The Tea Tour

Renowned the world over for being the drink of Britain, Tea has a 300 year history here, but the humble leaf that travels from across the world to these shores has a surprisingly dark history attached!

It’s been responsible either directly or indirectly for at least two wars and gets blamed for a revolution. This is without considering the violent organised criminal gangs who at one time smuggled in more tea than was imported legally.

Walk through 300 years of history and hear how tea came to edge out coffee as the must have drink in London, despite coffee having had a huge cultural impact in the City. It’s importance to the most powerful company the world has ever seen, one that ran an entire continent, the sailing ships that raced around the world to bring the annual tea harvest to the port of London and of course wars, revolutions and violent criminals.

Starting in the narrow alleyways of the city we’ll see where London’s coffee house culture was born and boomed before tea gained the upper hand and went on to become the drink of a nation.


Sites and topics we cover on the tour:

  • Pasqua Rosee’s – London’s First Coffee Shop
  • Garraways – Site of an old significant coffee house
  • Change Alley
  • Leadenhall Market – Beautiful old marketplace (Harry Potter fans may recognise this as Diagon Alley.)
  • Cutler Street Warehouses
  • Crutched Friars
  • Pepys Street
  • Mincing Lane


Tour information

Reservations:  Click here to reserve.

Where: Tour begins from just outside Bank Station. Take EXIT 6 and meet your guide at 82 Lombard Street (map).

The tour ends at Mincing Lane – Nearest Underground Stations Tower Hill or Embankment.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

When: Tuesdays at 14:00 View our full tour calendar.  

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for any budget.

Save even more money with a London tourist discount card.

Be sure to check out our other tours in London.