Welcome to my exploration of East London through a lens. It’s like the Colours of the Wind, but with fewer Native Americans and more graffiti! A LOT MORE graffiti. In fact, looking back through my photos of this day, I think there’s about a 80% ratio of graffiti photos as opposed to anything else! Sorry about that. What can I say? East London knows how to do street art! I mean, look at Anna in the above photo. It’s like she was made for angel wings and rainbow clouds!
Now I confess that, other than a few forays into Brick Lane and one night out in Shoreditch, I have never really explored East London. Call me old-fashioned but I quite like central London, complete with all the tourist trappings! East London, to me, seemed the mecca of bushy beard wearing, pretentious book reading, independent coffee shop frequenting hipsters. Yes, I know that makes me sound like such a middle-aged woman! (As if the trip to dog shows, National Trust properties and open garden weekends weren’t enough of an indicator!) However, I was impressed by the sights and sounds we encountered, and had to share them with you too!
I really loved this saying – it seems to me to be so true of relationships, especially once they become long-term and you spend more time with them than anyone else. That person who is your best friend and the other half of you is also that one person you can’t escape from, and whom you have to be able to tolerate above all else. It’s a fine line to balance, and this saying just encapsulates that in a nutshell.
It was a grey and rainy Sunday morning, which could have made it a rubbish morning’s traipsing. But Anna and I sought out some colour through the gloom, and discovered just how vibrant this up and coming area of London really is. Round every corner there was something new and unusual to explore and, in my case, snap a photo of! My poor camera was glad for the end of the day and a chance to rest (and probably never wants to see graffiti again!)
I loved this little square. I wish all the estates in South London surrounded a mini park and a bandstand, if nothing else so we could relax in green space and pretend to be as posh as those private squares in Bloomsbury and South Kensington.
Columbia Road Flower Market is somewhere I kept seeing mentioned on endless blogging feeds and Instagram accounts, and I felt I ought to join the tradition. Having found us a Sunday free, we navigated the sodden streets and soon stumbled across this riot of colour.
With plants and flowers lining the streets from side to side, we had to shuffle down the road crammed in with so many other people. If you’re claustrophobic, it might not be ideal for you! But it’s worth the queuing in my opinion – the flowers are gorgeous and the rainbow of colours brought some brightness to our day.
From here we went to our first Vintage Kilo Sale, in the same hall where I’d seen a friend of Ben’s in her inaugural boxing match the week or so before. I’ll cover our Vintage Kilo experience separately, so I’ll skip ahead to what we did afterwards.
Anna and I trekked back from the hall to Brick Lane, a half hour or so journey, but on heeled boots this were pretty much the death of my feet. I hobbled most of the way there, and couldn’t have been more glad to find myself at our lunch venue.
The Book Club is a Shoreditch hang out off the main high street that a quick Google search directed me to a day or so before.
Anna and I took a seat below the low-hanging canopies of leaves and vines and admired the gorgeous prints on the walls. I would now really love a jungle-themed room just like this one! Maybe my current living room – on the second floor and at tree branch level – would pull it off? If not then a future children’s playroom would be the ideal candidate for this theme!
For our brunch lunch, I ordered the pesto, scrambled eggs, toasted brown sour dough, roasted cherry tomatoes and scrambled eggs, and Anna ordered the avocado with lime & red pepper flakes on toasted brown sour dough & watercress salad with added bacon. It was good stuff, and much-needed to fill the void. Sorry about the poor picture quality, but we were in a hurry to inhale our food! I may also have treated myself to their Very Cherry Jerry cocktail, made up of Sailor Jerry’s and Disaronno with Coke…it was the weekend, after all!
After that we decided we attempted to brave Brick Lane, but being a Sunday it was rammed, and neither Anna or I had the patience for it. So we conceded defeat and hopped on the first bus from Liverpool St back to our comfort zone of central London, to the Strand and Covent Garden, where we whiled away the rest of the afternoon.
And when your normal stomping ground boasts views like this, can you blame us for making a detour over there having had our fill of Hipsterville? But I have to admit, after our colourful Sunday’s wandering, my camera and I will be venturing east again soon!