Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Down in Albion

I used to live in Shoreditch. I was cool once. I was cool and I didn't even know I was cool. That's how cool I was. But now I'm old and square and I visit Shoreditch for a day out and think actually its not that cool. However, there is one street in Shoreditch which I really dig... man....And that's Redchurch Street.

I met an old friend for lunch today in Albion (on Redchurch Street) but since I hate to be late on a date, I was unnaturally early as usual. So I went to Caravan to kill some time. Caravan is a shop that has all sorts of nick nack's / curios that you don't really need but definitely want. The lady that owns the shop, Emily Chalmers, often pops up in "lifestyle" magazines and has written a couple of books on quirky sort of living. I really like this shop however I do feel the turnover of products is not that great and subsequently my flat looks  a bit like their stock room since I have bought most things from there. Anyway, here's a link: 

So after a small sniff around Caravan I went to Albion to meet my friend for lunch. Albion is a "Cafe, bakery, food store" selling mostly British food and part of the Conran goup. It's a lovely place to spend a few hours although it does get very busy. During the week you can pretty much walk in and get a seat but the weekends are HORRENDOUS. I queued up for over half an hour one Sunday and still didn't get a seat. I nearly starved to death. Today I had an omelet which looked like a pale flaccid indescribable lump but was actually quite tasty. I would give the food at Albion 8 eggs out of a possible 10.

Directly next door to Albion is The Boundry, a pretty swanky hotel and restaurant and also part of the Conran group. The Wig took me to the Restaurant for my birthday 2 years ago and it was a glorious treat. You have to go into a secret lift to get to the restaurant and the food is delumptous (I don't think that's a word but you get the idea). A real nice place for a special occasion. The hotel is also meant to be pretty swish although I've never stayed there since I have my own bedroom just up the road. All 12 rooms are individually designed and inspired by various designers/design movements. However, if you stay in the hotel be aware that the people who work in the company across the street can see directly into your room and will probably be able to see your bits. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Over the road from The Boundry, you will see a shop called Aubin + Wills. Not only is this a delightful (and very expensive) clothes shop, it also has a swanky cinema. I've not been to the cinema but I did buy a jacket from the clothes shop once. In any case, it's a nice place to check out for clothes or a film:

The last but one stop on Redchurch Street, is Labour + Wait. Their first shop was on Cheshire Street and was only open on Sundays. This new shop however, has much more sociable opening hours and has more stuff in it. Its great! It's full of homewares that you would find in any household kitchen circa 1940. Its an enamel, glass and wood jamboree. Like your granny's pantry:

And the final stop is the newly refurbished Owl + Pussycat. Its a pub. I've been sitting in the garden there for most of the afternoon (not on my own I would like to add) and subsequently feel a bit squiffy if I'm being honest.  It's a great pub, the toilets are nice, they sell booze and KP nuts, I'd go back.


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