Tag Archives: hackney

farm tours with the hackney hostel: the biggest of pigs and the manliest of donkeys

hackney city farm is home to some of the most delicious food and some of the most entertaining residents in london.  i’d venture to say that this farm visit, consisting of a little breakfast eating and a little animal ogling with chris, drewstew, becky, and lexi, also resulted in the some of the most entertaining photos i’ve taken in london. how’s that for some superlative action? i think you might have to agree with me though, when you see photos like this one of  lexi with a SERIOUSLY BIG ASS PIG.

lexi and the pig

BWAHAHAHAHAHA. hilarious. i also really like this photo of everyone pensively regarding the duck that just waddled into their midst.  andrew in particular looks very marky mark while lexi is either running away or doing the chicken dance.

visiting hackney city farm with becky drew and lexi

another strong contender in the best picture category is this glamour shot of larry the donkey. now, it’s totally natural life on the farm and not really NSFW, but just so you’re forewarned…

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frizzante at hackney city farm: wild boar sausage, tomato sunshine, and perfect strawberry clouds of dessert

wild boar salsiccia, parsley salsa verde and homemade bread

FRIZZANTE! according to my italian speaking dining companion kellin, it means ‘sparkling’ as in ‘i would like my water frizzante.’ a less romantic translation could also be ‘gassy’ but i think we can all agree that’s not a good restaurant name.

frizzante is the casual yet intimate, rustic yet gourmet italian restaurant tucked into an unassuming building at hackney city farm. i may have mentioned once or twice how excited i am to live next to a farm in the city with real animals (especially donkeys named larry and calves named rhubarb and custard. GAHH. stop trying to debilitate me with your cuteness). i am even more excited that the farm is home to such a warmandfuzzy feeling place as frizzante.

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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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the taste of bitter love is creamy, sweet, and delicious

sometimes i make no sense, but sometimes i do.  my not-literally-but-for-all-intents-and-purposes siamese twin chris and i stumbled upon what might be the most adorable coffee shop on the planet a few days ago while house hunting in hackney in east london. it’s called ‘the taste of bitter love‘ and it’s a tiny little storefront with just a few tables inside and out on the sidewalk. their sign proclaims ‘really really good food and coffee’ so obviously we had to stop and test the veracity of this bold statement.

iced-coffee-and-the-sign

verdict: true. i swear to you i am not exaggerating when i say that this is one of the best iced coffees i have ever had. i realize i am quite prone to hyperbole, but seriously, it was fantastic. rich, creamy, frothy, sweet but not cloyingly so, it was an iced coffee to rule all other iced coffees. the only bad thing about this coffee was that it was so good that i wanted more. please sir, may i have some more?

to minimize my already unnecessarily high caffeine intake for the morning, i settled for a delicious veggie sandwich instead. grilled eggplant, squash, sundried tomatoes, zucchini, fresh spinach, goat cheese, and a thick slab of brie on a hefty chunk of focaccia.  you can eat these beauties fresh or have them grilled on a panini press while you wait, giving the bread a nice crunchy exterior.

vegetarian-sandwich-and-world-barista-champion-signage

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