It’s not often that I get a lunch break, but yesterday I succumbed to the sunshine’s siren call and went for a wee walk around the block (I also wanted to buy some squid ink spaghetti for a dish that is coming soon to LoveRichCashPoor). With just over a month to go until London 2012, I thought a little sneak preview was in order…
1) Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Christ Church, and adjoining garden: the beacon of Spitalfields and a great place to stop and stare on a sunny day.
2) Fournier Street, E1: this stunning terrace was originally home to Huguenot silk weavers, the entire street is perfectly preserved.
3) Fournier Street, E1. The original loft extension: the Huguenots constructed glazed lofts to house their silk weaving operations
4) The Town House, Antiques, Gallery, Coffee and Cake. I have always wanted to peep inside one of the houses on Fournier Street and now I have, courtesy of the fabulous Town House. This antiques emporium has been here for 10 years, apparently, but LoveRichCashPoor only noticed it yesterday; it has just opened its doors to the wider world, with coffee and cake served in the small but perfectly formed courtyard garden. Every single item in this two-storey shop is gasp-makingly beautiful. I would move in tomorrow if I could… it’s clearly a common problem, to the extent that Town House is now accepting paying guests on the upper floors. Thank god I cut up my credit card on Monday is all I can say.
5) The Town House (cont)
6) Old Spitalfields market, London E1. A treasure trove of boutiques, street food and market stalls. Thursday brings a host of antiques traders to hawk their wares inside.
7) Food glorious food: tucked inside Spitalfields’ perimeter, there’s a magnificent array of food emporia: cheese at Androuet, felafel at PilPel and John Torode’s Luxe — my go-to for after-work drinks or working lunches (on expenses, you understand). Across the road, St. John Bread and Wine is our venue of choice for a feast (again, not on my tab).
8) Adnams Cellar and Kitchen: enamelware and real ale, what’s not to love? Seriously, this is a real gem, with wonderful cookware and kitchen accessories in the basement, a wide selection of beers and wine and there’s always a little tipple to sample…
9) Spitalfields. For some reason best known to itself, Spitalfields is divided into two parts, with two different websites. I’m generally to be found on the Old side, but the New side has lovely open squares, great views over the city, art installations, regular concerts and events and Patisserie Valerie.
10) Crisis Skylight Cafe: a coffee with a conscience, this award-winning café serves great food with a side of optimism; it’s run by the eponymous education, training and employment centre next door.