Since it was a nice day and work was taking care of itself, I went for a long walk today. I also needed the exercise. I’m staying in Shoreditch and having lived mainly in North and West London, I’m enjoying exploring the East End during my stay. I’d lived in Aldgate for a few months, but I’d never made it out to Hackney Wick so I thought I’d check it out.
It was a good long walk, taking in Victoria Park (seen above) along the way which is just vast. Like most of London there’s an eclectic mix of people that you see along the way, from the scuzzy oddballs (like me) to the cool kids and the aspirational middle class mums with their little princes and princesses in their prams. One of the scuzzier types was wheeling a pram with some serious beatz blasting out of it; I couldn’t see if there was a child inside, I certainly hope not.I got a little lost when leaving the park and found myself walking along a canal. The area was becoming more and more visually interesting. I like old industrial areas, where you can see the history of human endeavour around you, as well as the poignancy that the areas of dereliction always bring. Time waits for no man.
There was a small industrial estate along the way with another little random visual gem of these boats. In the same industrial estate there was this German food warehouse. I went in fully expecting to buy some German stuff to try, but there wasn’t much in there to be honest. A bit disappointing actually, just a few shelves of uninspiring jars and packets. Randomly I saw the same outfit on Whitecross Street selling sausages the next day. Maybe that’s more their focus than retailing.
Then there’s this place. A boarded up multi-coloured pub. Beautiful really. So after a coffee and decently priced Polenta cake at the Hackney Pearl, I headed home to Shoreditch.
I was out with mum today, having a look around Central London. We passed through Covent Garden and I took a picture of these Christmas decorations. I think they’re lovely and even a Christmas cynic like me felt a bit of festive spirit stirring in my heart.
We had lunch at a place called Bistro 1 on Southampton Street. The food isn’t all that great, canteen standard, and even though it’s cheapish it could have been better. I had the mixed meze platter for a starter which was nice enough. The vegetarian moussaka was a bit disappointing and mum’s goat cheese pancake was worse if anything. Still, it has a traditional bistro decor which makes it an intimate environment in which to have meal and you can be sat among the interesting variety of people you’d expect to find in Covent Garden.
It was my friend Sue’s birthday this week and, together with our mutual friend Asa, we decided to have a meal at the Electric Brasserie on Portobello Road.
The Electric is another of those local haunts that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never visited in the six or more years I’ve lived in the area. Maybe in another six years I’ll finally go and watch a film at the Electric Cinema.
The food was delicious. I had broad bean hummus with pitta bread and a simple buffalo mozzarrella and tomato starter together as my main meal and it was lovely. Asa managed to let the waiter know we were celebrating a birthday and, sure enough, we got a free glass of bubbly and a nice message on the sticky toffee pudding dessert.
So a word of thanks for the staff there, in particular our waiter Lukas who was a funny one, for a really nice night. The Sticky Toffee pudding was incredible. I mean incredible.
I went to see The Artist today at The Coronet in Notting Hill. It’s the first time I’ve been there which is incredible considering how long I’ve lived in the area. I wish I’d gone sooner, it’s a lovely little place.
I’d heard a lot about the film before seeing it. I was prepared for it to be silent before going in so I didn’t need the two signs warning punters there would be no spoken dialogue. Incredibly there are reports of people asking for refunds when they find out it’s a silent film. Anyway, let’s just say I’d been touched by the hype about the film and was half expecting it to blow my mind. It didn’t. But it was a sweet, enjoyable film. The two leads were great, the dog even better, the story was clever and well thought out. I wish I’d been sitting a bit further back because I felt a bit confronted by the screen (the showing was sold out) but apart from that it was a very nice way to spend an evening with a couple of friends.