If you like travel, Trip4Real is a company you need to get better acquainted with. They operate in London, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, and several locations across Spain. They'll show you the city you want to see – the landmarks and views and hotspots you want to check off your list, but they'll also show you the city in a way your average tourist wouldn't experience. You choose from a huge array of guided tours and personalised experiences with locals who know the city inside and out. You could be having dinner in someone's house rather than taking a chance on an expensive restaurant, learn all about London's House Music scene with a private DJing lesson, or be shown round a gallery by an art expert. It's all about getting off the beaten track and exploring the real city with the people who live there, making it ideal for those who are travelling alone and want company, but also amazing for any kind of traveller who wants a unique experience. Trip4Real asked me to try their Black Cab Ride – a guided tour with a genuine cabbie – and to bring along some blogging chums. Myself, Jasiminne, Angela and Caroline piled into a cab for an adventure around this nation's fine capital city.
If you're not from London you might not be aware of just how expensive black cabs are. I would dearly love to get them more often, but have to brave the Tube with the rest of the plebs people on a budget. Having my own private one for the day was such a treat, and being told by our driver, Darren, that he'd take us anywhere we'd like was so much fun. He knew London inside-out of course, and not just because of having the cabbie 'knowledge', Darren pointed out interesting landmarks to us and told us their secret histories. We covered so much ground – starting in Borough Market and gawping at the people queuing for twenty minutes for the supposedly best coffee in London, and then stopping at The Globe Theatre (above) to get some shots.
We put our faith in Darren to take us to places of his choice, and he said we should use the weekend-quiet to get some shots at Leadenhall Market (above) – one of the filming locations used in Harry Potter. This is such a good idea, I'd definitely come back here at the weekend, it's so still and peaceful. I love how you can see the iconic Lloyds building peeping through the background. Darren took us round the West End, the City, even to Wapping. We got out at St. Katherine's Docks to look at the boats, and of course to take some touristy photos like this one (below).
The whole day was so much fun! Relaxing in the spacious cab as our expert guide took us on an adventure. And boy do you relax in a black cab when the meter isn't running… We were dropped off at Liverpool Street, said our goodbyes to Darren, and headed to The Breakfast Club for pancakes and a cheeky margarita. What better way to end a tour of London, than with tequila, the least traditional London drink on the menu – but that's what Trip4Real is all about; the city that you want, with a twist.
Trip4Real paid for our adventure, find out more about the Darren's Black Cab Ride here. He's lovely! And will tailor your trip to what you want to see.