Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category
Over the new few weeks, upwards of six million of people will be descending on the Olympic Park in Stratford East for the 2012 Games (us included).
Here’s our pick of the best independent cafes around the Olympic Park area, plus some fun things to do for when you’re Olympic-ed out. All these cafes and places are in our App, which has 120+ cafes, 380+ things to do, off-line maps, a survival guide, access, wifi and gluten free details, plus hundreds of photos and regular updates. Whenever you’re in an entry, (even if you’re looking at it from America or Europe), you’ll be able to see what’s nearby, so you can carve out an itinerary from wherever you are.
If you’re new to London, familiarise yourself with the Transport for London site and the Tube map and also, have a look at the London Overground line. It serves lots of the cafes below and also Stratford. A handy place to get this line is from Highbury and Islington station, a few stops away from King’s Cross on the Victoria line.
Cafes and eateries around the Olympic Park (closest listed first):
1) The Counter Cafe at the Stour Space Gallery, 7 Roach Road, Hackney Wick, London, London E3 2PA, @thecountercafe, 00 44 7834 275 920. This is a very cool London cafe by the canal with great views of the Stadium. Laid back yet buzzing and arty, it’ll have you going back. Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm. Tapas Thu-Sun 6.30pm-late. Wi-fi. Accessible. Travel: Hackney Wick overground.
2) Grind Coffee Bar (see photo below), 5c The Great Eastern Market, Westfield Shopping Centre, London E20 1EH, @GrindCoffeeBar, 00 44 20 8536 1825. Smart, confident, with superb coffee and fresh produce every time. Don’t be put off by it being in a shopping centre. Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Wi-fi. Gluten free. Accessible. Travel: Stratford East.
3) Loafing, 79 Lauriston Rd London E9 7HJ, (not on Twitter), 00 44 20 8986 0777. Endearing shabby chic design at this cafe which has cakes like lemon drizzle languishing in the window. They bake on site and do great savoury snacks and soups as well. Mon-Fri 7.30am-6pm Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 9am-6pm. Gluten free. Access: There is one step into this cafe, and two down into the area at the back. Travel: 277 bus from Highbury and Islington or Mile End stations, or the 388 from Liverpool Street station.
4) Pavilion Cafe (see photo below), Crown Gate West, Victoria Park, E9 7DE, @pavilionvicpark, 00 44 20 8980 0030. Hard-to-beat English breakfasts and great veggie options at this cafe by a pond in Victoria Park that’ll be open daily from 8am till 9pm during the Games and with a beer garden too (otherwise it’s 8am-4.30pm). Gluten free. Accessible, all outdoor seating. Travel: Mile End tube (very near Stratford) then the 277 bus northbound.
5) Cakey Muto (see photo below left), 25 Chatsworth Road, London E5 0LH, @cakeymuto, 00 44 208 533 5788. A one-off, zany music-cafe whose owners have a love of shocking pink, cake, independent music and pies. Cakey Muto is a misheard interpretation of ‘Cut the Cake’ shouted at a wedding in Japan. Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Gluten free. Wi-fi. Licensed. Accessible ground floor. Travel: Homerton overground, or take the 242 bus from Tottenham Court Road which stops outside the cafe. Routes 38, 48, 55 and 56 also come this way.
6) Railroad (see photo below), 120-122 Morning Lane, Hackney, London E9 6LH, United Kingdom, @railroadhackney, 00 44 20 8985 2858. A laid-back feel at this lovely cafe-restaurant, which has had a lot of thought and love poured in. Sun-Tue 10am-5pm, Wed-Sat 10am-11pm. Gluten free. Licensed. Access: There is a step into this cafe. Travel: Hackney Central overground and walk 15 minutes, or take a number 30 bus eastbound from the Hackney Central area.
7) Wilton Way Cafe, 63 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG, @WiltonWayCafe. A fabulous colourful cafe with its own radio station, local art on the walls and funky corrugated steel counters. Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8-6pm and Sun 9-6pm. Wifi. Access: There is a step into this cafe. Travel: Hackney Central overground or the 38 bus from Victoria.
8) Violet Cakes, 47 Wilton Way London E8 3ED, @violetcakes, 00 44 20 7275 8360. A gorgeous smell of sugar and vanilla emanates from this wonderful and homely cafe that uses organic produce. Tue-Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 9.30am-6pm, Sun 9.30am-5pm. Gluten free. Access: There is a step into this cafe, a step down into the garden at the back and stairs to first floor too. Travel: Hackney Central overground or the 38 bus from Victoria.
9) Mouse & de Lotz Cafe (see photo above right), 103 Shacklewell Lane, E8 2EB, @MouseanddeLotz, 00 44 20 3489 8082. Eccentric, kooky with a slight nostalgia feel and some very good cakes and funny pictures. Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Wi-fi. Accessible. Travel: Dalston Kingsland overground plus a walk – or hop onto the 488 bus along Kingsland High St which takes you along Shacklewell Lane.
10) Tina We Salute You Cafe (see photo below), 47 King Henry’s Walk, London N1 4NH, @TinaWeSaluteYou, 00 44 20 3110 0047. This is a sweet and friendly cafe that’s partly named after sixties artist, JH Lynch’s painting ‘Tina’. The feel of this place depends on the art that’s on its walls as different artists paint and draw the interior every few months.Mon 8am-5pm, Tue-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm. Accessible. Travel: Dalston Kingsland overground.
11) We know we said ten, but we couldn’t miss out Italian cafe E Pellici from our list – it’s at 332 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AG, 00 44 20 7739 4873. This fabulous East End classic is one of our all time favourites. Watch mama fling those homemade dishes out of the hatch at the back at this priceless classic gem (no website or Twitter handle). Accessible but rather tight, with some seating outside. Travel: Bethnal Green tube then a fifteen minute walk, or take the number 8 bus from Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road. Bethnal Green is on the Central Line, the same line as Stratford.
Stratford station is going to be very, very busy. Other stations (which will also probably be busy) include:
- Stratford High Street – DLR (8 min walk from the Olympic Park)
- Abbey Road – DLR (21 min walk)
- Leyton – Central line (28 min walk)
- West Ham – National Rail/DLR/District/Hammersmith & City lines (29 min walk)
- Bow Church – DLR (34 minutes walk)
- Bromley-by-Bow -District /Hammersmith & City lines (41 minutes walk)
Last but not least – apart from cafes – there are some great things to do near the Olympic Park too.
Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL, @cafeoto. This is more a venue for experimental music than a cafe but they do serve drinks in the day. Events book up quickly so see the website and book. Accessible. Wi-fi. Travel: Dalston Kingsland overground.
Arcola Theatre, 12 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL, @arcolatheatre, 00 44 20 7503 1646. This has a solid reputation for innovative theatre and also, for being carbon neutral in the way it operates. Accessible but ring before so ramps can be set up. Travel: Dalston Kingsland overground.
Vortex Jazz, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ, @vortexjazz, 00 44 20 7254 4097. A small and cosy jazz club for when you need a sporting break. Access: There is a lift to the performance area. Travel: Dalston Kingsland overground.
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ, @HackneyEmpire, 00 44 20 8985 2424. Grade II listed and a piece of London theatre history – the Hackney Empire shows all kinds of shows including circus, comedy, competitions, concerts and pantos. Accessible. Travel: Hackney Central overground.
London Fields Lido, West Side, London E8 3EU, @hackneyartsleis, 00 44 20 7254 9038. If you get the sporting bug, this is London’s only 50 metre open air heated pool and glorious it is too, in the middle of London Fields. It’s accessible, with pool hoists and disabled facilities. Mon-Fri 6.30am-8pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm, Tue 7pm-8pm women only. Travel: Hackney Central overground or the 38 bus from Victoria.
Broadway Market, Broadway Market, London E8 4PH, @broadway_mkt. This is a buzzing market open on Saturdays. Climpsons and Son’s coffee house is definitely worth a visit (it’s open all week, unlike the market). Merito Coffee stall does sensational coffee and Violet Cakes (mentioned above) also has a stall here. Come hungry is our advice: L’Eau a la Bouche is a great deli-cafe and the Market Cafe does good food too. Access Broadway Market gets busy but is accessible, with wide smooth pavements. Travel: Various, but we’d go to Hackney Central overground, then walk down through London Fields. Or get the 394 bus from Angel tube.
Netil Market, 13-23 Westgate Street, London Fields, E8 3RL, @netilmarket. This is just around the corner from Broadway Market but unlike Broadway Market, Netil Market is open Saturdays and Sundays. You’ll find Spanish-run Nomad Espresso coffee stall at Netil on Saturdays.
This article has been written by London Thru Cafes, the City Guide App featured in the Sunday Times 500 Best Apps in the World.
Available now on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
While many of London’s new wave cafes opt for a crisp, white-walled look, cafe and new music venue Cakey Muto definitely breaks the mould.
Apart from the spectacular cakes in the window, what hits you when you go in is the abundance of COLOUR. Pink, black and white, orange – it’s all there, brave and unabashed – and best of all there’s the shocking pink Brasilia Excelsior which sits on the counter, a coffee machine incarnation of one of their fancy cakes.
It makes bespoke cakes for all kinds of occasions ranging from baby showers to birthdays and even proposals of marriage. Quite apt, given the name Cakey Muto comes from a wedding in Tokyo and a misheard cry of ‘cut the cake’ in Japanese.
The coffee is by Monmouth and the imaginative and amazing array of pies are by Mr Hair’s Pie Factory in Brighton. Flavours that grabbed us included the chicken satay and the Pietalian – a melange of basil and mozzarella. For a veggie option, go for the aptly named spinach and potato pie, the Popie – and there are vegan pies too, the Bombay and Thai Veg.
Owner and former TV producer Octavia Landy says on her blog that in October 2011, she was entering the cafe business with ‘no experience in retail or professional cakes’ – however we think it’s precisely this freshness that’s making the place really unique.
Cakey Muto is just about to host its first music gig in its cosy licensed basement this Saturday, 10th March, featuring new band Lund who describe themselves as early Zepp and as Bonnie Tyler meets beat poet. You can enquire about tickets here.
Also don’t miss Chatsworth Road Market which runs on Sundays fron 11am-4pm selling British and world foods, books, vintage clothes, children’s clothes, jewellery, gifts and flowers.
Cakey Muto will be added to our City Guide App London Thru Cafes in our next update. We are about to reach a hundred fabulous cafes, not forgetting of course the 360+ things to do around the city. The App and the maps also work off line. If you have the App and you like it, why not write us a review on iTunes?
Cakey Muto can be found at 25 Chatsworth Road, London E5 0LH. Open Monday-Wednesday 10am-6pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm. When there are events, the cafe closes later.
There is WiFi and there are gluten free options.
Access: The cafe is spacious and accessible.
Directions: Take the 242 bus from Tottenham Court Road or a ten minute walk from Homerton Overground. We like to get the Overground from Highbury and Islington station and bus it back.
Written by London thru Cafes: the Coffee App and City Guide for London. 100+ fabulous independent cafes and 350+ great things to do nearby.
We were told there were some pretty cool cafes around the Olympic Park so we thought we’d check them out while going on a guided tour of the area with Tour Guides 2012.
Our walk started at 11am from outside Bromley by Bow tube station and ended near Pudding Mill Lane DLR about 90 minutes later. (Adults £9, concessions £6, cash only, book places online and pay on the day). As you wind your way down to the canal network and the Lower Lea Valley area, you pass some grim blocks with smashed up windows, and you may have to shake off the odd bit of newspaper that’s blown around your ankles, but fear not, after this, the walk is glorious.
The talk starts off at 3 Mills Studio. From there you learn just how much transformational work has taken place around the Olympic site – from cleaning up the canals to building Anish Kapoor’s red helter skelter ArcelorMittal Orbit, tipped to be London’s 21st century version of the Eiffel Tower. The tour runs whatever the weather and lasts about 90 minutes. Tour Guides 2012 also have another longer daily walk from Leyton tube station, at 1.45pm.
The 11am walk ends with a fantastic view of the Olympic Park. By then, you’ll be on a foot and cycle path known as the Greenway, a short distance away from Pudding Mill Lane. Here you’ll come across the View Tube, a kooky lime green building complex inside which is housed the Container Cafe and the brilliant little View Tube Art Gallery. We demolished a really great breakfast at the Container after our walk – halloumi, bacon, toast, homemade baked beans… and a really nice Square Mile flat white.
The artsy Container Cafe with its community feel and some bike hire available nearby is run by the very cool Counter Cafe, about 15 minutes walk away along the canals. The Counter also sports brilliant views of the Olympic Park and is right on the canal network.
The Counter is probably one of our all time favourite cafes in London – laid back and friend – the Counter just ‘is.’
Container Cafe – The View Tube, Greenway, Pudding Mill Lane DLR. Mon-Sun 9am-5pm, fully accessible for wheelchair users.
Counter Cafe, 7 Roach Road, E3 2PA Mon-Wed 7.30am-5pm, Thu-Fri 7.30am-midnight & Sat-Sun 9am-midnight. Tapas in the evenings. Hackney Wick Overground, Pudding Mill Lane DLR, or a number 8 bus eastbound from the city centre. Wifi available and wheelchair accessible.
The Olympic Park is in Stratford, east London – east of Hackney and 5 miles north of Greenwich.
Written by London thru Cafes: the Coffee App and City Guide for London. 100+ fabulous independent cafes and 350+ great things to do nearby.