Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite
New travel concierge site SideStory allows you to book exclusive cultural experiences with elite creatives. Pictured: freelance fashion stylist Hannah Teare offers a vintage fashion hunting experience.
(Image credit: Omar Barchetta. / Rachael Moloney)

Running around cities with monotone tour guides in large groups is now a thing of the past. SideStory (opens in new tab), an innovative new travel site, provides a service that goes beyond any other – allowing you to book exclusive cultural experiences with elite practitioners and writers from the art, fashion, food and design industries in their home city.

SideStory was co-founded by former Wallpaper* publisher Gord Ray, ex Wallpaper* City Guides editor Rachael Moloney and Virgin's Giovanni Donaldson. Ultimately a travel concierge, the company connects creative industry professionals ('insiders') and enthusiasts; for example, if you want to visit some of the very best galleries in London, why not do it with Grace Adam? An artist and teacher who works at the Royal Academy and the Tate, her trips include taking a tour of outdoor art installations and visiting the Geffrye Museum (opens in new tab) for a historical insight into objects from the home. 

SideStory is set apart from regular tour providers by the indispensable advantage of employing insiders offering expert knowledge drawn from their personal and professional experiences, to tiny groups (of no more than four). They 'represent an important evolution in travel', Moloney explains. 'Discerning travellers are becoming ever more demanding in what they want to experience on a trip.' 

Other possible in-depth experiences include learning the secrets of getting great shots on the hoof with Mexican photographer Antonio Olmos, a photojournalist who has covered global human rights, conflict and environmental issues for myriad magazines, newspapers and NGOs; being introduced to lauded up-and-coming designers and discovering how editorial shoots are formed with Wallpaper's very own interiors editor-at-large Benjamin Kempton; exploring the new shopping mecca of Marylebone Village with freelance fashion stylist Hannah Teare; and gallery hopping with art critic Joshua White (remember to ask him about his 'five minutes of fame' with Andy Warhol). 

SideStory is currently a London-only enterprise, but the company is keen to expand to other creative cities. Watch this space. 

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

The site features bio information on each 'insider', a video introduction and details of their curated days out. Pictured: Mexican photographer Antonio Olmos offers a day-long photo-documentary learning experience.

(Image credit: Rosie Gist. / Antonio Olmos)

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

In groups of up to four, enthusiasts can explore the inner workings of the experts' worlds. Pictured: creative director Benjamin Kempton alongside his 'Interiors Motives' tour - a discovery of the best interior design spaces in London

(Image credit: Gord Ray./ Benjamin Kempton)

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

Artist Grace Adam and a shot from her experience 'Good form – what's taking shape in the world of contemporary sculpture?'

(Image credit: Gord Ray./ Rachael Moloney)

Chloe And Coffee

Food and drink editor Chloe Callow has curated 'Daily Grind' – a caffeinated exploration of the city.

(Image credit: Omar Barchetta./Rachael Moloney)

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

Currently only focussing on London, the company hopes to expand into other creative cities. Pictured: graffiti artist Karim Samuels and his urban art scene tour.

(Image credit: Gord Ray/ Rachael Moloney)

Inside scoop: new travel site SideStory offers up immersive experiences with London’s cultural elite

A percentage of profits are donated to a social enterprise of each insiders' choice. Pictured: food and drink critic Louis Fernando leads a 'Made in Soho' exploration of the area's booming food scene.

(Image credit: Omar Barchetta/Rachael Moloney)