My gorgeous friend Cassie is one of my favourite people in the world and more importantly, one of my favourite eating companions! Its so nice to eat with someone who enjoys eating as much as you do. We have very similar taste in food and in the types of places we like to hang out in. She’s also good at spotting a hot chef/cheese seller/baker and always has a good recommendation of where we should go next to eat and stare at the hot guys!
Cassie lives in Hackney, East London and we love to spend Saturdays wandering around the markets, chatting to/flirting with the stallholders and generally eating our way around the area.
Last weekend, London decided to give us all a break from the relentless rain we’ve been experiencing lately, and we were bathed in some much-needed sun. I arrived at Hackney Central on the Overground about midday on Saturday and met Cass round the corner on Mare Street. We wandered through the small market that is set back from the main road, in a beautiful church garden. Its a cute little market…nice and chilled. You can stroll along without being hassled, and the stall holders are so friendly, you can talk to them for ages about their produce.http://www.hackneyhomemade.com/
Our favourite stand was the cheese stand – Fratelli Formaggio – Ian and Gian, known as the “Dark Knights of Cholesterol” were serving us up constant tasters of incredible cheeses.
As soon as we arrived at their stall, a knife was immediately pointed at me with a taster of aged Gruyere balanced on the tip. This is one situation in which I really don’t mind a knife being pointed at me in East London! The Gruyere was wonderful and Cassie and I both immediately bought some. The boys kept putting tasters in front of us and I think we tried most of the cheeses they had on offer. They were so lovely and friendly.
Gringos London make a selection of fresh salsas, plus guacamole made to order – to your specifications – right before your eyes. www.facebook.com/gringoslondon | @GringosLondon.
Lush Mush makes the most beautiful looking cupcakes and full-sized cakes – @LushMushHackney.
Then we hopped on a bus to London Fields just 5 minutes away.
And wandered to the E5 Bakehouse.
The E5 Bakehouse is an East London artisan bakery which uses organic, locally-sourced ingredients in all their daily-baked breads and homemade cakes.
Their head bakers share their knowledge and expertise in a weekly bread course every Saturday from 11am til 5.30pm, costing £95. This is definitely something I’m going to sign up for next pay day!
We then popped into Happy Kitchen – next door for a coffee and some cake.
Happy Kitchen sells only natural food – no gluten, eggs, dairy or wheat. They sweeten their food with fruit.
Cassie had their bakewell tart which was absolutely delicious.
I had one of their brownies which, to be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely taken with. I need the sugar! If I was gluten, dairy and wheat intolerant and I wasn’t able to eat regular brownies, then I’m sure this would have been a delight. But I’m not. I love my sugar!
It is a lovely place to be though. You almost feel healthier just being in there. I love the feel of the place, and if I wasn’t so addicted to sugar, it would be heaven.
We then wandered down to Broadway Market.
But it was so manically busy and there were roadworks taking away half the stalls, so we decided to walk down the road to Netil Market for a Lucky Chip burger.
Unfortunately, there was a large queue and we were told the wait would be 30 minutes from order so we decided to head to the market in London Fields Primary School playground which was just round the corner, for some pizza.
Homeslice – is the love-child of three men with a passion for making and eating woodfire pizza. Through lots of research they think they’ve found what it takes to keep our tastebuds satisfied.
And after tasting a slice of their Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta pizza, I’d say they’ve been successful!
They hand-roll their dough on site, top it with fresh gourmet ingredients and then cook it in their custom-built wood fire oven. At first I was gutted that they’d run out of the ingredients for their Serrano, Stilton and Walnut pizza, but after I tasted their Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta pizza, I was in heaven.
This is serious pizza. Super-thin tasty crust which had a nice crunch to it. The ricotta was so fresh and I think I noticed flecks of lemon zest through it which would explain the slight lemony taste in the background. It was absolutely stunning.
Once we’d finished up, we decided to head to Chatsworth Road. On the way to the bus stop we popped into the Corner Deli on the corner of Mare Street and Westgate Street, to buy our favourite sfogliatine pastries for the journey!
We lazily got the Overground one stop from Hackney Central to Homerton and walked 5 minutes to Chatsworth Road…
When you’re walking down Chatsworth Road you get the feeling its just on the cusp of changing from being a bit grotty to being ‘hip’ and cool. You can tell from the food places alone.
On the corner of Glenarm and Chatsworth, there is a little cluster of lovely food shops which shows the beginnings of regeneration. We popped into Venetia’s Coffee Shop – for a quick glass of still lemonade…
Whilst I was in there I recognised the cakes they had on display…they were cakes made by Lush Mush, who I had spoken to earlier that morning at the first market we went to! What a small world! @LushMushHackney.
Then went for a wander around L’epicerie – a gorgeous deli full of cheese, charcuterie, antipasti, quiches, wine and breads. They also serve fair trade coffee together with French savouries and pastries, all of which you can eat in or take away.
But the main reason we were on Chatsworth Road was to visit Crêperie du Monde. Cassie went here a couple of weeks ago and sent me some photos. I immediately texted back “I WANT!” and so here I was to try them out.
This place was so good, I wrote a separate post about it here but this is the crepe I had.
And this is the PINT of strawberry milkshake I had!
To round off our day we walked up to Lower Clapton Road and had a Bloody Mary at the newly opened Clapton Hart pub which is absolutely stunning inside.
It only opened 2 days previously so they still seem to be finding their feet but I definitely want to come back here. They aren’t serving food just yet but promised they would have a menu soon.
So there you have it…my lovely day out in Hackney! If you’re ever in London, please head East. There are so many amazing places to eat and drink, you’ll be spoilt for choice.