So we’ve DONE IT, we’ve moved to LONDON! HOLY MOSES! Ok, ok, I will calm down this is probably only exciting for me and not really anyone else.
And we’ve started this new adventure by staying in Dalston while we get set up (finding a rental, a job, a cot etc etc etc). Equal parts uber cool and uber grunge there are quite a few hidden gems in this small borough. And although from the outset it is easy to assume that Dalston is not a ‘child friendly’ zone, assumptions (like me) are often wrong and we've definitely found that between the partiers, suits and other renegades there are actually many families. All this said, when we come to the end of our month in dearly Dalston I think we will have a) had a blast and b) be ready to move on.
But before we pack up our lonely belongings to make a new home, I have to share some of my new fave spots.
1. The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. Now, when I mentioned ‘hidden gems’ above you probably thought I was being metaphoric and not literal but the Eastern Curve Garden is literally hidden behind a wooden wall. And once you go past this wooden wall you will find quite the treasure trove of goodness, an oasis if you might. A BEAUTIFUL big garden, curving (yes as the name may suggest) down and around between tall buildings and the flats that surround, in the space that was once the railway line that linked Dalston Junction Station to the goods yard.
There are herb gardens and shared plots, buckets and spades to get down and dirty and a café to keep hydrated. Though be warned, the coffee is served cafetiere (that’s plunger coffee to you and me) – a brutal shock to people demanding a latte in the gardens (me). Beer and wine are probably the drink de jour and well hell, why not, especially when the sun is beating down on this beautiful hidden garden.
For the kids there are trikes strewn over the grass, worn to death, looking both appealing and eery at the same time. There are events and classes running in the garden, spanning across a range of topics including pizza making, herbal remedies and drop in gardening sessions. This little treasure trove appeals to the big kids and kids alike A+
2. Ok, now lets assume you’ve had a FAAABULOUS time in the garden and have worked up quite a hunger (and hankering for coffee), so now I know the most perfect place to refuel. Just across the road past the Dalston CLR James Library is Route Cafe the most delicious café in Dalston (alleged by me). The coffee is delicious, strong and not too milky. It is also scorchingly hot (a UK trend?). The food is so delicious, fresh and tasty (try 'the hangover' the most amazing combination of scrambled eggs and cheese in a tortilla wrap topped with chorizo and a warm tomato salsa....mmmmm). There are takeaway baguettes, fresh salads, cheeses and salumi to take home for later and also some wine to round off your meal.
If you’re only in London for a few days, this is probably not a 'go out of your way' destination, but if you’re in the area with some spare time I cannot recommend these two little spots more.