This week I was at work on Saturday. Boo. I had to think carefully about where to go on Sunday to make the most of a one day weekend. I went to a place that many people have heard about, but perhaps many have not ventured to.
It started off with a trip up the East London line – always far more pleasant than the tube. Then a short walk took us to Columbia road flower market! Only running on Sunday, this market is buzzing and beautiful. You may have to squeeze your way through the crowds but the sea of pretty flowers is worth it. The market sellers provide great comedy value – think of your typical burly, deep voiced, East London market trader. Now imagine him saying:
best orchids, I’ve got the best orchids here, better than Steve’s peonies
We hadn’t had time for breakfast because we went for a jog. Yes, I know, you were wondering, blog=jog is still going! 3 consecutive weekend jogs in a row. A personal record.
With our post jog empty stomachs rumbling we stumbled into the Cafe Columbia for tea and his&hers breakfast bagels. A lovely little place that I would definitely recommend.
Cake! We were there to look at a place called Treacle. It wasn’t difficult to find, but a quick peer through the window didn’t show any cakes. Instead it appeared that Treacle was now the fancy wine bar next door! A pic of the cake-less shop to prove it is provided.
Disappointed, we sought pastures new and headed to the Brick Lane market. The Columbia Road Flower market and the Brick Lane is a batman and robin-esque power duo of relaxed Sunday wandering. Brick lane has street food, local craft stalls and stolen bikes, so if yours has been stolen recently go down and take a look. You may be able to buy it back for a reasonable price.
We still wanted cake and luckily we soon came across a tantalising shop display. We were convinced and discovered the cafe Kahaila. It is a charity and church and gives all its profits to the local community, and they sell cake. I chose the rather adventurous rose, raspberry and pistachio. Charlie went for chocolate and banana. The cake was moist and the portions large, but all the flavour was in the icing. I discovered I like the flavour of rose in my cake, but I couldn’t taste any raspberry or pistachio despite there being bits of raspberry in the sponge. Charlie says his cake was everything he wanted from a cake – but nothing more. Plenty of ganache but no panache. (That was me not Charlie.) Atmosphere was pleasant, many East London residents using the free wifi and enjoying the hessian themed decor. Overall a fine place to have a quick sit down away from the bustle.
A good weekend in one day if ever there was one to be had. If you haven’t discovered the Brick Lane market on a Sunday yet I would suggest you go along, it’s a bit like Camden but without the tourists. So far.
Cake: Amy 4/7 Charlie 4.5/7
Atmosphere: 5.5/7 – very friendly, a charity! Not a cosy tea shop.