Window Canteen

I really like Hackney Road. It’s gritty, it’s lively, it has a lot of shoe shops per capita, and it’s where the bar is… but it isn’t quite gentrified to the point where you can find a decent coffee any which way you swing your limbs. So it was a delight to find Window Canteen,  a cosy little outpost amongst all the heels and trainers. While the place is named for the walk-by coffee service they offer, Thom and I chose to sit in and sip our flat-whites in quiet contemplation – him, pondering the frothing qualities of soy milk, me – admiring the cool installation of raindrops by Studio Mufufu*.

No food on this visit, but lunch looks lovely judging by the other reviews. Small, simple, and a real DIY spirit. I’ll be back.

Window Canteen
276 Hackney Rd, Hackney
London, E2, UK

* “Mufufu is a mimetic word that represents a chuckle in Japanese. It is the overflowing, involuntary smile brought forth by an epiphany, a light bulb moment.”

Daily photo: Kokako


I’ve been sticking pretty close to home on this trip to Auckland, and there’s no coffee shop closer than Federal & Wolfe. This cute cafe is just downstairs from my apartment, and I’m pleased to say they make a fine flat white and a cracking breakfast. Two poached eggs on sourdough with a side of creamy, ripe avocado… Yes, thank you.

Federal & Wolfe
10 Federal St, Auckland 1010, NZ

Daily grind

Shoreditch Grind

When it comes to coffee, being in East London, means we are quite blessed with a heck of a lot of brilliant antipodean-run joints and greasy cafs to choose from. Shoreditch Grind is possibly the best cafe in spitting distance to my house. Pull up a stool at the floor to ceiling windows, order a flat white, and watch the world go by. A pillowy, untoasted cheese and tomato croissant doesn’t go amiss either. They are one of the few places nearby, too, that dish up custardy pastel de natas – Portuguese egg tart pastries.

Shoreditch Grind
213 Old St, London EC1V 9NR, UK

What a perfect Sunday looks like

AM. Coffee at Pitfield (never complete without a look through their excellent homewares) and a walk around our neighbourhood. Stopping and saying hi to all the squirrels is mandatory.

sunday morning

NOON. Dim sum at Gerrad’s Cross restaurant in Chinatown. Smothering spicy chilli on vegetarian dumplings, reading fortunes from the tea leaves, and watching absurd pop videos.


Afterwards we wandered around Piccadilly Circus – where indeed there was a circus! Acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns and leggy opera singers.

Picadilly Circus Circus

PM. A bottle of 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape – found this bottle forgotten under our bed, score! Polishing off  The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht and enjoying excellent conversation.

sunday night

Metrio Coffee

Behold owls, coffee and letterpress, together at last in a wonderful example of packaging design: Metrio Coffee.

Metrio Coffee

Metrio Coffee

Metrio Coffee

Metrio Coffee

The Metrio Coffee identity was first inspired by the classical vintage themes of ancient Greece (the Athenian owl and olive branches), then combined with a modern yet simple design. The word Metrio is derived from the common way Greeks drink short black coffee – METRIO – meaning short black with one sugar (medium sweetness).  

{From Behance – via Maya – thanks!}