A Wine Tour of Medieval London

Things to do, Walks and tours
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A Wine Tour of Medieval London

There can’t be many walking tours that take the ‘getting you drunk’ bit almost as seriously as the history bit. On our two-and-a-half-hour journey through the eerily quiet Saturday streets of Guildhall, Cheapside and the city in between, the winning Dr Matthew Green paints a lively and, let’s be honest, pretty grim picture of Medieval London. Wild pigs roamed the streets, going out after dark was not only inadvisable but punishable and a night at the inn would mean sharing a mattress with several other naked drunks; history’s equivalent of the stag do.

Green’s account of London’s past was enriched by encounters with a corrupt priest, a vintner’s wife, a shivering fornicator and a vengeful saint, among others, with the odd musical interlude along the way. Medieval wine was often diluted with a mouth-puckeringly generous helping of vinegar, though the tipples we were served en route showed no sign of it. Generous goblets were poured in an underground speakeasy, an ex-vineyard, an ancient port and a not-at-all-medieval but pleasingly cosy riverside bar, leaving us as rosy-cheeked as a friar in the mead cellar. Thankfully, the stories we’d heard were plenty vivid enough to stick in our fuzzy heads. Gold-plated skulls were the wine glass of choice back in the Middle Ages: the only bit we’d resurrect, because the most important lesson we learned from this lighthearted jaunt is that modern London ain’t so bad after all. Ashleigh Arnott


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Jill G

Fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable experience. I didn't know history could be such fun. Strongly recommend this event.

Paul S

Two of my favourite things: wine and history, were perfectly combined on this tour of a part of London I rarely see so quiet during the week. The level of research and thought that went into this tour were equally impressive. Highly recommended.

Joe E

What an amazing day out. I wish I'd had these sorts of history lessons at school - including the large goblets of wine! Would recommend to friends. 

Alan H

Great fun from start to finish. The perfect combination of educational entertainment for people of all ages. Would recommend to anyone with even the faintest of interests. Its very accessible to all ages and levels of historical knowledge.

Marianne S

I don't think I've ever had so much fun on a walking tour. Grizzly stories, gallons (or at least goblets) of red & white wine & some amazing costumes. The bars we stopped in were all really nice too. Would highly recommend.