£103.46

The history of London in five drinks: A walking tour with Dr Matthew Green

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St Michael's, Cornhill

St Michael's Alley

London

EC3V 9DS

United Kingdom

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Explore London on foot and learn how coffee, hot chocolate, wine, gin and ale transformed the city at various points in history – drinks included, of course.

Join Dr Matthew Green on an immersive walking tour and learn how five drinks forged modern London. During the tour, you’ll stop for revitalising coffees, sample 18th century-style hot chocolate, drink wine out of coconut shells, as they would have done in the middle ages, and much, much more.

From the convivial coffeehouses of the 17th century to rowdy “mug-houses”, this whirlwind tour will give you a new perspective on the history of London.

Some of the key stops…
St Michael’s Churchyard, Cornhill

Site of London’s first coffeehouse, opened in 1652 by an eccentric Greek entrepreneur called Pasqua Rosée. Here, people huddled to sip their “bitter Mohammedan gruel”, which was stomach-churningly disgusting. Yet, it would transform the face of the city, bring people together and inspire brilliant ideas that would shape the modern world.

Merchant House, Bow Lane

Tucked away in a warren of narrow medieval streets, this modern bar is the perfect place to sample some medieval-style wine out of medieval-style drinking vessels – coconut shells.

Dr Johnson’s House, Gough Square

An exquisitely preserved timber-framed brick townhouse built at the end of the 17th century and occupied by the legendary Dr Johnson and his black cat Hodge, while he wrote his monumental Dictionary of the English Language. Within these stately surroundings, you will taste delicious baroque-style hot chocolate.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

One of the oldest taverns in London – and arguably the most atmospheric – this was Dr Johnson’s local public house, “a throne of human felicity” where he experienced “an oblivion of care and freedom from solicitude”. In its gloomy wooden interior, with ancient wooden panelling and the floor strewn with sawdust, we’ll drink a hearty pint and hear about the impact of ale and beer on London from the middle ages to the present day.

The City of London Distillery, Bride Lane

Leapfrogging from past to present, the tour finishes up in the City of London Distillery. An institution at the heart of London’s recent "Ginnaissance", this chic venue is leading the way in rehabilitating what was once widely castigated – not least by William Hogarth – as an agent of oblivion and scourge of the working glasses. So a perfect place to narrate the chequered history of the juniper berry and its continued influence on London.

Please note venues may be subject to change and seating at all locations is not guaranteed. The ticket price includes servings of each of the five drinks, along with admission to the Dr Johnson's House.

Tutor profile

Dr Matthew Green is the author of the acclaimed book London: A Travel Guide Through Time, which has been described by the Londonist as "easily the best social history of London for a decade". Matthew also writes historical features for the Guardian and the Financial Times, among others, and has featured in many TV documentaries. He’s the founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive tours of historic London.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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Date and Time

Location

St Michael's, Cornhill

St Michael's Alley

London

EC3V 9DS

United Kingdom

View Map

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