You can’t go anywhere fast in London. I learnt that the hard way this weekend as I went to visit friends down in the Hackney part of the capital. I will get to that but first I’ll tell you the good bits.
I always enjoy a trip down South, it’s pretty easy and cheap with a railcard and a pals floor you can kip on. I’ve done all the tourist bits as a child so any visit now is a combination of nice little independent pubs, restaurants and seeing the bits only the Londoners know about. It makes a nice change but I still feel a bit out of place on the hustle and bustle of the tube. Everything seems so much more chilled in Liverpool!
So I got to Hackney about 9pm Friday night (the same day that giant rat had been found, it was all over the news…), dropped my bags off and next thing I know i’m cycling through the streets to the restaurant area. I haven’t rode a bike since I was about 14 so that was hard enough, never mind riding alongside buses, taxis and people that actually know where they’re going.
Well worth it though, we stumbled upon this brilliant sourdough pizza place called Franco Manca and it was packed. Got a seat after a 15 minute wait with a couple of pale ales and I have to say it was one of the freshest tasting pizzas i’ve ever had! The sourdough base made all the difference, it was really light and the crusts weren’t too overbearing. I went for the chorizo and green beans pizza, safe choice but was full of so much flavour I demolished the lot. One thing I have learnt about London is it’s always the place for trends first, so I won’t be surprised to see sourdough pizzas up North soon.
Saturday we set up for a day of drinking with a trip to Pellicci for a full english. This was the cafe the Kray twins used to visit back in the day & they also filmed parts of the film Legend (Tom Hardy) in there, with a pic on the wall, (there’s also mad other ones like Kat from Eastenders etc, not as exciting). Breakfast was decent and the owner was the most Cockney fella i’ve heard, who told the room we were from Yorkshire as the North is all the same to him, good laugh though…
The day was spent drinking at Beavertown Brewery, which is in a warehouse in the middle of Tottenham, strange place to be but it was decent! As it was the brewery the beers were only £2.50 with a selection of about 8 Beavertown drafts to choose from. My personal favourite was the “8 Ball Red” Rye IPA (6.2%) and I’ll be definitely getting some of them in for home. I recommend visiting this place if you’re a fan of your beers, they have a great steak sandwich BBQ on too, it’s only open 2pm till 8pm every Saturday so it was busy!
Anyway, after a great weekend and a hangover I had to catch my train back up to Liverpool at 4pm, I set off at 3 to give myself enough time (I thought), but this is where it all went wrong. First, Hackney station was closed meaning rail replacement buses were on, started to panic as it got to half 3 and i’m only just jumping on the bus. The bus took me to Highbury where i’d get a quick tube to Euston but the Arsenal & Watford game had just finished (I should’ve known), so i’m stood in a queue of about 500 people trying to get in to the station and this is where I gave up. Still in the queue as the train home was due to set off I had to just laugh it off. Eventually got to Euston where I had to part with an extra £80 to get me home. Lesson learnt, you can’t get anywhere fast in London but good weekend all the rest…