Towpath @ Regent’s Canal, Haggerston
What a bee-ee-Ay-utiful day it was in London today. 20°C…sunny, clear blue skies… not a spot of cloud… and we’re still not even halfway through April yet. Seems the British summer has showed up rather early this year. So off the beaten track to Haggerston I went with J and D in search of somewhere I was told we could soak up some sun over an alfresco lunch.
With its idyllic setting along the Dalston end of Regent’s Canal, this tiny caff along the waterway’s towpath is a real Shoreditch gem. It’s the ideal alfresco place to wile away the hours on those rare, sun-drenched afternoons and watch the narrow boats and cyclists cruise by. Despite the narrow pathway, there’s always a constant crowd of North Londoners and East-enders hovering around to get a seat at one of their coveted, multi-coloured, outdoor garden tables.
There are no signs, or printed menus here… merely a chalked up board of the day’s specials. Food is simple, hearty and seasonal. Take their Puntarelle and Blood Orange salad for instance… the juxtaposing colours alone were enough to get the salivary glands roaring. The combination of crisp chicory with segments of wonderfully sweet blood orange and citrus vinaigrette was delectable. A dish which screamed summer on a plate.
Their confit garlic and goat’s cheese on toast has got to be one of the most comforting things I’ve eaten in a while. Thick, rustic slices of crusty, dripping-dipped toast topped off with melted goats cheese that was oozing with flavour. And the pièce de resistance – an entire head of slow-roasted, garlic. Once you cut through the outer skin of the bulb, what awaits you is clove after clove of mushy, garlick-ey goodness. All the sweetness without any of the pungence. Dee-licious.
They also do some great coffee and wonderfully creamy, home-made soft serve ice-creams here. You can get the best of both worlds in their affogato. It really is as heavenly as it looks. A smooth, bold espresso base topped off with their luxuriously milky ice-cream. The perfect summer pick-me-up dessert.
I can so see myself here on many a summer weekend to come. Lets hope the glorious weather continues.
Towpath @ Regent’s Canal (btween Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road), N1 5SB | Saturday Apr 9th, 2011