The prospect of moving house is always exciting for me. It brings new foodie horizons, new grocery stores, cafes, brunch spots, hidden gems. It's almost exactly two years since we started looking to move to Newington Green, all excited about moving a bit east. We love it here, but we're keen to buy and can't afford the crazy prices around here, so we're looking further east into Hackney. My dream is Lower Clapton, around Chatsworth Road ,and we've been spending more and more time over there, trying out local cafes and shops, cycling the streets and picturing myself living there full time.
Chatsworth Road is an interesting street, higgledy-piggledy Victorian buildings, a mixture of African, Caribbean, Turkish, working class and artsy cafes, shops and take-aways, part run down, part polished up, views of Canary Wharf at one end and slopes down to the luscious Hackney Marshes at the other. In the Victorian times right through to the mid 90s it held a regular street market, which has been reinvigorated in the last year. I've been a number of times over the past few months, and it promises many delicious eating options - dickensian classics! Japanese street food! Cakes! Artisan cheese and bread!
But the first up I tried out the Moroccan stall outside Epicerie 56, a lovely well-stocked and fairly priced deli. Meat and pastries were sizzling away, and it was a beautiful winter day.
I ordered a chicken bastilla - a thin filo patty, with the most perfumed, aromatic filling you can imagine. Brown chicken meat was mixed with almonds, cinammon, orange blossom and other spices. Just the most exotic and otherworldly taste, but so warm and comforting on a cold day.
We sat on little stools on the street corner and watched families stopping to chat, hipster strumming guitars, kids playing down the side rode. I could definitely live here.