Here’s the thing about London (or any big city for that matter!) – cool areas have a short shelf life. No sooner has an area been designated trendy that write-ups in newspapers and magazines start popping up about it. A steady trickle of curious locals on weekends follows. Then they start coming on weekdays too. Soon word gets around and tourists interested in alternative things start frequenting the area. Before you know it, there are offbeat tours being offered in the area and soon enough it becomes mainstream. This seems to happen to every area we like in London – Camden used to be fun, then it got commercialised (and HOW!), Brick Lane & Shoreditch used to be fun till they got popular, Dalston used to be our little secret but it’s fast becoming crowded on weekends.
With this mainstream status come the QUEUES – outside every pub, restaurant, and café. Now I don’t know about you but I hate waiting for food – I’ve stood in the legendary queue for The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields one too many times to know that waiting for blueberry pancakes doesn’t make them any sweeter.
So what are two hipster bunnies supposed to do – is it too much to ask for an area that that has the easygoing charm of the country-side coupled with the edginess that makes London special? A café that has street art, blue skies, canals, good food, and amazing coffee going for it?
Ok I can’t maintain the suspense any longer! Guys you need to get yourselves to Hackney Wick and plonk yourself on a table at The Counter Café pronto. Hackney Wick is on the outskirts of London’s East End and we can’t say enough good things about it. It has everything we love – pop-up art galleries in warehouses, amazing street art, unpolished cafés, and grungy music venues.
The Counter Café is our favourite breakfast (err let’s say brunch – most weekends we’re still buried under our duvets at breakfast time) haunt these days. There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s housed in an old building, squashed between artists’ studios and a bike repairing shop. Inside the building old-school chairs, framed black and white photographs, wooden stairs, and edgy paintings firmly establish a laid-back ambience. Its disheveled vibe is right up our street!
Sunbeams filter through the glass windows of the café. They force visitors to walk through the second door onto the open-air deck suspended over the canal. Mmmm – the crisp air, the water of the canal – this is where you need to score a table. The menu is standard brunch fare – home-made granola with greek yogurt, pies, eggs, croissants, and cakes. If you like poached eggs, you have to try their Turkish Eggs – they’re all kinds of delicious. Their coffee is Vid approved (if you read Bruised Passports regularly, you know how big a deal coffee is in Vid’s world 😉 ). It’s roasted in house – Vid’s an espresso drinker but I love their flat whites and lattes.
Lazy weekends also call for laid-back outfits. Or if you’re anything like us, life in general, calls for laid-back outfits (without any exception!) 🙂 On this particular Sunday, I wore a long cardigan with a chunky scarf. The floral blouse is one I’ve been wearing quite often this autumn and the black scalloped shorts are a wardrobe staple. Vid wore cropped chinos and his favourite suede loafers. They’re navy blue and go with everything. His olive green jumper is a light knit that’s perfect for this weather. That might explain why the jumper has been ‘stolen’ from him and is firmly in my possession – muhahaha
Outfit Details :-
Jumper – c/o Get The Label
Loafers – c/o Lacoste via Get The Label
Trousers – Topman
Floral blouse – c/o OASAP
Maxi cardigan – c/0 Chicnova
Studded Bag – c/o Chicnova (Love it! 🙂 )
Blanket scarf – H&M
Shorts and boots – New Look
- The Counter Café is a 5 minute walk from Hackney Wick overground station and 15 minute walk from the Stratford DLR Station
- Breakfast for 2 at The Counter Café costs approx. £20
- We also love the Crate Brewery which is in the vicinity
- If you enjoy alternative and underground art, then you need to hit Vyner Street. Our friend Hakon recommended it to us and we love it (thanks Hakon, if you’re reading 🙂 )
- Don’t forget to walk by the canals – you’ll discover some great street art!
What is your favourite thing to do in London on weekends?
Before you leave, don’t forget to read about our favourite Offbeat Things To Do In London 🙂
Visiting London? We have everything you need to plan your trip to London, including what to pack (and what not to pack ) in our Guide to London