Sunday am in Bricklane, lunch at Story Deli

On Sunday, Steve & I went to Bricklane with our friends to check out some bikes. I really love East London (Columbia Flower market, Bricklane, Shoreditch, Spitafields). It has a rough, industrial and independent strike to it. It feels alive and creative. There is a lot of great graffiti everywhere, old buidlings with broken windows, old signs and it's a great area to take photos.

Steve used to live on Commercial street years ago so each weekend I just had to cross the road to be in the heart of Spitafields market. Unfortunately property investors took over and the old market was destroyed to be replaced by brand new stores. There is still quite a few stalls allowing small businesses or young designers to sell their stuff (apparently Topshop buyers go there to spot new talents) but the old market had a lot more personality. I don't know what it is with property developers that they have to turn everything into modern spaces with rents so high that only high-street chains can actually afford the retail spaces and then you end up with the same shops everywhere instead of interesting, independent boutiques!
Frankly if I wanted to go to a clinically, cleaned shopping mall, I would go to Westfields. Before its refurbishment, Spitafields had a very distinctive atmosphere about it and now it's...well another re-developed area.
Anyway, we went down Bricklane so I could check out some of my favourite shops in the area: Labour & Wait had some beautiful, handmade wooden chopping boards which were very tempting. Mar Mar Co had also some nice pendant lights from French designers Tse Tse and Shelf (a shop I mentioned in Decor8 when I guest-blogged last week) had some lovely prints and I still think their plaster letters rock.

And lunch at Story Deli.....the love of my life in London...

I hadn't been there for ages and the place has aged but I still love it. If you want to go there and try to take photos of this gorgeous, one of a kind, little organic pizza place, my advice is be there when they open. After 12 (on Sundays), the place fills up quickly and it makes it tricky to shoot anything without having someone's reflection in one of the numerous, distressed mirrors that fill the place. Story Deli place was done by Anne Shore, a fashion stylist who works for Vogue Italia and who has a gorgeous shop called Story on 4, Wilker Street, London E1.
So what is so attractive about Story Deli? Well, besides the delicious, organic pizzas served on wooden boards and the vintage silver cuttlery at your disposal in glass jars, it is the whole atmosphere of the space which makes you feel somewhere where time has stopped. I love the whole family tribe thing so I'm a big fan of their massive communal tables (which is also what I like about Monmouth Cafe in Borough market) and because everything has aged beautifully, you almost feel like it is your space, your home, somewhere you go back to regularly.
And it's all the little details that count and make a massive difference...the white candles burning on each table, the menu printed on brown, recycled paper, the take-away in eco-friendly boxes, the menu written on blackboards hung on the wall, the cakes beautiful displayed under glass domes, the bottles of olive oil with chili or aromatic herbs.
The only two things that I found a bit disappointing this time is the ugly, catering stainless-steel pots they now put on the tables so one can help oneself to napkins and cutlery and the floorboards....They used to be painted in white with wear and tear marks that made them gorgeous but now all the paint is gone and it's makes this wonderful space darker and tired instead of uplifting and magical as it was before but if this is your first time there, I'm sure you will still be amazed by the place and the pizzas are really nice!
(c) First photo of Story Deli is by Ed Scoble. All the others are mine


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