My last trip back to London was glorious, and reminded me of the many reasons to love the city. I put it down to two significant factors. The Royal Wedding and an extended period of good weather. For some people the Wedding was a joyous moment for the nation, for others it was a tedious media circus best used as an excuse to leave town. Whichever way you looked at it London was the winner. The masses that chose to get away left a half empty city full of happy people enjoying the sunshine and revelry.
I spent a morning on The Regents Canal enjoying the contrast from one side of the water to the other. It seems odd that the extremes of expensive modern or renovated buildings and the local authority stock of Hackney can exist peacefully with only a slip of water to separate them. I loved the irony of Orwell Court and its many ‘surveillance’ cameras (a really good reason not to love London).
But what I loved most of all was starting and ending at The Tow Path Cafe. I remember first hearing about it when I bumped into my friend and the head chef Laura on the Eurostar to Paris. It struck me as a lovely idea but not one that would necessarily last. However thanks to her excellent food and the endeavours of the owners it seems now both very sensible and well established.
The food is delicious and based on a simple rotating seasonal menu including a very indulgent toasted cheese sandwich, rilette of duck with St John bread, mozzarella and prosciutto, English peas, and now best of all superb soft serve ice cream. Apparently the machine alone costs £4000 so the fact that a generous single serve costs only £1.50 makes it a deal not to be missed.