My boyfriend, Christian, and I started a fun little tradition in January this year where we take it in turns to organise a fun mystery “date day” for each other every month. Since we started, we’ve done all kinds of crazy activities – everything from Go Ape in Battersea Park to Dim Sum Sunday lunch at Hakkasan, Room Escape in Frankfurt (thankfully it was in English!) to a historical Coffee House Tour of London, and all of them have been really good fun. Well, November’s date was down to Christian and I thought I’d share what we got up to.
One of the most exciting elements of our date days is that the day’s activities should be kept secret from the other person… oooh, mysterious! This meant that last weekend, I didn’t have a clue what we’d be doing on the day, other than that we would have to leave the flat by 10:00am. That’s quite an early start for Christian on the weekend so I had an inkling that we’d have a pretty full-on day ahead of us.
First things first, Christian knows that the way to my heart is through my stomach, so getting some good food into me is a good start to the day. With that in mind, I’m sure, we had brunch in Poco Tapas Bar in Bethnal Green. The cafe is almost too cool for school (man buns, beards and interesting attire in every direction you look) but the food was tasty and surprisingly healthy. I’d highly recommend the Moroccan Scramble if you’re ever in that neck of the woods.
A couple of Harissa Bloody Mary’s down, we made our way to the Crafty Fox Market in Bethnal Green to peruse some handmade pieces from designers all across the UK. Going into the fair, I was on the lookout for Christmas presents for friends and family, but I ended up losing focus and willpower after the first stall and only bought bits and bobs for myself – whoops! Below are a few photos from the fair, including a group shot of the pieces I ended up taking home with me.
As if the day wasn’t already good enough, Christian then broke the news that the day had only just begun and that we were moving onto another mystery destination… ooh la la… where could it be? We jumped on the train at Bethnal Green and headed off on our merry way. After not all that long, we ended up in our final destination… Walthamstow. My first thought, Walthamstow… where on earth is that and what could we be doing here? Well, it turns out that one of my favourite designers of all time, William Morris, was born in Walthamstow and grew up there. In fact, his former house has been turned into a Gallery for all things William Morris – definitely right up my alley. We spent quite a while at the William Morris Gallery and below are some of my highlights and musings.
Once Christian dragged me away from all the pretty fabrics, we also had a look around the Gallery’s temporary exhibition on Revolutionary Posters. They were from all over the world and had some very powerful imagery.
So, at this stage, it already seems like we’d got up to a lot (which we had) but a hop and a skip away from the William Morris Gallery is the Ravenswood Industrial Estate where Christian took me next. It was starting to get dark but if anything that just added to the atmosphere when we stopped off at our next destination – God’s Own Junk Yard. They have a cafe inside where we warmed up with some coffees and a cheeky scone but mostly the space is just full of neon signs, neon signs and more neon signs. Extremely trippy and definitely worth a visit.
After hanging amongst the lights until we were slightly giddy, we headed next door to Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace for a cocktail to round off the day. The thing I love about some of these slightly off the beaten track places is just how creative they are – the painted facade of the bar was so unique and striking.
So, all in all, what a day! Christian really pulled out all the stops and I can’t sing the praises of a day out in Walthamstow enough. For design inspiration alone, the William Morris Gallery was worth the journey but with all the other little gems we visited, it’s a great place for a day trip too. December’s date day is down to me and I’ve got quite an act to follow… 🙂