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What an amazing day! It started off very promising with partly blue skies and billowy white clouds (instead of the forecasted thunderstorms) so we were cautiously optimistic as we headed over to London Fields station to meet up with Nicola @shedlikesfood and Mark @marcooth. Nicola had offered to take us on a tour of the markets in her ‘hood: Netil, Schoolyard and Broadway. Hell yeah!

We started off at Netil market for a light breakfast snack at the wonderful Yeast bakery, but before long it was Beer & O’clock and, after a stroll through busy Broadway Mkt we made our way over to Schoolyard and then back to Netil. Honestly, it was like being out with me, but in Hackney. Nicola knew all the best places to stop at each market, and exactly what to order. It was a delightful selection of delicious tastes: pillowy pork baos, crunchy fried chicken, spicy beef rendang and perfect pork dumplings.

Finally we could eat no more, though strangely we were still “thirsty” 😉 so our next stop stop was at Lardo, where we sat up on the highest bar stools I’d ever encountered and had a glass of wine, while chatting with the chef in their open kitchen. From there we went off in search of a pub and ended up at Spurstowe Arms (where by chance we had also finished up after our night out at Pidgin last summer). From there things got a bit silly, with Nicola, Peter and I getting through two bottles of wine (Mark was sticking with pints). Then Mark had to leave us, but Nicola wasn’t through with our tour of Hackney, and we – not very sensibly – went for even more drinks at her favourite neighbourhood cocktail bar Every Cloud.

After this Nicola left us and just as we were wondering what to do next (other than knowing that “whatever next” needed to include some food) I saw that the folks from Lahpet had left a comment on my Instagram, reminding me that they had moved from their food stall Maltby Street Mkt and now had a restaurant in Hackney. Perfect! We made our over and had a wonderful dinner. I was so pleased to see that brothers Dan Anton & Jono were doing so well. And the food was delicious.

So that was our first full day in London and, thanks to Nicola, it was spectacular. Also – it didn’t rain! It also kind of set the pace for the following days, of heading out mid-mornings and not returning to the apartment until bedtime. Exhausting, but fun.

fab pork baos from the original @bao_london location in Netil Mkt

Nicola with dumplings
scotch eggs at Broadway Mkt – took some home for breakfasts
spicy beef rendang at Schoolyard Mkt – a first for megorgeous tomatoes at Broadway Mkt

front row seats at Lardo – chef was great fun to watch and talk with

oops, second bottle of wine

spotted in Hackney – a pretty Nissan Figaro (with eyelashes)oops… cocktails at Every Cloud

fantastic Burmese dinner at Lahpet