I challenge myself everyday to beat the gloom of London's weather by searching out places and food that will provide spots of sunshine :)
Published July 7th 2012
Don't fancy a Lazy Sunday? Head out to East London and embark on a food (and shopping) trail.
Start your trail at Aldgate tube station, where Tubby Isaacs (situated on Goulston street, right around the corner of the tube station) has been selling jellied eels for almost a century. Grab yourself a bowl of eels, sprinkled lavishly with salt, pepper and chilli vinegar, and make your way to one of London's famous markets - Old Spitalfields on Brushfield Street.
Many writers before me have labelled Old Spitalfields as a must-see market, and while I somewhat disagree with this label, I do think this place is a must-go if you find yourself in the East London area.
Check out the stall Pilpel that does a mean pitta bread wrap of hummus, falafel, aubergine, plenty of salad and a hard-boiled egg. Right opposite Pilpel, there's a stall that sells Spider Lemonade (a mix of lemonade and ice-cream), which is frothy, light and quite delicious.
Pitta wrap with falafel, aubergine, salad and an egg
While the clothing stalls might seem a bit of a tourist trap, go on and indulge in a bit of shopping anyway. Pick up a vintage looking printed dress, or a classic white tank top - price are not overly exorbitant.
For those who are fans of writer Jeanette Winterson (and if you are not one...seriously? Have you read Written on The Body? The Powerbook? Sexing the Cherry?), check out her shop Verde and Co. near Old Spitalfields Market, on 40 Brushfield Street. Grab a sandwich or quiche there, or buy some luxurious Belgium Pierre Marcolini chocolates.
Here, you'll find loads of cute trinkets and knick-knacks. I found a stall that sold wooden iPhone covers that came in either plain or more elaborately inked designs.
This is also where you can find food from all over the world: Pad Thai from Thailand, arepas (cornflour tacos) from Venezuela, a wide variety of Chinese dishes, and okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) from Japan, to name a few.
Do, however, give the Malaysian Pancake a miss. Coming from Singapore (Malaysia's neighbour, for the less geography-inclined), I was all excited to check out this 'Malaysian Pancake', only to realise that it was the usual 'Mee Chiang Kueh' that I could get back home for half the price.
Exit the Sunday UpMarket and find yourself on Brick Lane, home of the Boiler House Food Hall. Enter (for free, of course), and spend that 'admission fare' that you saved on goodies like Kinder Bueno Cheesecake, Indian belh puri, and many more.
If you happen to follow this food trail on Sunday, 8th of July, pick this option and end your Sunday watching Roger Federer and Andy Murray slam it out on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Can Murray really make history this year? Or will Federer bring home his 7th Wimbledon title? Only one way to find out!