To market, to market: a walk around Spitalfields

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.

Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christ Church by Nicholas Hawksmoor

2) Fournier Street, E1: this stunning terrace was originally home to Huguenot silk weavers, the entire street is perfectly preserved.

Fournier Street, E1

3) Fournier Street, E1. The original loft extension: the Huguenots constructed glazed lofts to house their silk weaving operations

Fournier Street, Spitalfieldsv

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.

Town House, 5 Fournier Street, Spitalfields

5) The Town House (cont)

Town House, 5 Fournier Street, Spitalfields

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.

Spitalfields market and Christ Church by Nicholas Hawksmoor

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).

Androuet cheese shop and restaurant at Spitalfields market

St John Bread and Wine, Spitalfields, London E1

St. John Bread and Wine

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…

Adnams, Spitalfields, London

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.

Market with a view: The Gherkin

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.

Crisis Skylight Cafe at Spitalfields market

    • Thank you – I’m very jealous of your motorhome – I have always wanted to hit the open road in a campervan!

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