25 May 2013

Back East

I wasn't expecting to be free today, but some last-minute cancellations meant I had a day to catch up on my south/east London wanderings. Last night involved a few cocktails at ninetyeight in Shoreditch, including the eucalyptus martini pictured below, so I was a little later than usual heading out for my morning run along the river.

Eucalyptus martini at ninetyeight

But I still made it to Monmouth's Spa Terminus outpost to pick up a bag of freshly roasted Brazilian coffee beans before their noon closing time. I also grabbed a croissant from the Little Bread Pedlar before heading home to shower and change.

Coffee + croissant = happy Bex

The sun was starting to shine by then, so I decided to treat myself to lunch at the Ropewalk, near Maltby Street. They always have a range of tempting lunch options, but I decided to join the burgeoning queue for burgers at The Woolpack's stall. I ordered a classic burger, which involved mature cheddar and heritage tomato chutney. It was delicious and well worth the wait, even if I nearly squeezed a squirt of burger juices onto my jeans, thanks to the burger being somewhat bigger than the brioche that housed it.

The Woolpack's burger bar at the Ropewalk

Classic Woolpack burger. Medium rare. Delicious.

I hadn't checked out any new (to me) espresso bars for a while, so I then walked over Tower Bridge and up to Shoreditch, via Spitalfields Market, where I valiantly resisted buying numerous pretty and cheap-ish scarves, before ending up at Allpress on Redchurch Street (full review to follow). I much prefer Shoreditch on a chilled out Saturday afternoon to Friday nights, when the whole area is rammed and not all that pleasant. And you can see some of the street art by day too.

Allpress Espresso, Shoreditch.

"Please wait here until you are useful."

Reflected Shoreditch street art.

After a quick browse in some of the pop-up shops at Boxpark, I walked back down through the City, past the Gherkin and many of the new developments to St Paul's, where I crossed back to the South Bank and headed home. There was, as usual, a constant mass of people stretching from the front of St Paul's all the way to the Tate Modern.

The Gherkin and its new neighbours.

The hoards approach the Millennium Bridge.

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