“I discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch.” – Homer Simpson
There comes a point in your life when you have to question some of the choices you’ve made in your life.
One such time is when your mum is inviting 7+ people to the house and is, in essence, throwing a lunch party. What happened to my social life? (hint, I’m the only one that’s single, and without kids). I’m at a stage that I can’t even throw together a lunch with friends anymore unless we book it weeks in advance. Also, since they are my mum’s friends, some of whom have known me since I was a baby, the last thing I want is to be surrounded by a battalion of Filipino aunties all asking why I’m not married yet (I’ve decided that “battalion” is the correct collective noun for Filipino Aunties).
This does also mean that I am highly unlikely to gonna be able to do is sit in the garden and do sod all (or more likely sit in the living room and play Monster Hunter World – hey gotta grind those limited hunts). Therefore, with all this in mind, I’ve got one option:
Go out, and stay out.
It’s the day of the London Marathon. A sporting event where people push their bodies to a limit that I will likely never even try. Let’s be honest, I won’t even push my body to run 15 meters for the bus. I digress, it’s the day of the London Marathon, so going to the Waterloo/SouthBank was gonna be out of the question. Mainly because of so many people.
This is what it’s like on a Thursday. I don’t wanna see this place when it’s even more inundated with people. And in all honesty, they may not even be there specifically to watch the Marathon. It’s just an excuse to get down there, alongside the glorious sunshine we’re getting. Which, on reflection, isn’t a bad excuse in the slightest.
Instead, I’m heading to the Hackney, currently NOT the hipster capital of England. That accolade now belongs to Brighton. However, they’ve got markets everywhere! From the new (Mare Street), to the touristy (Broadgate Market), and everything in between (Mentmore Terrace).
Which generally means, food!
My first destination is Mare Street Market, a place that’s been raved about over the past week (they’ve just opened). It didn’t take long for me to get a little confused as to where this market should be. However I did find a small gem in Netil Market, which has a number of food trucks in there, just, closed. They’re only open on a Saturday. Welp, that gives me an excuse to return.
I recheck google maps, and of course, I’ve walked past it. Blindly dismissing the Brooklyn Bar behind it. So I walk back, making a mental note of a sign for Morty & Bobs coffee place doing brunch, and straight into Mare Street Market.
Not sure what I was expecting. Actually, I do know what I was expecting. I was expecting something like Maltby Street. Just, ya know, indoors. Instead, I got a place with an indoor bar, and an outdoor bar. With two, maybe 3 places doing food. The main one, The Dining Room, had just finished doing Brunch and was busying itself preparing for the Sunday lunch service at 1:00PM (an hour away). I really should have been better prepared for coming here.
So I made a decision, I’ll come back at another time to see what this place can really do! And it’s an excuse to come back next Saturday! With friends, who could possibly buy other bits and pieces that I could take pictures of… maybe
In the meantime, you remember Morty & Bobs? Yeah, I headed there.
Morty & Bobs is situated on the 3rd floor of Netil Building, on Netil lane.
And seriously, I have to walk up all the stairs since there isn’t a lift. This place had better be worth it!
Having got to the correct floor, I’m greeted with a packed outdoor seating area. This is understandable. It’s 24C / 75F outside, the sun is shining, and not a cloud in the sky.
Here’s the view…
Meanwhile, there is also a fantastic indoor seating area. Wooden tables, with mismatched chairs, plants, everywhere. A raised platform with comfy sofas just right for lounging in with a good book. And wall to wall windows, with funky lighting which, if this was winter, would probably throw soft lighting everywhere. In essence, this could have been someone’s warehouse flat…
If you were in the US, and this was some sort of Hollywood movie.
The staff were quick to acknowledge me, and other guests as they arrived. They even gave me a choice of seat. I’ve picked one that’s obviously designed for a group of 5+. However, it’s not like there were many options besides that. And everyone else is outside, leaving me to relax in peace, with soft jazz playing in the background. Which isn’t a bad thing.
After looking at the menu I’ve ordered “Bobs Brunch”, with an extra egg.
Because, well because, I’m greedy when it comes to eggs at the best of time, and two eggs are inadequate, and four is just absurd!
They have your standard list of brunch alcoholic drinks including bloody marys, and mimosas. Me though, I’m being simple, and getting a bottle of Camden Pale Ale.
So anyway, let’s dispense with anything else. That meal shown up there is absolutely delicious. No other way to describe it without having to open the thesaurus and look for words that haven’t been used to describe food yet.
Check out their instagram
Now the rest of the day was spent wandering around. Without anything resembling a plan, I ended up wandering towards…
Mentmore Terrace, which had more than a few places that I’d like to visit when I have space in my stomach including the Bread Station,
London Fields, and Broadgate Market, the latter of which was rammed with locals and tourists alike. I couldn’t see how you could get a table for lunch at this time (1:30 PM).
And then somehow, I ended up in Victoria Park which was a 15-minute walk from Broadgate Market. Don’t ask, I told you I didn’t have a plan.
What I didn’t know was that there is a small food and farmers’ market in Victoria Park. Only open on Sundays, between the hours of 10AM and 4PM.
I can see that again, while I didn’t know about it. There were more than enough people who did.
And the guy running the Blu Top icecream “van”. Well, he was an absolute trooper and legend…
because the queue for the ice cream was real!
As was the queue for everything else it seems.
However, the persistence and queuing do pay off! in the form of “date shake” flavoured ice cream. Which in this blazing heat, was an absolute godsend.
I spend the rest of my time here, sitting on the grass, enjoying my ice-cream, and looking at the trees as they bloom. Wondering about the double standards I have as I walk pass 3 ladies with pretty much strips of fabric just about covering them, and then walking further on and see middle-aged men larger than me, wearing nothing but shorts. I’ll leave you to decide what my double standards were.
I also try to justify to myself that enough time has passed, and I’ve been active enough to try this
Or even these
(yes they’re vegan).
Sadly (or not so sadly), saner minds prevailed, and I didn’t get another meal. The thought that mum’s lunch party would yield leftovers drove that decision. And hey, that does mean her potato salad. I’m sure I’ve mentioned her potato salad before. But I will be back to do that Pick’s Challenge
Again, check out their instagram
So I start to make my way back home. Which isn’t easy, to be honest. It’d involve multiple buses, and tube rides. Plus the bus stop I need isn’t even near where I am.
So a little more walking is involved. Which mean I run into people who have decided that shoes are not a necessity when walking on London’s pavements.
Which I could have understood if they were in, or very near the park. But they’re not, and I don’t get it…
But then again, this is London…