From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba shares her Blue-Badge Guide knowledge on all things London for your next corporate meeting or event planning. Plus, from the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel shares some insider tips.
Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth see London as you’ve never seen before, for business, pleasure or both. Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip, this episode will give you a glimpse of the London scene through the eyes of locals.
Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing venues in London, to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.
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London. Official Blue Badge Guide Sophie Malerba Shares Best Things To Do In London, And Catch Iconic Events With The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel
There is a reason why London is simply a must-visit travel destination. From its medieval history to pop culture, this United Kingdom capital has something to offer every traveler. From famous movie sets to afternoon tea, Sophie Malerba joins this episode to share her Blue Badge Guide knowledge on all things London. Plus, as the official hotel of London Fashion Week and London Film Festival, hear from The May Fair Hotel’s Anjie Keegel. Together with Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth, they take us into a view of London as we’ve never seen before, be it for business or pleasure or both.
Starting with the basics, Andy and Todd dive deep into the world of tour guides. Bringing you only the best experience, they talk to Sophie Malerba to share the prestige that comes with being a Blue Badge Guide.
A Blue Badge Guide stands out from all other guides in the city. One, it is not just a summer job; it’s a profession. People wearing this badge have to go through a tough and competitive 2-year course with roughly 30 people a year. From entry exams to written and practical, the Blue Badge ensures that any traveler, no matter where they come from and what language they speak, is getting high-quality standards.
Kicking off this tour in the most English way, Sophie gives us an insider perspective of London, revealing some of the city’s secrets.
Her top three places to visit for an afternoon tea are:
- The Goring Hotel – This hotel is a family-run hotel just outside Buckingham Palace frequented by the Royals.
- Ham Yard Hotel – This hotel offers design-oriented, beautiful interiors. They do afternoon tea for £25, which is a steal in London.
- Fortnum & Mason – This final entry serves not only the three tiers but after you finish them, they then bring along the cake trolley with more cakes to choose from.
From there, Sophie takes us to the streets, but not just like any other streets out there, because for her, “Whenever you’re in London, don’t stay on the main streets. Go to the side streets.” Everybody knows Piccadilly, but not many know the treasure that is St. James. If you want to shop where the Royals go, then this is the place to be! A lot of shops here have Royal Warrants, which means they produce goods and services for the Royal Family.
If you’re into the arts, then Sophie recommends the East End of London’s Shoreditch, London’s creative hub. Most people nowadays are familiar with this area as the place where street artist Banksy started. Since then, this has become the holy grail of the world’s best street artists.
Moving on from the Royals to A-listers, Andy and Todd also sit down with Anjie Keegel of The May Fair Hotel, which is the official hotel of the iconic London Film Festival and the London Fashion Week. She shares some insider stories, celebrity encounters, and high-end events that take place in this great hotel.
Going deeper, Anjie tours us to some of the little gems around The May Fair area, where musicians, celebrities, and the Royals also love to visit:
- The Coach & Horses – One of the oldest pubs in May Fair
- Shepherd’s Market – Located just at the back of the hotel where you can visit a few galleries, pubs, and restaurants
Curating unforgettable experiences for your next London trip not only with a great hotel but also with equally great bucket list items to match, listen to this episode and have a feel of the London scene—be it the lifestyles of the rich and famous or exploring the city through the eyes of locals.
About Sophie Malerba
Sophie Malerba has been a Blue Badge Guide of London for 5 years and absolutely loves it! She mainly works with the US market, both private bookings (families and couples) and Incentives.
Her past experience is in the travel industry, where she worked for an Italian DMC for 8 years, before returning home to London.
She then worked for a London DMC, before fulfilling her dream to be a guide, which takes 2 years training.
About Anjie Keegel
Anjie Keegel has been in the industry for over 20 years.
She started out in operations (reservations, reception/ front of house) prior to moving in to reactive sales, then proactive sales.
Some of her previous roles includes, Corporate Sales Manager, Director of Leisure & Group Sales, Business Development and Director of Sales (property based) for hotels in London, Heathrow and Manchester UK.
Originally from Sri Lanka, Anjie moved to the UK over 25 years ago and never looked back.