Jim’s Cafe on Chatsworth Road is always busy, whatever day of the week. I have been a few times and have had great experiences every single time.
The decor of the place is great. It has elements of a traditional greasy spoon. These features have been spruced up and given a modern edge. The front of the cafe is all wooden booths and diner tables. When you get to the back room it has exposed brick, chipped tiles and a feeling of being really open and bright, a little like being in a conservatory.
This time around, myself and a friend sat in the back room (a table away from Pixie Geldof, I don’t think I could have felt any more East London. We ordered latte’s and caught up.
Then it came to the main event. I have tried a few bits at Jim’s but what I ate was definitely my favourite. I had the scrambled egg with Gruyère and parmesan and mushrooms (which I had on the side)on sourdough toast. I had a side of sausage patty, which I couldn’t finish but it tasted AMAZING. The whole dish put a fancier spin on a traditional breakfast.
My friend had the sausage and tomato Benedict which was huge! We both didn’t quite finish our meals but both really enjoyed it. It is refreshing to see items on a brunch menu that are a little different to the norm. Despite the fact hat it was busy, we didn’t feel rushed so managed to catch up and not feel too guilty.
Jim’s is always the first place I recommend to people when they want brunch in East London. If you like little details, the pictures in the bathroom were from the original cafe itself!
As a Londoner, it is a known fact that as soon as there is a hint of sun, you go and explore the city. As I live in East London, there is always a lot to do. With so many great markets around; Broadway Market, Netil Market, Well Street Market and Chatsworth Road Market, you can go from one to the other if you want to! One of my favourites is Columbia Road Flower Market.
Columbia Road for me is the epitome of the East End. It has lot of character, great shops and a huge selection of plants and flowers. The traders shout out and make jokes in strong cockney accents. I love it but as it is a major tourist attraction, it gets realllllllllly busy. This time round it is potentially the busiest I have ever seen it! If you get there are the wrong time you can feel like you are wadding through a huge crowd yet getting nowhere and not seeing many flowers.
As I saw hints of spring I went with the aim to get my first flowers of the year. I picked up a mix of flowers for £10. I also got some pussy willow for about £3.50. I love pussy willow and have only just found out they last for a few years! What a great value for money!
Independent florists can be really expensive. The great thing about Columbia Road is that you get a chance to pick from a huge range of flowers at great prices and you keep a London institution alive!
I am that person who takes pictures of my food in restaurants. I love a good shot of a well made coffee. Bloggers do it, people who love Instagram do it and I think I found the perfect place to do it – Palm Vaults.
You have probably seen pictures of Palm Vaults, based on Mare Street in Hackney, without even realising. They are known for their pink decor, Miami based decor and rainbow lattes. I didn’t fancy a rose, velvet, matcha or tumeric latte. Despite the idea of something colourful, I wanted a decent coffee that had actual coffee in.
We ordered a latte, a flat white and a chocolate and salted caramel brownie. The coffee was good but the brownie was incredible. Really tasty ! Andrew was fighting me for the last bite.
The decor is lovely, but not very well planned out. The chairs take up a lot of space and as it is nearly always full, you’ll find people standing and waiting for you to leave. Andrew was despairing over the amount of people taking pictures of the place rather than enjoying the coffee in front of them. There were girls swapping seats so they could all get the right angles.
I headed to the bathroom before we left and the decor didn’t disappoint. Palm tree wallpaper, a pink sink, massive mirror and Aesop hand wash. It was something out of Pinterest! The only downside is girls with big SLR cameras were trying to get in and shaking the door so they could take a picture. Not what you want when going for a wee!
Overall, I think Palm Vaults has a lot of promise. However, we went on a quiet Friday afternoon. I have walked past on a weekend and seen queues out of the door! I’d like to go and try brunch or breakfast (with a cheeky cake on the side too maybe) but I think I might leave that for an afternoon with the girls, who’ll appreciate the Instagram aesthetic!
It’s nice when you pull an outfit together you really like. Casual, comfortable but adding little bits to make the ensemble click together.
I live in jeans and jeggings from Marks & Spencer (great if you have a curvier figure). I ripped some myself with a pair of scissors and some sandpaper but it didn’t make the effect I wanted. I found these ones recently in New Look and I LOVE them.
Stripe t shirts are a big staple in my wardrobe. They are versatile and can go from day time to night pretty easily. I have a few Breton style tops but I have been looking for a standard short sleeved style. This top is from Primark! I don’t buy clothes from there often (I spend a lot more on their homeware range). I wear a lot of black too so it ticked both boxes.
My leather jacket was a gift from the Christmas before last. It’s from Dorothy Perkins. Biker style leather is the only style I would go for. I think is suits pretty much everyone!
Desert boots are a cute little addition. I wish I could put a link up for them but I was lucky enough to get them in a Topshop sale for about £6 a few years ago. The colour is great, I am a big lover of pink at the moment. They were hidden away in a wardrobe until recently but they are going to be a firm favourite this spring.
Going out with a geordie means you here lots of slang and words from up north. The phrase “Shy Bairns” is one of these (bairn usually means child or baby). This pin badge was a present from my boyfriend and you can pick them up at The Baltic in Newcastle!
I am an absolute sucker for ramen. The rich flavour and being able to have a really tasty broth keeps you warm and happy. Living in Hackney, we are a short walk away from Mare Street where there is Tonkotsu. Theres a few of these in London, one not far from my office in Soho. Mare Street is an odd part of Hackney. Despite there being high street stores there, it has a weird mix of people too. Tonkotsu could be lost amongst the convenience stores but what a find!
We are lucky enough to live near enough to get a bowl of ramen on UberEats which we have done a few times. Finding ourselves free on a weekday meant we could pop in and have a cheeky lunch deal.
Despite it being a weekday and the restaurant being a little tucked away, there were a fair few people in! For £9.95 you can get a small bowl of ramen and a side. However, looking at the small it was a bit too small so we upgraded a bigger bowl for £1.95!
I opted for chicken gyoza (something elspe I love, I might put my recipe up for this at one point) and Andrew went for prawn gyoza. Then came the main event – the tasty bowl of ramen. I got the Tokyo with pork, which has a soy base. Andrew had the chilli chicken, which I have had before but is a little to spicy for me.
If you find yourself in Hackney around lunch time then definitely go to Tonkotsu. It ticks all the boxes. It is a great setting too – theres even a massive mural of a dinosaur terrorizing the London skyline!