SideStory launched late 2015 with the aim of offering imaginative experiences with select creative professionals – SideStory’s Insiders. Each SideStory Experience focuses on the creative industries including art, design, photography, fashion, and food and drink. You won’t find these flicking through a guide book – these have been personally curated by a handful of local experts with years of knowledge in their particular fields.
SideStory currently offer over 20 tailored experiences providing unique insights into London’s cultural highlights and its most dynamic neighbourhoods starting from just £59pp. These one-of-a-kind experiences have been designed for individuals or small parties, with each lasting a few hours. No one SideStory Experience is ever the same. What they do have in common, however, is that they are always personalised and are designed based on information their guests have shared in advance of their meeting.
SideStory’s Insiders are selected for their extensive knowledge, influence they have in their specific industries, and their desire and ability to share what they know with other like-minded or aspiring individuals. Time spent in their company offers the opportunity to experience a day-in-the-life of an industry expert, arming guests with not only tips and tricks, but their story too. The hand-picked team of Insiders include an award-winning photojournalist, a Sotheby’s lecturer, Wallpaper* magazine’s Interiors Editor-at-Large, and a top fashion stylist. A coffee guru, street art expert and an artist are also on board, with more in the pipeline.
‘2016 is the year of experience and the time is now for immersive travel. The likes of Instagram make it wholly possible to share and immerse ourselves in travel like never before’ comments Giovanni Donaldson, Founder & CEO of SideStory. ‘We’re experiencing a shift, where travellers are more interested in spending money on experiences rather than things and through SideStory we want to offer immersive experiences where you get to discover a city with expert insiders.’
‘We believe there is a huge global market for the types of experiences SideStory offer and we’re aiming to add another 20 experiences to our current offering before the end of the year. By the end of 2017 we hope to offer between 50-100 experiences in London alone but also take SideStory global. We have our sights set on expanding to cover other key cities around the world including Amsterdam, Lisbon, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York, Milan, Rome and Cape Town to name a few’ added Giovanni.
For those lucky enough to call London home, SideStory experiences are already on your doorstep. SideStory has teamed up with some of the world’s leading travel brands including Andaz London, Hyatt Regency, Black Tomato, Onefinestay, Cox & Kings and Mr & Mrs Smith – who offer a selection of unique experiences to their guests.
With SideStory, you can trace the evolution of the East End with photographer Stuart Freedman, discover what drove Samuel Courtauld to put together his ground-breaking art collection with art critic, Joshua White, or get introduced to London’s urban art culture, from Graffuturism to Aerosol Realism, by active street artist, Karim Samuels. For the coffee connoisseurs among you, allow Chloe Callow to show you the best brew bars around and discuss how design, equipment and roasting has evolved. For fashionistas, explore quintessential British brands and boutiques cherished by the Royal family, hear remarkable tales from some of Mayfair’s vintage ateliers, and discover the hidden gems of Portobello with Fashion Stylist, Hannah Teare. Hannah’s work can regularly be found in the likes of Vogue & Vanity Fair and you might even hear how she once dressed Roger Federer in armour for Annie Leibovitz! If photography is your thing, you would be privileged to spend time with Antonia Olmos who recently documented the refugee crisis for the Guardian and Observer. He was also commissioned to photograph Malala Yousafzai for the cover of her book, the results of which have been published worldwide.
Charlie Warde – Brutalism Expert
3 hours · North Kensington · From £100pp
Gain an insight into the world of fine art and architecture today with Charlie Warde – an artist and Brutalism expert. Charlie is currently the resident artist at one of the movement’s most distinctive buildings, Trellick Tower, and his work was recently on show at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Join Charlie and experience, first hand, the evolution of British Modernism, Brutalism and the history of post-war social housing. Explore the Brutalist icon, Trellick Tower, inside and out and discuss key themes and thinking behind the design along with other buildings of its ilk. Learn about the ergonomics of this radical architecture along with Erno Goldfinger’s ingenious use of ‘the human scale’ and discuss the social ideas that inspired his work and how his social ideas have affected London’s skyline today.
Inua Ellams – Poet, Playwright & Performer
3 Hours · Southbank/Central London · From £84pp
Inua Ellams is a poet in demand. His work has been commissioned by the BBC and The British Museum and is regularly giving readings and performances at the Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern and Ronnie Scott’s to name but a few. During his experience, rather than viewing and passing, Inua will guide you through London as you write, helping sculpt transformative, creative text that will help capture a lasting memory of London. He will offer a new way of looking at the city, encouraging you to take it in from a multisensory perspective.
Celia Brooks – TV Chef & Writer
3 Hours · Haringey or Marylebone · From £100pp
For the food lovers out there, why not spend an afternoon with Stanley Kubrick’s private chef, Celia Brooks, and explore London’s markets, foodie neighbourhoods and eateries? Celia Brooks is SideStory’s TV chef to the stars, who has worked with the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Paul Hollywood. During this time, she has published eight books each in ten different languages.
An Experience with Celia is perfect for those who crave the creative, the engaging, the educational and the entertaining – whether you’re keen to explore London’s Turkish community, sampling the best ocakbasi and stopping off at the hottest new cafes, or uncover gastronomic wonders in Marylebone Village.
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