I can't quite believe it is almost 3 months since I wrote on this blog - my New Year's resolution, to dedicate some time every week to London Stuff, has been well and truly derailed by the pressure of 9 to 5 (or more like 8 to 8 these days) and along with not getting to the blog, I have also felt myself not appreciating my surroundings as much as I usually do. Distracted by work pressures, I find myself hurrying through the streets, tapping away at my phone and basically, I could be anywhere. So I decided that it was time I started taking a moment and reminding myself that I lived in London - the best city in the world! It's amazing, how once you actually start forcing yourself to take note of your surroundings you regain that sense of wonder - I suddenly fell in love with London all over again and have had moments where I feel like I am the newly arrived, much younger (sob) version of myself that woke up every day (when I wasn't recovering from the night before) so excited just to be here. Anyway enough blathering and happy clappy London love - the whole point of that ramble was leading up to the fact that I went to Dalston a couple of weeks ago. Big deal I hear you say - well the
point is, walking round the streets of Dalston, seeing the crazy hustle and bustle around the train station, the shops along Kingsland High St, the smattering of hipster joints amongst the traditional and functional shops serving a hugely diverse populace, felt like the heart of what London is about, or at least part of the heart....yeah, you know what I mean. It is a really interesting part of London - I had been before, to see my friend Dougy who lives right opposite Mouse & De Lotz and just to really up my hipster credentials, I have also been to the Dalston Superstore (well tickle my beard and hop on my fixie I hear you say) but to be honest I am still
a bit of a Dalston virgin (and there ain't many of those around...boom boom!). Another side-note - many many years ago, an aspiring film-maker friend shot a short film about a relationship meltdown, with me and my friend Gen as the two stars. We shot around King's Cross station and I was (in the script) a guy coming down from up north and meeting my girlfriend who lived in London - most of the film was shot in a cafe near the station and we were quite wired while we were doing it, so it wasn't exactly BAFTA winning stuff but the point of this story is - I remember Gen had a line when I asked her how living in London was and she said, kind of plaintively "I like Dalston" (with the emphasis on the "like" - we shot that about 4 times) and I remember wondering where the f*ck Dalston was. So yeah, that was the story...moving on. The purpose of my visit and my long (but interesting) trundle on the London Overground from Clapham Junction to Dalston Kingsland was to finally visit Tina We Salute You (after first wanting to years ago) - possibly the coolest named cafe EVER and I can confirm, a really lovely place to drink quality
caffeinated beverages. In a charming street behind Kingsland High St, heading in the Canonbury direction, TWSY is laid back, friendly and the perfect place to while away some time. Brewing with Square Mile beans I had a perfect flattie (as you can see) and a delicious, chewy flapjack. I read a magazine, wrote an outline for a short story I will probably never finish and felt pretty darn content. If you are heading to Dalston, you should also check out the Rio Cinema (pictured) - I
haven't but plan to soon as I love a shabby art-house cinema I do. Locals tell me the pizza from Voodoo Ray (opened by my besties at the Dalston Superstore) just down the road is the perfect place for some pre or post movie nosh.
An expat Aussie 14 years into a love affair with London, I decided to record some of the reasons I dig this city, with a key theme being the search for good coffee & food. Random musings with hopefully some appeal or use - if not, at least I'm having fun writing them! Enjoy.