Crumpetorium in the Capital
Whilst we have absolutely loved spending the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in the beautiful and spacious Norfolk countryside, we were keen to spend some time in a city again and be able to catch up with friends. So once the restrictions started to lift, we found a Trusted Housesitters sit in Hackney, London and scooted off to the big smoke for a couple of weeks.
With 2 gorgeous dogs and a cat to look after, as well as a lovely town house overlooking a park and Hackney marshes, we're really enjoyed exploring the area and seeing old friends. Our time has been spent taking leisurely dog walks along the canals, across to the Olympic Stadium and over to Epping Forest... and getting to know their adorable and hilarious personalities!
We've discovered some really delicious local foods. Our favourites have been
Casey's in Clapton (@caseysclapton), a micro cafe with super gooey cookies, brownies and toasties.
Millfields cafe (@millfieldscoffee) which does amazing coffee, sandwiches and a gorgeous lemon, ginger and white chocolate bite as well as loads of other great looking cakes
Hackney Church Brewery Co. (@hackneychurchbreweryco) whose head chef is Norfolk born and bred, Elliot Cunningham (@elliotcunningham). There are loads of great beers on tap here and the food is incredible! Super slow cooked meats served simply to let the amazing smoked flavours come through – so tender and tasty!
Chatsworth Road market also came up trumps with an array of yummy dishes from around the world, and the super 'hipster' Spar nearby was a whole other experience to the Spars we're used to – from it's flower arch entrance to eco friendly products and 'take your own container' food offerings.
For the meals we cooked from home, we've eaten vegetarian (in an effort to try and cut down our meat consumption), and enjoyed sunny evenings eating alfresco with a glass of wine (or a Pink Marmalade gin!) and dogs playing around our feet.
Having stayed quite local for most of our time in London, we finally took our chance to cycle into the centre and pay a visit to the Tate Modern, (now that it's finally open again). Unfortunately we were too late to book the Andy Warhol exhibition, but really enjoyed the rest of the galleries. A favourite display was by, British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare CBE, who had made a stunning room full books recovered in bright fabrics and printed with names of first or second-generation immigrants to Britain, who had made contributions to British culture and history.
And of course, we have been making our beloved crumpets and delivering them locally, around the UK and to London friends who've been long awaiting their chance to try them.
Overall we've had an amazing time in Hackney, and it certainly is a very different place to the Hackney of 30 years ago that our parents seem to remember. It is now clean, feels safe, gorgeous parks, excellent recycling, great independent cafes and shops and lovely quiet tree lined streets with colourful town houses. Highly recommend visiting this part of London if you get the chance, and thank you to our hosts and Trusted Housesitters for making it happen.