Monthly Archives: May 2009

street food art and flowers galore from the columbia road market

dutch-tulips-at-the-market

i’m trying to entice everyone i know to come visit me, so here are some photos from the spectacularly beautiful columbia road flower market that takes place every sunday about five minutes from my house.  i happened to wake up at the ungodly hour of 6am last sunday and so i got to experience the market setting up. the food graffiti was spied along the way.

how happy does this picture make you? dude’s got his own banana tree! that’s definitely a reason to smile.

dude-with-the-awesome-banana-tree

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hackney is famous (for coffee AND royal visits). plus, latte animal art!

coffee-with-gwilym-and-a-bacon-butty

i have had some truly fantastic coffee in london so far. favorites have been tina, we salute you and taste of bitter love, which apparently both source beans from square mile coffee. this place roasts beans in our postal code, E2. WHAT UP, HACKNEY!!

speaking of hackney pride, who else loves hackney? PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA DO. my friends seth, becky, and i tried to go next door to frizzante at hackney city farms for coffee and breakfast today, but we got upstaged by a visit from the royal family. sheesh. we saw a dude in a suit and some serious gold bling around his neck walk into the cafe (like massive official medal style, not flavor flav style) and asked what was going on. the policemen in their funny hats wouldn’t tell us who exactly was there, but said all the hubbub was for a royal visit from someone who is very ‘new age.’ seth happened to know that the prince of wales is doing cool stuff with farming and slow food, which i’m excited to learn more about. then another cop didn’t actually ‘confirm’ that it was prince charles, but…sort of did. if this were the US we probably would have gotten our asses beat down by secret service already.  anyway, turned away from coffee on a farm with the prince, we went to bitter love instead and had an awesome warm and caramelly mascarpone apricot tart and drowned our sorrows in a perfect flat white.

in case you’re wondering where i learned about square mile and locally roasted coffee beans, it’s because i met GWILYM! yes, gwilym of world barista champion fame, who turns out to be a very nice man and not a white-robed resident of middle earth. oh and as if he couldn’t be more awesome, he lives on a boat. we chatted coffee and london for a while at his cart at the truly wonderful sunday columbia road flower market. more about that later. for now, you can just see in the top photo where i had a very good espresso on the left and a very good bacon butty on the right. talk about a one stop shop.

it’s time to leave the bar where we’ve been poaching free wi-fi (and i ate an awesome pork belly, crunchy black pudding and poached egg ‘salad’) but i’ll leave you with this awesome animal latte art since we’ve been talking coffee. i may be a huge nerd, but i was riveted for the whole 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

loooooove mei

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i salute you, tina, we salute you

the-door-of-tina-we-salute-you

hi irene bean, and anyone else. life is full of moving/business/new country insanity, which is compounded by the lack of reliable interwebs. chris and i are willing to sell our souls (or each other on the street corner) for fast internet access, which basically means that we hop around londontown all day looking for restaurants with free wi-fi.

happily, we’ve discovered some gems around our dalston neighborhood, namely the delightfully quirky and oddly named coffee/pastry/sandwich shop tina, we salute you. last week i went five times, and would have been there a sixth day except they’re closed on mondays, so we were left standing outside in the rain, staring forlornly at the empty pastry case.

anyway, this daily attendance means that i’ve tried a good half of the menu there. they’ve got delicious coffee, locally roasted in the East End somewhere.  my usual drink is the excellent flat white (my new favorite discovery since getting to London), which is like a latte but with less frothy milk so you get more coffee flavor. it also usually has very pretty designs in the top.

flat-white-the-counter-and-one-of-the-nice-guys-who-makes-good-coffee

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