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Our London Food & Drink Picks: Hackney Wick- Borough Market – Spitalfields

London has some great foodie hotspots with local businesses  popping up all the time especially in East & South East London.


Crate Brewery bar & pizzeria

From established food markets to lesser known small artisan businesses food culture continues to change, grow & develop.  With Simon over from New York visiting family  it was a good opportunity to take taste2taste on a foodie tour &  share some of our faves with you. In an earshot of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park  in Hackney Wick is Crate Brewery, (


Mine’s a cider

Located in a former sweet factory with a cool, industrial vibe, overlooking the Lee Navigation Canal,  Crate specialise in craft beers & pizza.  They feature a range of 9 Crate brews on tap, made on site  & some specials . They also stock guest bottles of lager, IPA, pale, dark, wheat, lambic, saison & fruit varieties, wine and soft drinks including kombucha (fermented sparkling tea). There is a great choice of  home made pizzas with interesting toppings including Middle Eastern lamb; &  courgette, feta, red onion & gremolata as well as classics like Margarita & spicy salami. We decided to try the sage & truffle and Kashmiri dahl (picture at the top). Dahl on a pizza you may think  sounds weird! It actually works brilliantly with the crispy thin base topped with dahl (Indian cooked lentils), spinach, chilli, mango chutney, yoghurt & coriander – a tasty balance of savoury, sweet & spice.


Beer with a view - did they win gold?

Beer with a view – did they win gold?

The sage & truffle featured grated potato, crispy sage leaves, parmesan & truffle oil – very savoury and the perfect accompaniment to some beer.


Roll out the barrel

We tried the special Passionfruit & Hibiscus Fruit Beer, pink, cloudy & flowery; Crate IPA (Cascade & Chinook hops 5.8%) , refreshingly hoppy with citrus notes and Sea salt Cider, tangy & appley with a gentle sparkle. Sitting outside  with the canal boats, cyclists and  some thirsty punters paddling up for a beer stop in their kayak. A great location for a leisurely lunch enjoying the Summer sun.


Howling Hops: 1- 10 decisions?

There are a few craft breweries in the area including Howling Hops -UK’s first Tank bar – serving beer direct from tank as opposed to cask or keg, with 10  varieties on offer ( On our way out we passed the brewery and suddenly a strong aroma of  coffee wafted in our direction. IMAG0390We discovered The Roasting Shed (, micro coffee roasters started by Ricardo from Quindio, Columbia.  He learnt all about growing & roasting coffee from family & friends back home. The business has grown in 3 years from  garden shed to the current base in  Queens Yard.


Roasting in action

We chatted with Neil, a qualified Barista trainer & roaster who honed his skills in Guatemala.


Marvelous macchiato

He  expertly made us Macchiatos made from 100% freshly roasted Kenyan beans – a great balance of sweet,  tongue tingling flavours with a hint of acidity – & welcome injection of caffeine after lunch.

We then headed for what is one of the most well known food markets in London – Borough Market. IMG_3917 We visited on a day when there were only a limited number of stalls but still managed to taste a few samples of Swiss & French cheeses and fudge from Whirld (  from the classic rum & raisin to the more unusual liquorice. We then headed for Gelateria 3Bis ( recommended by my good friend Louise who had visited their 2 shops in Rimini, Italy. IMG_3913Their London shop is opposite the market in Park Street and they make small batches of Italian gelato, sorbet & frozen yoghurt on site .  We tried the Eton Mess, marscapone & fig and pistachio flavours – sweet, creamy & smooth and  very popular especially with the Mediterranean like weather. Our final destination was Old Spitalfields Market, where we meandered round the  fashion, jewellery  & accessories stalls before heading to Brick Lane.


Chocolate Heaven

As we took in the street art & atmosphere the restauranteurs were in friendly competition encouraging us to try their Indian food which we declined as we already had plans to visit Dark Sugars ( one of my favourite chocolate shops. IMAG0398As we entered we experienced the rich aromas & the truffles, pearls & chocolates, beautifully displayed on polished wooden bowls.  My particular favourites are the orange & cardamon & gin & lime truffles and they also carry a good range of vegan chocolates. IMAG0397They looked very tempting but we opted for a cool iced latte, sipping, people watching & chatting about our next food adventure.


Our East/ South East London food & drink picks …. taste2taste  highlights.

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