I’m meant to be on holiday at the moment but couldn’t resist telling you about a little find on this one. Yes, Mr Man and I are on staycation, leaving BLC in her normal childcare routine while we have some quality time remembering the city we fell in love with once again – it’s easy to forget in my normal life of running back and forth from day-job to home to pick up the odd bit of freelancing and entertain a toddler after hours why one lives in the best city on earth and these two weeks are reminding us just of that. It is also flippin brilliant to actually have some solid days of hanging out with Mr Man, who I have remembered is rather awesome.
I hadn’t planned to write anything about our staycation – this was all about not thinking about the next blog post and not instagramming every meal but then BLC was a flower-girl at this amazing wedding on Friday and somehow in there, in this crowd of ultra creative people, my blogging mojo returned. The wedding was everything I love about East London, all down to Frank and Bonny who are two of the funniest and happiest people I know – and very much in the know about everything in the area due to the sheer gravity their personalities hold.
Much of the day was spent at Bow Town Hall and Hackney City Farm where the dinner was, but also included in there was the Hawkhurst Vault, a relative newcomer to Shoreditch, opened by F&B’s friends James and Theodore – two impeccably groomed and very nice gentlemen who quit their day-jobs to set up a teashop that displayed their love of tea, craft beer and art, along with decor that is for everyone, no pink or daintyness (apart from the blue china teacups) in sight. Apparently when they set up shop, all their friends got involved, F&B doing the wallpaper, others like the adorable Aggie scrubbing away, completely overhauling what was once a hairdressers and making it their own. I love it when you hear stories about friends and family really getting behind someone to help them stick it to the man so they can work for themselves.
The reception at the Hawkhurst Vault was so much fun that we decided we needed to come back and relax one day this week. So we did that today, headed downstairs and almost fell asleep on their supremely comfortable furniture. I said to Mr Man that when we eventually move, this is exactly how I want our living room to be – displaying collections from our travels, great music playing in the background, a rather distinguished globe on a shelf and furniture you can just sink into.
We chilled for a bit, caught up on some life planning and drank gorgeous tea that the guys brought down for us in fantastic cups, Mr Man drinking Wuyi Cassia Oolong, me going for my favourite White Peony, both by one of my all time favourite tea companies, Jing Tea.
I like everything about this place and so does Mr Man (he usually objects to the girliness of the places I take him to). I loved the records playing in the background (Neil Young was on at the time but on Friday they had a brilliant selection of Motown hits), the decor that came from family homes and Brick Lane junk shops, the antique-ey smell of it and the delicious tea.
One to head to if you’re feeling like a chilled out afternoon or want a good tea stop on your way to the Sunday markets. This won’t be the last time we go there. I’m in love.
Afterwards, we continued walking around Shoreditch, stopping at The Cornershop – an exhibition near Columbia Road where artist Lucy Sparrow has created everything out of felt. We couldn’t resist buying a box of cornflakes – these ones definitely won’t be expiring anytime soon. I love the creativity of the East End, oh-so-very-much.
Hawkhurst Vault can be found at 240 Brick Lane, London E2 7EB. Nearest tube is Shoreditch High Street and they are open Mon-Sun 8am-8pm.
The Cornershop can be found at 19 Wellington Row, London E2 7BB. Open 10am-7pm until 31 August. Again, nearest tube is Hoxton but easily got to from Shoreditch High Street too.