East London: Regent’s Canal and a Store Opening
If you’re lucky enough to catch a warm and sunny day in London, cycling or walking along Regent’s Canal is probably one of the best thing to do. It goes all the way from Paddington to Limehouse, where it joins the river Thames, passing through Hampstead, Camden, Islington and Hackney. However, if you want to avoid the hordes of tourists that wander around Camden Lock Market, I would recommend you to stroll around Hackney and Victoria Park, which is also the trendiest part of the Canal: all the narrow boats filled with young people wearing shades and having improvised parties with live music.
Sunday is maybe the best day for a chilled walk around the canal. You can start at Columbia Road Market to buy some fresh flowers and make your way North to the Canal. If you have a bike it’s a good idea to cycle along it, as there are no cars around. Otherwise you can always rent a Barclays Bike now that they’re available in East London. On my last visit to Regent’s Canal I discovered the most amazing book shop. Word on the Water is a book barge that travels along the canal, so make sure to check their Twitter to see where they’re going to be! You can find unique and good quality second hand books and they usually have readings and live acoustic music on their roof top.
If you follow the Canal westbound from Hackney, after Kingsland Road Bridge and just before reaching Whitmore Road, you can stop for a late breakfast at the Towpath, a cute cafe perfect for sitting outside with a cup of coffee watching people go by.
And if you’re spending the day around East London you may want to pop in a new shop that opened only last month in 133 Shoreditch High Street. Following the trendiest combo shop+cafe, Aida Shoreditch (although it actually opened in April) is having its launch party this week: with a good range of independent bands and designers and home-made pastries, its bare brick walls and aged wooden floors are in perfect harmony with the trendy vibe of the area. Dim lights, graffitis, huge leather sofas and an eclectic choice of furniture complete the shop’s decoration. Perfect for an afternoon tea with a slice of Victoria Sponge after having a look at the latest trends.
Text and pictures by Andrea González.