Yesterday was a great day for a bit of exploring in East London, Hackney Wick and Bethnal Green to be precise.
The day started off with a meeting with the charming Clarice of Clarice Price Thomas Jewellery (if you haven’t had a chance go and check her out), Green Ranger and I had been meaning to meet up with her since we got engaged. She’ll be designing our wedding rings for next year. The chat was exciting and made the whole wedding seem a bit more real; we chose our bands, our inscription and style, now we just have to wait and see… Very kindly, she gave us a list of places to visit while we were in the area, so we immediately got to walking.
First off was a walk around Fish Island and Stratford’s Olympic Park. Having never been, it was great to see how much had been done with an area that was previously overlooked. Not only that, the area is littered with amazing street art and colourful canal boats. It definitely felt like the ‘true’ artists from Shoreditch had left and set up camp here.
After a little stroll around the immaculate Olympic park, taking in quirky sights like this poetry potting shed for children, the fun fair, climbing wall and spotting Secret Cinema’s Back to the Future set at Westfield, we headed to Bethnal Green for Lucy Sparrow’s #thecornershop.
Just off Columbia Road at 19 Wellington Row, you’ll find the most adorable little shop set up by Lucy. As we walked up to it there was a hilarious lady outside with each hand holding a sewn newspaper and a liquor bottle. Although she was clearly acting, it was a great way to start the fuzzy experience. Walking in, you’re hit by just how many felty goods there are in the shop – over 4000 apparently!
From Doritos to Tampax and Heinz beanz to the Sun, you can find exactly what you’d expect in a regular corner shop. It’s definitely one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen, I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire way around. For seven months work, it’s a great project to see up close. What’s more, you can buy the items too! You can fill in an order form and at the end of her exhibit (August 31st), you’ll be sent your items – here’s hoping they won’t be past their sell by date 😉
To see more of Lucy’s work and her idea behind this quirky project, it’s worth visiting her website and searching Instagram for the hashtag #thecornershop. There’s already a great little insight into what you can expect on your visit.
Having never been in this area before, we wandered down Columbia Road for a little bit taking in all the cute vintage and artists’ stores, as well as the smallest smoothie stall I’ve ever seen! I also found one of my favourite artists, Rob Ryan’s, ‘Ryantown‘. Easily one of the most beautiful shops/galleries I’ve been in, it got me thinking up so many ideas for our future home. He always manages to get a tear out of me too with his beautiful designs.
After all the East End exploring, we found Cakehole in the back of a shop named ‘Vintage Heaven’ selling the most delightful crockery sets – I wanted to fill our little flat with them!
I had the most delicious scone I’ve ever had in my life, with clotted cream and proper strawberry jam, and a hand-cut cheese and ham sandwich, all in triangles! It was like being transported back to my nan’s house with all her plates, cutlery and table mats coming straight from the 1960s and 70s. A family run cafe, this is my ideal kind of hidden gem. It made for the best afternoon unwinding while enjoying a traditional, yummy lunch with Green Ranger.
Where would you recommend in East London? Have you ever visited any of these places?