|The cultural melting pot that is Brick Lane. Yet another borough with such a strong identity. The bilingual sign just says it all|
One of the beautiful things about the city of London is that it has multiple personalities. Venture 500m thataway and the vibe is something complete different from where you just came. Whatever mood you're in, there's something for everyone and Brick Lane is certainly no exception. Home to a thriving market on Sundays (be sure not to miss the Columbia Road Flower Market while you're at it), Brick Lane is filled to bursting with quirky boutiques, eateries and galleries. Sounds good to me!
|Doing Banksy proud, where graffiti is elevated to art form|
26 Hanbury Street, London E16QR
And so begins the search for that elusive cup of coffee (that's up to scratch)...
|Their signature fire engine red façade. Nude also has another café in Soho but has made itself cosy in the hipster east London|
Coffee culture is starting to hit London hard and I'm very glad for it. At Nude Espresso, an Aussie ex-pat has decided to bring our coffee culture to the UK. The team have two cafés under their belt now and roast their own beans (well, naturally). The interior is a very simple affair (to the point where I was thinking flat-pack) but does the trick. With a very simple food menu, this place is all about the coffee.
|The coffee I had was not bad actually. There was a very slightly bitter aftertaste without being burnt (thank goodness). Can you tell how low my expectations are? [Snob!] Credit: Nude Espresso|
Perhaps the scariest thing about exploring the London café scene is the prices. A cup of coffee pretty much sets you back the equivalent at home, except in pounds. It's a bit of a stretch to think a regular cappuccino is setting me back $6, just like that. Nonetheless, I've done a bit of legwork around town to investigate. As an Aussie, I've got to get my priorities straight. To further illustrate my point, see here.
|Soup of the Day: potato and leek soup. A classic, and actually fitting in the cool Spring weather. The soup had a good flavour but I'm not a huge fan of the raw spring onion garnish. I had to save myself for what was to follow later on, read on :)|
|Grilled to perfection: banana bread. A café staple all over the world|
159 Brick Lane, London E16SB
Ah, this is my new happy place. Beigel Bake churns out beigels like the world is ending. A 24/7 operation, it is a favourite of late night revellers when it really kicks off after 2am. Because they only make the one thing, don't be deterred by the lines because you are served in a flash by those no-nonsense shop ladies. There's literally standing room only so be prepared to hover by the banquet bar or step out for some chilly fresh air. The beigels speak for themselves really (there I go personifying food...), when it tastes that good, you can get away with anything. This place oozes old school charms and is a clear winner judging by the sheer volume of customers. A quintessentially London experience and essential at that.
|Never fear, your late night prayers have been answered in the form of salt beef beigls. Can I get a hallelujah? Doesn't it just look tremendously attractive with those garbage bags out front? Lol|
And now, just a few self-indulgent snaps :D