Meet the seedizens of Seed City: Spiro Spinanch, Fenella Fenugreek, Granpa Swede and PC Pea Pod. These delightful characters can be found in the children's books Secret Seed Society. Started by mother and daughter team, Shena and Amy Cooper, each story encourages children to understand where vegetables come from and to experience the magic of growing and cooking fresh food. In each pack, there's a storybook, recipes and organic seeds chosen so they can be grown in small gardens or indoors. Just perfect for London. Children can join the online Seed Agent Club and there is also a School Interactive Health Eating Show - What's the Big Secret? Secret Seed Society founders recently presented on Ted Talks. You can see their talk here. We can't get enough of the seedizens. In a city as food-focussed as London, it's great to see the basics of good eating being encouraged. Look out for the seedizens at food festivals and you can also find them online at their home in Seed City.
A mistress of reinvention with all the style of an urbanite Dorian Gray, Shoreditch - home to contemporary art galleries, design studios and clubs never loses its appeal. A design megawatt with the gravitational pull of all things cool, it has long been the haven of the in-crowd. Regardless of whether you see it as over-subscribed or zeitgeist gauge, Shoreditch with its gritty edge and in-your-face personality remains home to some of London's most exciting independent stores and trends.
Start your walk at Rivington Street (at the corner of Shoreditch High Street) for some of the best street art in London, a reminder of how this inner city neighbourhood has retained its street credentials by flaunting irreverence in the face of gentrification. Continue all the way until you reach Shoreditch High Street to sample pure E1 design. The trio of House of Hackney, Present and Aida typifies the new Hackney – uber stylish with an eclectic mashing of influences and blending of styles that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.
Cross the road at Calvert Avenue. On your way to Boundary Gardens, you’ll walk past one of Hackney’s great landmarks –Syd’s Coffee Stall established in 1919 and still run by Syd's family as well as Paper and Cup -a not for profit café created by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (a local charity @PaperAndCup). At no 17 is Leila’s Shop (@Leilas_Shop). More larder than shop, it offers an enticing array of fresh produce, cheeses, deli good and teas and coffees. On a Saturday morning, you’re likely to find a food producer – on this Saturday, Basque cheese was being showcased. Next door is the very popular café with the same name.
At times over-subscribed; at others, just plain inspiring, Shoreditch divides opinion. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of love it or hate it, this design megawatt with the gravitational pull of all things cool continues to define what's new in London.
Our food walk of EC1 and EC2 is coming soon.
Sometimes it's in the most unlikely places that you discover the greatest finds. And so it is with Happenstance near St Paul's, Central London. With its feel of a country larder - well-stocked shelves, potted herbs and striking black and white titled flooring, it's a place we want to return to. The careful selection of produce from London's Borough Market, includng fresh farm produce, baked goods and Quintessentially flowers are simply delightful. A welcome respite from the hussle of busy Fleet Street.
Address: 1a Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA
Tel: 0845 468 0104
An urban orchard, 30 street bins, a flowering meadow and an apple street: this is the extraordinary sight that has greeted Londoners at the Festival of Neighbourhood since May 2013.
Designed by architectural practice WHAT IF: projects, Octavia's Orchard highlights the lack of access to green space in areas of high density housing and offers an imaginative interpretation of what this green space could look like in the form of an urban orchard.
Undertaken in collaboration with the National Trust, the project is a homage to the social reformer and founder of the Trust, Octavia Hill. It was Hill would spoke passionately about the importance of green space for urban workers and tenants.
This project has been created using 30 galvanized steel bins to create an orchard and meadow. The bins are those typically found in housing estates alluding as much to the nature of these development and the potential (often unrealised) green space around them. Each bin features a quote or reference to Octavia Hill, including her More Air for London 1888 campaign.
With this exhibition now at a close, the orchard is now being adopted. It has been adopted by four housing estates in Elephant&Castle, Hackney and Morden. A tree will also be planted on the Walworth Estate .
Octavia’s Orchard closed on 09 September 2013.