I heart East London
It’s not you East London, it’s me. I’m leaving you for the Continent. And it’s breaking my heart. Because East London, there is so much of you to love. So I dedicate this post to you and all of the places, food and fun times we have shared.
East London is representing on the brunch front. It knows its eggs, its granola, how to stack a Reuben, and has its fair share of hipster baristas. Hell it even knows its avocado. And I have hit them all up. Cooper and Wolf for granola with berry compote and the creamiest yoghurt (pictured) which I am sure counteracts attempts at having a healthy start to the day. They also do mean meatballs and Swedish style scrambled eggs. But the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns will get you every time. Rawduck if you fancy Turkish eggs (pictured) or a stacked Reuben sandwich which will cure any hangover. Mr Buckley’s I have already given props to here for their awesome brunch menu (lobster eggs benedict pictured). For the best toasted sandwich in the East you have to try the uber cool and casual Pacific Social Club. When the sun is shining there is no place like the Towpath Cafe, fried eggs on toast and strong Italian coffee whilst people watching along Regent’s Canal. Special mentions for coffee go to 46b Expresso Hut and Allpress who also do a great brunch which I have posted here.
East London is erupting with new restaurant openings. My stomach can’t keep up. For all the new there’s also the favourites which never disappoint. Everyone has got to eat at The Clove Club, (grilled squid and tarragon pictured) I love what these boys are doing and have said so here. Rawduck, the sister of Ducksoup Soho, is really bringing it to Hackney. Keeping it simple and keeping it raw they serve small sharing dishes with the best of seasonal produce. The raw chopped hanger steak on toast and the heirloom tomatoes with mackerel (pictured) were so so good. I don’t want to play favourites but Brawn is consistently awesome. An ever changing menu of perfectly composed dishes. Simple sardine fillets (pictured) and onglet steak, rare and how it should be. And the wine list never disappoints. Shane’s on Chatsworth Rd is the perfect neighbourhood eatery. It’s cosy with a small menu focusing on British game and fish. And with a separate cheese menu, what’s not to love. Another local hero is Mayfields. Seriously punching above its weight. I love Lardo, for the wood oven pizza’s, creamy burrata, fennel pollen salame, and seasonal salads.
For Cakes and Bakes
Violet is one of those places that I really wish was mine. I love everything about it, not only the amazingly delicious cakes but the total cuteness of the building which houses the bakery and shop, the narrow courtyard at the back which catches the afternoon sun and Claire Ptak the awesome lady behind Violet who is so much more than a cake maker. The signature spongy chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting should be shared as it’s sickly sweet, in a good way. My favourite is the orange polenta cakes topped with rhubarb (both pictured). Another baking favourite, this time of the bread variety is E5 Bakehouse, under the rail arches at London Fields. E5 is bringing real bread back. Passionate about artisan breadmaking their sourdough fresh out of the oven on a Saturday morning is worth the line out the door.
Sager + Wilde you complete me. Hackney’s latest offering and the missing piece of what is now the perfect hood. A wine bar with the coolest fit out, the long bar made from recycled pavement lighting tiles is just one of the features. Wines by the glass or the bottle have been hand picked and with a daily changing menu the very knowledgeable staff can always recommend something to suit every mood. A select grazing menu of toasted cheese sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese boards plus a to die for chocolate pot to go with your fortified. It is a place that I could spend a very disproportionate part of my time. Perhaps this break up is for the best.
To Market to Market
This post would not be complete without mention of the many amazing markets which make East London so fucking awesome. Broadway Market is buzzing each Saturday with every hipster and his dog. Expect to queue for your salt beef bagel or Vietnamese baguette but it’s worth it to experience the East London vibe. Netil Market just around the corner is upping the hipster stakes (pictured). With vintage clothing traders and live DJ sets it also hosts the best buns in London. Bao Bar’s slow cooked pork belly in steamed buns are legendary (pictured). Columbia Rd Flower Market makes me happy. I love buying flowers and I love seeing so many people walking the surrounding streets with huge bunches of colourful blooms. When things turn to shit there’s always flowers, and the charismatic sellers along Columbia Rd will brighten up any day. Chatsworth Rd Market every Sunday is making its mark. The steady revival of this local market sees some great food traders including Kimchi Cult, Herman ze German and Don Arancini.
Follow the East London Line
It’s obvious that East London is where it’s at. And unlike many ex’s I am willing to share this one because there is just so much love to go around. Embrace the awesomeness of the east with this handy map I have collated, pin pointing all of the hotspots. And take care of my lover, as I will be back from time to time to check in.