Grab your bike or your comfy shoes and head to town for a tour like no other!
Run by Jess Thomson, Square Mile Tours will introduce you to some of the best coffee places in Adelaide, while opening your eyes to some of the culture and quirk our city has to offer.
Jess says she found inspiration to start up the tours here after a recent trip to Tokyo.
“I was travelling solo in Tokyo and wanted to experience as much as I could of the local cuisine. I wanted to go to all of the bars and restaurants and I had limited time, so I spent a long time researching the most efficient routes. This was so time consuming and exhausting. I really just wanted to pass this task on to someone else and have them show me around,” she says.
With tourists in mind, but also catering to Adelaidians, Jess can tailor a coffee tour for many different occasions.
“The tours are primarily aimed at tourists visiting Adelaide. However I have been getting a lot of interest from locals who want to try something new and get to know Adelaide better,” she says.
“I have also just launched private tours which have been a massive hit. People are booking them for birthdays, staff shows and bachelorette parties. These can be customised to whatever the client needs.”
Trained and experienced in hospitality, Jess is passionate about food and beverage in Adelaide and wants to share her passion with others.
“My appreciation for good food has always been there. It comes down to the emphasis I put on experience. Trying new foods and dining out should be an experience; it should be memorable and fun and exciting. This is something I try to offer on my tours. I believe there is more to food than just sustenance; food is culture, food is who we are,” she says.
As well as the Cafe Cruise adventure, Square Mile Tours offer a range of other experiences for all palates.
“We also offer the Craft Beer Crawl, run fortnightly on Saturdays, and the Roaming Degustation, run weekly on Thursday nights. We are currently offering $20 off over the Adelaide Fringe. You can use the code ‘FRINGE16’ at the checkout when booking,” Jess says.
We sent Upside News writer Sean Kemp along to experience Square Mile Tours for us; here’s how his day went:
It was pretty much a perfect day in Adelaide; slightly on the warm side but pretty normal for a sweaty ogre like me. I was on the bike for the first time in twenty years as part of the Square Mile Tour.
The tour is designed to educate and enlighten the every day punter interested in coffee, to sip brew at some of the best Cafes that Adelaide has to offer.
I must admit, I don’t know a lot about coffee and didn’t even know most of these places existed! This is where our dependable tour guide Jess comes in. Jess guides you through an unforgettable experience while riding a bike (That you can also hire for free from Bike SA in Carrington Street) and indulge your senses in espresso coffee, fine food, cafes that roast their own coffee, and concluding with one of the best tasting gins I’ve ever consumed!
Here’s where we went:
Exchange Specialty Coffee: 12/18 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide
Here we had Espresso Tonic – a shot of espresso served over iced tonic water. The result is a reviving hit of caffeine that is refreshingly light.
SAD Cafe: Shop 4, Ebenezer Place, Adelaide
The Kenya Nyeri and El Savador – This was an amazing coffee! An extraordinary version of extraordinary origin: intense and distinctive, yet poised, suave, balanced.
Bar 9: 96 Glen Osmond Road, Parkside
Hands down, the best bacon and eggs I’ve ever had!
Monday’s Coffee Store: 38 Gawler Place, Adelaide
Here, we participated in a ‘cupping session’. We were advised to ‘sip and spit’, but I sipped and swallowed. I rode my bike faster after that!
The Howling Owl: 13 Frome Street, Adelaide
This was the last stop of the tour where we enjoyed a Kangaroo Island Spirits mulberry gin with tonic. The Howling Owl are a specialty gin bar with over 75 types of gin on offer. I reckon it’s some of the best gin in Adelaide.
You can book the Cafe Cruise at their website
, or if cycling the city isn’t your thing, check out one of their other tours, including the Craft Beer Crawl or the Roaming Degustation.
Review and photo gallery by Sean Kemp
Feature photo from Square Mile Tours Facebook page