Join Dr Matthew Green, author of Times Top 10 bestselling book, Shadowlands: A Journey through Lost Britain, for an immersive whirlwind tour of London’s original – and best – coffeehouses. Walk London’s Labyrinthine alleys and discover how the “bitter gruel” transformed the face of the City, brought people together, and inspired brilliant ideas that shaped the modern world.
Includes free shots of 17th-century style coffee, “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love!”
- At the end of the tour you’ll have the opportunity to buy a signed paperback of Matthew’s critically-acclaimed, Times Top 10 bestselling book, Shadowlands: A Journey through Lost Britain (Faber).
- The live tour has been featured in the Telegraph, Guardian, Londonist, Time Out and on BBC TV and Radio
London’s coffee craze began in a muddy churchyard in the heart of the City where, from 1652, an eccentric Greek with a twirly moustache, colourful turban, and preposterous English accent first sold a foul-looking liquid to the public.
Witness the rise and fall of London’s first coffeehouse proprietor, Pasqua Rosée, the man who triggered a momentous coffeehouse boom. Wander past the sites of Europe’s oldest coffeehouses in the labyrinthine alleys and secret courtyards of the City, including Lloyd’s, Garraway’s and Jonathan’s, the triumvirate of coffeehouses that powered the British Empire.
Immerse yourself in all that went on inside, from Sir Isaac Newton’s dolphin dissections at the Grecian Coffeehouse to inquisitions of insanity at the Hoxton Square, Samuel Pepys’s metaphysical debates at Bowman’s to corrupt wheeler-dealing in stocks and shares at Jonathan’s; auctions by candle at Garraway’s to the issuing of brutal literary judgements at Button’s. Meet Charles II and furious tavern-keepers hidden along the route.
Feel a pang of nostalgia for at an age that cherished the face-to-face exchange of ideas where you could begin a conversation with anyone in the world by demanding “What News Have You?” This is a hugely original, entertaining, and informative alternative to more traditional guided walks.
Starting Point: the steps of St Michael’s Church, Cornhill, EC3V 9DS
End Point: the church of St Stephen Walbrook, EC4N 8BN
The tour lasts around 1hr 30 mins
Young members can go on the tour for £15!