mind as especially delicious.
Being associated with a high-profile figure like Jamie Oliver of course helps to promote the restaurant, and also promote the whole idea that a restaurant can be used for good. All profits from the restaurant are donated to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Charity, and over 350 students have now graduated from the three Fifteen restaurants in London, Cornwall and Amsterdam.
You’re one of the best designers for WordPress themes in the world, your work is downloaded and used by millions of people a month, and you usually work at home in your pyjamas. Now you’ve have a free day in London. What do you do? The first thing is get dressed. The second is call me. Inspiring Adventures helped some of the guys that run WordPress.com have a great day out in London. Read on to find out exactly how you can have a fun time in London too, with your clothes on, of course.
More than 73 million people currently use WordPress.com to run their website, and 387 million people view WordPress.com hosted websites every month. This Inspiring Adventures site runs through WordPress.com and, if you are interested, uses a the theme called Superhero. It turns out this theme was designed by one of the guys in my group. And if you’re reading this, Mr Cain, I’m still waiting for a fix on the headings.. why do they all look like H1 size, hey? (Support update – OK, OK they are all different sizes, thanks Kathryn!)
For now, let’s just learn the best way to spend a day in East London.
I was recently asked by non-profit UK-Japan Learning Net to guide a group of Japanese students around East London, and give them a flavour of our multicultural city.
I want to share with you the route we took, because it’s one of my favourite walks around London, and I hope that you get the chance to experience it too.
London – Multicultural and Diverse
Why talk this journey? Because you can walk from the biggest banks to the smallest market stalls in 10 minutes. You can see how London changes from smart suits to street art as you cross the street. You can meet trendy London hipsters and market stall owners from Pakistan. Here’s the route on Google Maps
Ice Cream in Spitalfields
Photos with Street Art
Street Art in Brick Lane
Street Art in Brick Lane
Market Stalls in Wentworth St
The Route: Continue reading