East London should be an easy one because I live here. It’s rather hard to narrow it down to my favourites. But here they are.
The approach – Access to the gallery via The Approach Tavern, 47 Approach Road, E2 9LY, Wednesday to Sunday: 12–6pm
Maureen Paley Gallery – Maureen Paley made noise by showing several exhibitions by the later called YBAs early on in the 1990s. She also developed the careers of renewed artists like Gillian Wearing and Wolfgang Tillmans. Her gallery has been based in Bethnal Green’s Herald Street for 20 years. 21 Herald St, London E2 6JT, Wednesday to Sunday: 12–6pm
Rochelle Canteen – I just love everything about this place. Run by the wonderful Margot Henderson (you want to buy her cookbook after you’ve eaten here), this place and the food are just pure comfort. Located in a former school canteen, you need to ring the bell to enter. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Booking for lunch and dinner essential. I’ve tried a million times to sneak in spontaneously, it never worked out.
Leroy – Leroy used to be called Ellory and was 5 mins from our house. Now, Leroy, is based in Shoreditch. They maintained their Michelin star but it’s a very cool, relaxed place. Booking essential.
Lyle’s – Probably my favourite restaurant in town, I love to come for special occasions. If I had to describe the style of the place and the food, it reminds me a lot of restaurants I’ve been to in Copenhagen. Booking essential.
Morito – A middle-eastern inspired restaurant. Outstanding breakfast. They always have a few spots for walk-ins at the counter. It gets busy on Sundays because of the nearby flower market.
Campagna – Our favorite Italian in town. Very cosy, they have a cat. Try the gnudi, they’re heaven. Booking essential.
P. Franco – A wine shop and bar with small plates from Thursday to Sunday. Chefs are changing, check their Instagram to get the latest updates. No bookings. I also love their new outlet called PEG.
Jolene – An all day restaurant in Newington Green. Great bread and wines, fun for breakfast and dinner. Also try their sister restaurant Westerns Laundry for the most amazing sea food.
E5 Bakery – Probably the best bread in London. Great breakfast and lunch – but they take their time.
Pavilion – A wonderful place in the middle of Victoria Park. Try the Sri Lankan breakfast. They also have two bakeries, one on Columbia Market and another on Broadway Market.
Leila’s café– One of our favorite places in town since we’ve been here for the first time in 2012. Small place with great breakfast and lunch, most ingredients come from Leila’s shop next door.
Violet Bakery – Amazing cakes and pastries.
There are three pubs in my life: Spurstowe Arms, my local pub from home, De Beauvoir Arms, my local from work and The Approach Tavern. You don’t need more than that. Even though the Scolt’s Head is fun, too.
Momosan – Japanese and Californian ceramics plus Mexican straw bags.
Donlon Books – Best bookshop in town. Some rare art books.
Artwords bookshop – More magazines, cookbooks etc.