Over a third of Londoners weren’t born in the UK and immigration in London is rising, yet we call it our home and London wouldn’t be the same without multiculturalism. I wouldn’t be able to buy some plantain and awesome baklava just a short walk from my house (Dalston) diversity is what drew me here. I watch jealously as groups of Turkish women are all laughing and drinking tea in local cafes; whilst we ‘Londoners’ are still too ‘British’ to say hello to people we pass every morning, or run into while we grab lunch.
We no longer live in small towns bumping into old school friends on the street, London can feel pretty isolating. Where ever you live, especially London, even if it is just for six months to a year renting that is your home and it might feel burdensome to become part of the community. Finding like-minded individuals can be daunting but settling into a routine and finding your local spots to chill out is a great first step.
Joe’s Kid just off Brick Lane brings the concept of having a neighbourhood cafe back to life. They offer specialty coffee to take away if it is a quick visit; simple well cooked food, home made cakes and awesome smoothies if you’re settling down for a little while. It is a Saturday morning for me, I’m chilled and I start with a smoothie, to pretend I’m being healthy at the weekend.
Strawberry and banana freshly made, no added sugar and going down a treat. I order some brunch, smashed avocado, eggs and chorzio. All of the ingredients are delicious so you can’t really go wrong.
It’s not just the food or coffee that people come here for, the owner Danni has a wonderful bubbly character along with her staff. The cafe is light and open with a chalkboard running down one wall serving as the menu. The space feels like part of someones home with picture frames and knick-knacks dotted around. Some of the tables are communal and there is perky French music in the background, it’s like the social version of a coffee shop without all the laptops and silence.
The baristas also make the cakes fresh, so while I was there they had a lovely French girl who couldn’t wait for me to try her French recipe banana bread toasted with espresso butter. The bread was as light as a cake warmed with espresso butter melting into it. Actually it was really awesome, as a coffee lover I’m not sure why I hadn’t discovered espresso butter before either… I’ll be recreating it at home for sure.
The owner Danni is in and around most days and the few other members of staff have all put a little bit of themselves into making Joe’s Kid a home away from home. Pop in a few times and before you know it you’re seeing a friendly and for me that is my local community in London.
Thanks to Danni for inviting me to Joes Kid, all opinions are my own.