Tag Archives: broadway market

Our Patterned Hand, Broadway Market

Our Patterned Hand opened up on Broadway Market quite a while ago, but it was only recently that I ventured in with a bona-fide sewing expert, my mum. She arrived three weeks ago laden with a suitcase full of everything from bunny rugs to a crocheted red cardigan (all made by her), plus loads of other essentials such as an ear thermometer and a copy of Baby Love.

While here she’s trawled Oxford Street, with my dad as mule, for a moses basket, pram cocoon, baby bath, soft towels, face flannels and numerous other items I would otherwise have shopped for in a blind panic once on maternity leave (god, can it ever come fast enough?), popped over to Paris for a tres chic velvety grey babygro, and given my husband a pep talk on supporting a woman in labour (while he was, I might add, unwittingly wearing one of my maternity tops. He’s since been in a cold sweat at the thought of any of his colleagues noticing the tell-tale gathering up the sides).

Yesterday we visited Our Patterned Hand where she found some printed Indian fabric for a little dress for my niece and some rose pink velvet for something TBC – true seamstresses always have a stash of fabrics for things that are yet to be dreamed up. It’s a beautiful little shop, the owner has a keen eye for gorgeous fabrics and she only buys things in small quantities, so you don’t get that overflowing chaos of some fabric shops…. but it also means that if you see a fabric you love, buy it straight away as it won’t be there in a month or two. Canny marketing, but also good for shoppers as you know you’ll find something new every time you come in. The owner, Leanne Finn-Davies, has also just started sewing classes, so get in touch via the website or just drop in to see what’s coming up.

Thanks to The Women’s Room for these pictures – I will try and get my own soon.

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Get some TLC at Holistic Health at Broadway Market

It has been remarked, somewhat sarcastically, that I am Holistic Health’s best customer. And I am very fond of the place. But I certainly don’t avail myself of all their services – the prospect of colonic irrigation doesn’t thrill me, somehow, and although I’ve found acupuncture good for hayfever I’d go to a Chinese doctor for that, if I could just find a good one (any recommendations?).

There used to be a nice man on Bethnal Green Road – he had a makeshift consulting room with a shower curtain instead of a fabric one next to the bed, and once when I was lying there, face full of needles, I suddenly realised water was pouring through the ceiling from the upstairs neighbour’s bathtub. He just came in, set up a bucket and left me to it.

He also mixed up some incredibly pungent hayfever-curing remedy that I was supposed to boil and drink, but my flatmate (at that time) complained about the smell and banned me from using it. He used to sit and read, apart from when his wife came in and got him cleaning, and one time he told me he was working in a nearby hospital during the Tiananmen Square massacre and treated some of the protesters. But when I went past a few months ago a halal butcher had replaced his surgery, and they told me he’d moved to Peckham. Sigh. Continue reading

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Steak at Buen Ayre Argentinean restaurant, Broadway Market

Buen Ayre in Broadway Market is quite the red-blooded experience. The waiters are full of vim –  no obsequious, waif-like simpering here. And from the moment you book, it’s made clear that you are very lucky to get a table. I went in recently to ask for an 8pm table. and was told Not possible. 7pm or 9pm only. Continue reading

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F.Cooke’s pie and mash shop, Broadway Market

piemashcounterNOTE: Please read comments below from people who have visited recently. I haven’t been here for a few years, so this post is now out of date as far as restaurant reviews go. 

If you find yourself down at Broadway Market of a Saturday – filling your wicker basket (plastic bags are a major faux pas) with free-range eggs, lemon drizzle cake and smoked oysters, perhaps stopping for a flat white or a Vietnamese coffee, and then deliberating between a lunch of Creole prawns, African jollof rice, mushroom risotto or a couple of samosas – take a moment to consider the pie and mash shop, which has been there since 1900 and served the same food ever since. Here you can choose from eels – which are available hot or jellied for £2.50, or live at market prices – and beef or vegetarian pies, served with mashed spuds and liquor, which is a fresh parsley gravy made from the stock those eels were boiled up in.

Like the menu, the shop’s marble façade and ornate gold lettering above the door have not changed since it opened. Inside, a long metal counter runs down one side of the large canteen-like space, and customers take their time over newspapers and cups of tea at marble benches. Original yellow and blue tiles and stained glass brighten up the walls, sawdust is sprinkled over the floors, and a vat of eels steams away under the window. Continue reading


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Where books and lovers (might) meet


Today is Valentine’s Day – if anyone had missed it – and for those looking for love, I’ve just been told about about a promising event at Broadway Bookshop in Hackney.

What with amazon and the slow-but-steady migration to digital publishing, bookshops have to diversify these days.

Broadway Books is already pretty good at that – they stock a lot of local history books and antiquarian books, and have regular author events, with readings and wine. And now they are having a single’s night, too.

It’s being billed as a sort of ‘book club where  you don’t have to have read the book’ – singles out there just show up for a drink and a chat.

It’s on Thursday 12th March from 6pm to 8.30pm, and you never know, if things are going well maybe it will carry on down to the local pub, too. Everyone is talking about how the key to surviving this dreary financial crisis is to ‘flexify’ – Broadway Books is setting a fine example. And as someone who has always wanted to successfully set up a lovely couple, well, I wish its owners all the very best.

Broadway Bookshop, 6 Broadway Market, Hackney, London E8 4QJ
Phone: 020 7241 1626 Fax: 020 7241 1036 books@broadwaybookshophackney.com

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