If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I love blogging about London. I’ve lived in London my whole life and now that I’ve been working in central London for a few years, it’s become my favourite pastime to find new and exciting things to do in the capital.
So when I got asked to review a London activity from the geniuses over at Indytute, I of course jumped at the chance. After reading about the company and what they do, I loved the idea of it even more. They sell experiences based in London as a way of learning something new and spending time with loved ones without having to commit to something long-term. In other words, what I spend my weekends looking for!
From the selection I was given, I chose to do the Gin and Markets Cycling Tour that was operated by a company called Tally Ho London. I love gin and I love cycling so it was a no-brainer!
I also just want to point out that although I’ve lived in London all my life, I’ve never once ridden a bicycle on the roads of London – (Hyde Park and Clapham Common is the closest I’ve come to!) – so basically if I can do it, then anyone can! The tour started off with the guides giving us a little run-down of how the day was going to go. They told us that we would be riding through smaller backstreets and on the cycle lanes so there was nothing to be afraid of! Also the guides were just incredible. We had Mick and Tristan, and both were entertaining and very attentive.
Our first stop was at Trinity Church Square, where we all got a shot of Jenever (Dutch gin) where gin originates from. It was fairly amusing seeing the group all do a shot of a neat alcohol at 2pm but we started as we meant to go on! It was actually not as bad as I thought it would be.
Next, we cycled over to Tanner Street Park in Bermondsey to try a traditional G&T, this time it was Beefeater gin with Bermondsey tonic (hence the difference in colour). We learned that tonic water is stripped of the colour these days which is why we are always so used to seeing a clear tonic water. I have always been so used to drinking a clear G&T so it was a bit weird, but I have to admit that it tasted delicious!
Quite honestly, I was getting a bit worried that all this drinking was going to affect my cycling (even though our guides had assured me that there is no such thing as ‘drunk-cycling’), so I was secretly relieved when we stopped off at Maltby Street Market for some refreshments, a toilet break and of course some more gin! I had never been to Maltby Street Market before but it was super cute and there were so many cuisines to choose from. The gin that we tried here was called Jensen’s, which I’d never heard of but we sipped on this with a classic Fever Tree tonic, outside the bloody distillery! It was amazing to be sitting outside of where the gin is made, and for someone who drinks a lot of Bombay Sapphire, I’d never really ventured out to try different gins, especially those made in London.
The third G&T of the day and we were treated to the sights of a London filmset (featured in Sherlock Holmes and Legend), and a gin brewed by the Tallyho gang themselves. If I remember correctly, the gin was made with tea and it was very tasty.
The final stop of the day was a surprise visit to an alley near the Vaults in Waterloo. We were able to do some graffiti and leave our marks. It was very unexpected but lots of fun. Sadly, no more gin at the last stop (I say sadly, I was lowkey drunk).
All in all, I had the best day. Whether you are from London or not, whether you’re here for a day or for a month, I would highly recommend doing this tour. It makes you feel a part of a city when you’re cycling around it, and it helps having knowledgable guides who can answer any questions you have or give you fun facts.
If gin and cycling aren’t your thing, why not check out Indytute’s website and see what catches your eyes? They have a great selection of things to do, including an under £30 and a Food and Drink section too, so there hopefully should be something for everyone!
Have you ever done a cycling tour?
*I was kindly invited to try out this tour by Indytute, but as usual all of my opinions are my own. Read my disclaimer for more info.