London (Let me count the ways)
This past weekend my friend Kati came to stay with me in London and I got to spend two whole days running around Bethnal Green, Shoreditch and Covent Garden, taking photos, shopping in Brick Lane, eating good food out of plastic containers and sipping hipster beer sitting on upturned crates. It was pretty much perfect.
It’s hard for me to tell you just how much I love East London (although this blog is my way of trying), and walking down through Shoreditch has always felt like coming home. So that’s where we headed. Under the railway bridge to Roman Road, past the park, cutting diagonally through the housing estates until we reached Bethnal Green, and then, following the route of the night bus which used to take me to work, to the end of Brick Lane. We shopped and talked and drank tea and walked all the way to Spitalfields and then as the sun began to set and cast the most gorgeous golden light in the alleyways and over the closing markets, we danced about and took photos in front of the huge graffiti murals like absolute tourists, letting the light fall on to our upturned faces.
We got to the ‘Fuel’ food market just before it got busy, and browsed the food stalls before settling in with a beer outside the Bone Daddies bar and kitchen, where there is always a seat to be found on one of the wooden benches or tables. The market is situated on an abandoned petrol station forecourt so it’s a pretty small place, but it’s quickly becoming one of my very favourite places to have a drink and relax on a warm evening in the middle of the city.
The next day Columbia Flower market charmed us with the abundance and beauty of the freshly cut flowers, and the sophisticated patter of the tradesmen. I wanted to leave with armfuls of roses and peonies but didn’t want to carry them around all day. We found a perfect little café for a cup of tea and then explored the Columbia Road area before heading over to Hoxton and jumping on the overground to Oxford Circus.
Carnaby Street was calling and we did a bit more shopping than we’d planned to before wandering over to Covent Garden and queueing for an embarrassingly long time (it was more than an hour) to get into the pop-up Magnum ice cream shop, where we chose flavours and toppings and then watched our ice creams being made in front of us.
Summer in London is the absolute best.