It's a rare occasion that Ainsley and I get a day off on the same day and both feel like venturing into London from our now suburban house! However, this past Sunday both of these conditions occurred and we decided to go for a jaunt around our old stomping grounds in East London. First up was Columbia Road Flower Market, which was so packed we barely shuffled along the road and back in two hours, and had to take a break for soy coffee and orange juice.
Once the crowds had cleared a little, we picked up some sunflowers and headed down to Brick Lane with the promise of vegan fried 'chicken' from the Temple of Seitan, and a vegan brownie donut plus peanut butter brownie from the Peanut Butter Bakery (both highly recommended) for Ainsley... and a punnet of strawberries for me. Walking through to Aldgate East, we popped into the Whitechapel Gallery to have a look at Keith Sonnier's Light Works, bought some postcards, and hopped on a bus from outside our old flat near the East London Mosque. Our final stop was the beautiful Sugarhouse Studios of pastel-tiled Instagram fame, which was just as well because they're taking the tiles down shortly!
It's been nearly two years since I moved out of East London and I'm still homesick for it - the wail of ambulances, the constant colour, the never ending queues outside Tayyabs, buying fruit from the market, the street art, the late night bagels, cycling back from Brick Lane on rainy roads, making quick banoffee pie in the early hours of the morning for my flatmates. I love our house now, but I'd still move back in a heartbeat (minus the extortionate rent, crooked landlords and current epidemic of soulless high-rises).