The Towpath Cafe may have been created by Lori De Mori, an American Italian food writer, but there is not a hint of pretension in this lovely little unassuming offering, which opened last year without a whisper of media attention. Right on the Regent's Canal (between Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road Bridge, N1 5SB) and just five minutes away from distinctly urban Kingsland Road, the Towpath has been delighting joggers, cyclists and passers-by for a year or so now. No need to call on the help of a pizza delivery expert now in this one-time culinary wasteland.
The coffee imported from Caffe Piansa in Florence is served by barista Amanda Thompson. Chef Laura Jackson cooks up simple but delicious British and Italian dishes from what is little more than a hole in the wall. As I sat eating my porridge and fruit as I waited for the attached bike repair 'shop' to mend my broken brake, a burly, grey haired man, who was clearly a regular, hopped off from his dredger to order a spinach salad. The cafe has proved so popular that a pontoon has cleverly been transformed into an extension.