“London: In it is all that life can afford” Samuel Pepys.
From food, to architecture, to events, to cafe's to bars, London has every manifestation of life that you can think of hidden amongst its streets. Pick a Sunday, when the roads are quieter and it is the perfect place to cycle around to soak up the city's rich diversity.
To celebrate the launch of our Autumn competition with our friends at chic bike clothing brand, Café du Cycliste we have written our own Tale of Two Cities from our home cities of London and Nice. There is less revolution and a lot more rest and coffee than Charles Dickens’ original and both give you an insight in the best places to stop off by bike.
Don't forget our competition. To win either a Madeleine or Heidi Jacket from Café du Cycliste and a Jasper bike bag from us at Hill & Ellis, simply post a picture of your cycle style on any of our social media channels with the hashtag #mycyclestyle to enter. You have one week left. Bon Courage!
N.B This competition has now closed but be sure to follow us on social media or sign up to our mailing list to make sure you are the first to hear about our next giveaway.
From our city tales, we start with London.
Look Mum No Hands! Old Street.
A bike ride in London you say? Well is there anywhere else to start?
Look Mum No Hands! not only has the coolest name of any bike café we know but it’s sells great cinnamon buns, smells of a heady mix of delicious coffee and bike oil, (thanks to its in house workshop) and is packed full of cyclists and civilians soaking up the atmosphere. On the weekend it is a popular stop off for cycle clubs after their long rides.
Open every day until 10pm and always lively. It's the perfect pit stop for any ride.
St Bartholomew’s Church, West Smithfield.
On route south from LMNHs, is the oldest surviving church in London, and this little gem is hidden behind an 11th century gate house. This beautiful church is worth a peek and as it is hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is the perfect place to stop and have a sandwich in the gardens. It also has a great Cloister cafe for a spot of Earl Grey tea.
Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell.
The pub belongs to the St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk and has a wide selection of delicious British brewed beers. It dates back to the 18th century, has an open fire and you can even take a 5 litre mini keg of your favourite ales home with you. Just make sure you lock your bike up for the night first!
Ok, it's not a cafe but it is worth a look and it is certainly off the heavily beaten London track. The Barbican centre was built in 1982 and is a labyrinth of modernity which I challenge you not to get lost in. The Barbican centre is also the perfect place to soak up some culture with music and theatre events there on a regular basis. http://www.barbican.org.uk/theatre
Primrose Bakery, Primrose Hill.
Nestled in the backstreets of the fashionable neighbourhood of Primrose Hill is The Primrose Café. This retro retreat has a veritable host of cup cakes to suit even the most fanatical of cupcake eaters. The café is small but perfectly formed and their range of tea is also worth the visit.
From here you can cycle down past London Zoo to see the giraffes poking their heads from the fences and then up Primrose Hill itself. A decent climb, this hill has beaten many especially by bike but if you get to the top you will be greeted with a fantastic view and it is worth it.
Cafe Kick, Exmouth Market
Happy hour, Spanish beer, table football and tapas. What's not to love? This lovely cafe on Exmouth Market is fun, lively and has happy hour every day from 5pm making it the perfect after work wind down spot.
The Duke of Cambridge, Islington.
It wouldn't be an autumn Sunday without a roast and if you want roast you have to try the Duke of Cambridge in Islington. It is an organic pub, and literally everything there is made from organic produce. You might need to keep cycling for a few hours after but tucking in for a roast here is definitely worth the calories.