Monday, 28 February 2011

Crêperie du Monde

This lovely little 'world' crêperie is the funkiest place on charming Chatsworth Road (Number 51, Hackney, London, E5) and certainly at the centre of my universe. It is just round the corner from my house, so I am often here on the squashy retro leather sofa in the window, working away on the wi-fi, writing up my travel features and earning myself a little Travel Money.
I spend it too, of course, on the delicious freshly made juices with mouthwatering combinations of spinach, ginger, pear and beetroot. The crêpes are the thing, though, whether with white, vegan or buckwheat flour. Their names are as imaginative as the decor, featuring distressed furniture, much of it reclaimed, tables made out of old wooden floorboards and empty vintage picture frames on the wall. I can recommend the Oriental Infusion with teriyaki chicken and green beans; my favourite though is the brunch classic of smoked salmon, scrambled egg, asparagus, hollandaise and salad. Sweeth-toothed crêpe lovers may want to go for an 'English Countryside', with apple cinnamon and fresh cream or the 'London Loves' combo of banana, caramel and ice cream. Are you one of those people who for some strange reason have a thing against crêpes? Why not try a Belgian waffle (with reduced prices for little ones) or a fluffy omelette – plain, cheese or with mixed herbs?

You may come across one or two young 'creatives' on their white apple macs, but this little spot is far away from the wannabes of London Fields and far from being pretentious – yet. A stray yummy mummy might wander in with their offspring, and you could see some bright young things having an impromptu brain storming at the big table at the back but, again, they don't spoil things. I normally order a cappuccino, served in a delicate china cup, but every now and then I get a 'Persian Pomegranate', a lovely, tart, blood red herbal tea in a white mug.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Hackney Homemade and Vintage Market

Hackney Homemade and Vintage Market takes place in the courtyard behind the independent bookshop, the Book Box ( and on the pavement outside, on the corner of Chatsworth and Glenarm Roads Clapton, London, E5 0LH.

For information about forthcoming market days, take a look at our Facebook page.

Our impressive roll call of local traders sell a variety of handmade and vintage goods. These include collectible ceramics, vintage toys and furniture, artisan food, home made herbal creams, handcrafted jewellery and and screen-printed pillowcases.
For a stall or more information
07956 934 768

The People

These are just some of the talented people who have been part of Hackney Homemade and Vintage Market.
• Ingrid Behic sells desirable homemade goods including beautifully crafted fabric hearts, toys, cards and decorations.
• Jo Thorpe is an established and innovative mosaic artist who produces decorative mosaic panels and jewellery – Jo's work can be seen in Westminster Cathedral.
• Patricia Bennett is an expert knitter, selling baby cashmere balaclavas, who also runs popular knitting courses.
• Kirstin Ingham is a graduate of Leith’s School of Food and Wine specializing in artisan creative cooking.
• Elsa Hamaz is a skilled herbalist who creates her own exquisite herbal creams, herbal teas, syrups and tinctures, all free of any artificial ingredients.
• Adam Cobbold sells handmade cushion covers using vintage British fabrics from pre-war to the 1970's as well as contemporary textiles from Morocco, Iran, Cambodia and India.
• Hazel Thomson is a designer with an architectural background who designs and makes her own sought after range of laser cut plywood and acrylic jewellery.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

On the Edge of the Olympic Site

As someone who lives right on the edge – of the olympic site, I am both concerned and fascinated by how our neighbourhood, particularly Hackney Marsh and the River Lee, has been transformed before our eyes. David Lee has created a series of bold, yet moving images over the last two years, recording what has changed, looking at the echoes of history and the re-imagining of this unique area. David's exhibition runs from 3rd - 27th February at Pages, our wonderful local, independent bookshop that puts on startlingly good events.