We chanced upon Spitalfields Market during a visit to the nearby Great Diary Project, a remarkable effort to “rescue” ordinary peoples diaries, housed inside The Bishopsgate Institute. The market has lots of stalls with fun clothes, jewelry, crafts and woolens and the street leading to it also has alluring shops.
A short tube ride from Liverpool Street Station got us to Embankment (a short bit also via the new Elizabeth Line) where we met Evan, a graduate student from Des Moines who we’ve know since he was born. Great to see him and his enthusiasm for London.
After an excellent lunch down in the dark cellar of the venerable Gordon’s Wine Bar (excellent cheese and charcuterie boards, the closest I’ve gotten to a Ploughman’s lunch) we met up with Francine and headed to Peckham, a southeast London neighborhood that is starting to gentrify here and there (Bellenden Road) but still feels like the African and African-Caribbean neighborhood it is.
Brew pubs aren’t as big a thing here as in the US but we did go to a funky one, Brick Brewing, that has outdoor seating and cheap prices. After attending a popup art show with work by a friend of Francine and Russ’s, (made by filling hollowed pumpkins with black tar and dropping them from a rooftop onto a white canvas, creating a black splatter paint pattern with pumpkin pulp…no surprise this was work created during the covid lockdown) we had an excellent bits and bobs (Padron peppers, jamon croquettes, picos blue cheese) at The Tapas Room (which has several other outposts including in Battersea.)