Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Leila's lovely shop in Shoreditch

This week I am at Leila's shop situated on a quiet, leafy side street called Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch within the London borough of Hackney. This is a truly diverse area, a built up inner London city with a strong community of Bengali residents. Sky rise flats directly face gated mews that house a creative set including some of our most famous British artists.
Leila sources her fruit and vegetables every Monday night from New Covent Garden market, one of the largest hubs of wholesale trade in the London area selling produce from the surrounding Kent and Sussex countryside. Leila's cafe just next door to her grocery/urban farm shop offers beautiful fresh food simply tossed together. For lunch, I enjoyed two poached eggs on Russian kale (sweeter & softer than curly kale) with toasted sourdough bread. All the bread is sourced from the artisan bakers at St Johns. I am hoping to make my way over this week to see what other breads they make.
This is Leila's cafe. Its just like being in your mamas kitchen. When I arrived there were huge pots of tomato and pepper soup and some cucumber gazpacho on the stove. This place has a lovely cool vibe with an experienced crew that are calm and confident in what they do, making the whole thing just gel seamlessly. 
Leila has some amazing old wooden mangers, troughs baskets, bowls
and old wooden crates that add to an old English style display.
One of her customers actually bought in an old photo of
the shop as it looked in years gone by (below pic)

Veg boxes get packed up on Tuesday mornings and delivered
to Leila's local customers. Brimming with a variety of
seasonal produce and complete with basil, mint & coriander
I thought they were fantastic value at £10, £20 & £30 boxes.

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