Things I’ve learned about Bethnal Green

I’ve been living in Bethnal Green for four months now and have to say it keeps growing on me as a neighbourhood. I worked here for a couple of years before moving here so some of these are old favourites but here are some things I’ve learned:

The name Bethnal Green derives from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘happy corner’.

The London Fields Farmers Market on a Sunday morning is very good. The Roman Road market is great during the week.

Museum Gardens is an absolutely gem of a park. Tower Hamlets must spend a fortune on keeping it in good nick.

There are some fantastic bloggers in the area. I found this wonderful one today.

The best coffee shop is Taste of Bitter Love on Hackney Road, Hurwundeki and Climpson and Sons are runners up.

My favourite pub is the Camel — the Wandle beer is brilliant and I’m always a fan of places that only have one thing on the menu and do it well (in this case its perfect pie, mash, peas and gravy). The Dove and The Approach come joint second for me.

The gasometers go up and down much less in the Summer than the Winter.

The friendliest service in the area is found in E Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road. You can also find Dave Gorman in there from time to time.

There’s a tardis like shop on Bethnal Green Road selling hundreds of different type of tropical fish for aquariums.

The cafe in Hackney City Farm is one of the best places to eat during the daytime if you can stand being prodded by small children.

The Film Shop on Broadway Market is well worth joining. Great range and I think better value than Lovefilm and all that malarkey.

First Thursdays on Vyner Street are great for people watching.

Gourmet San is the best Chinese restaurant I’ve been to in London and it’s on Bethnal Green Road.

You can get sushi delivered — hadn’t even thought of it but Demaezushi do it very, very well. A million times better than anything the supermarkets offer.

Best fish and chips is a little walk but definitely Fish House in Lauriston.

The chef at Viajante used to work at El Bulli (I haven’t been yet to find out whether it’s any good).

Square Mile Coffee Roasters are based in the railway arches near Cambridge Heath station. Walking past when they’re roasting is a joy.

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