Taking on London one meal at a time – Part One

So last weekend I travelled down to, as the title gives away, London with V. In these next few posts I plan on chronicling our food adventures with a few stupid pictures thrown in for good measure. We spent four days in the capital and worked our way through the food stalls, cafés and restaurants of Shoreditch High Street, so stay tuned for a series of posts packed full of yumminess.

Part One
J and V get lost in Shoreditch.

As soon as we arrived in London we headed straight for the hotel to dump our bags, and grab some lunch. The place we were staying in was right next to Cambridge Heath Overground station and had excellent transport connections. This might seem like a strange thing to rave about, but the public transport in Manchester is shocking compared to London, so it was a bit of a strange experience travelling from A to B without all the usual stress.

It was the Saturday of Easter weekend so the high street was buzzing. V was desperate to check out Rough Trade as it was Record Store Day so we wandered in that direction. On our way we stumbled across this:

Healthy Gambling
Some random woman unintentionally  photobombed my photo of Shoreditch’s Healthy Gambling

Click on this link to see it in action: Healthy Gambling in Shoreditch

What you didn’t get in the Vine is the hand which puts the juice bottle up on that little sill.  Every now and then the person behind the screen would stick their gloved hand through the curtain and show a flashcard. Our favourite, in an ironic way I assure you, was one that said “YOLO” which we just missed by a second as the video capacity was prematurely met.

The juice bar is run by Ali Baba Juices, and the bottle we were given from the gambling machine was their apple, kale and basil mix. We didn’t even know Kale was a thing prior to this trip but it was a surprisingly tasty combination.

Tearing ourselves away from the interactive juicer, we wandered down Hanbury Street and onto Brick Lane. After seeing how long the queue was to get into Rough Trade we decided to source some lunch. At the weekends, the streets around there a dotted with stalls, of course the ones we were most interested in were those offering food.

When we were wandering through the market I was messing with my camera settings, and when I bought my food, the setting I landed on meant the picture came out with a soft focus and ‘artistic’ blur. I didn’t notice how poor quality the photo was until after I’d worked through most of my meal so I apologise for the fact that you can’t fully appreciate it, but I can tell you that it was full of flavour and was definitely value for money.

The effect actually just makes the scene look a little steamy, maybe it was an appropriate setting for the food stall after all
The effect just makes the scene look a little steamy, maybe it was an appropriate setting for the food stall after all

While I’d bought a Moroccan chicken and rich dish, V, on the other hand, nabbed himself a Cheeky Burger. Even though I was still messing with the camera settings, documenting this impressive bun was a little more successful.

This effect makes the selection look strangely cartoonish
This effect makes the selection look strangely cartoonish
Aaand the camera is back to normal, remind me to never mess with the settings on an outing again. Anyway, behold this beauty
Aaand the camera is back to normal, remind me to never mess with the settings on an outing again. Anyway, look at this beauty!

After lunch we worked our way through the vintage and upcycle shops that dominate Shoreditch and then stopped off at the Box Park. For those who don’t know what this is, you might remember it if you’re a fan of the BBC’s Apprentice as it once featured in one of its episodes. The Box Park is basically a whole load of reconditioned shipping containers. These containers have been stacked on top of each other to form a two-story structure and they host pop up shops.

One the my favourite shops we ventured into boasted food paint, and this little guy:

Doesn't that roast chicken look so much better painted gold… mmm so appetising
Doesn’t that roast chicken look so much better painted gold… mmm so appetising

DSC03101

I really really wanted to take this little guy home with me, but £52 was a little out of my price range.

Once we explored the lower level, we climbed the steps and ended up in the middle of the structure. It was full of seats and some beanbags. Of course we both pounced on the beanbags  – interacting with hipsters is tiring, and the break was very much welcome. Only after settling in did we realise why the chairs were there, and so we ended up sitting through a live preview of London’s Sketchiest. The standup comedy was pretty amusing and afterwards we headed back to the hotel.

The day was rounded off by a walk through Trafalgar Square and a candle lit dinner in Soho.

V got a classic Florentine while I have no idea what I ordered but as you can see, it involved some chives and asparagus
V got a classic Florentine while I have no idea what I ordered but as you can see, it involved some chives and asparagus

Faul, Changes (Feat Wad Ad vs Pnau)
– This beat would have made a great soundtrack if we had made a video diary out of the trip

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