A Japanese living in London writes anything about everyday life in UK – cafe, restaurant, design, stores, politics, news, events, art/museums, films, food, fashion, travel etc. イギリス暮らしもかれこれ10年。カフェ、レストラン、デザイン、お店、政治、ニュース、イベント、アート／美術館、映画、食、ファッション、旅行等々、ロンドンでの日常生活や、英国に関する情報を思いつくままに綴ります。
Today’s topic is also from the “idea” folder (yesterday’s blog). I went this Notes cafe in Covent Garden last September, so there may be some changes since then.
Central London is the difficult place to find a good independent coffee shop, and is occupied by big coffee chains who can pay an expensive rent in the premium location. Notes is one of the few places that offer “non mass-produced” coffee in the area. Opened by Rob Robinson and Fabio Ferreira, who run five Flat Cap coffee carts throughout London including Borough Market, Notes is a mini-coffee chain that owns three cafes in Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Tileyard in north London (see the locations). As written on its exterior and their website, Notes offers something I can’t live without: coffee (though I am a tea-drinker as well), food and wine. When I check the internet, some websites call “Notes Music & Coffee”, so I guess they offer good music as well, as its name suggests, though I didn’t notice when I was there. They also hosts variety of events related to their specialty; coffee, food, wine and music.
Their espresso is roasted by Square Mile Coffee Roasters, and Notes’ roasts are lighter to create more delicate flavours. They also have a dedicated brew bar for their rotating menu of filter coffees. Their seasonal loose leaf teas are from a boutique tea trading company of Lalani & Co. Foods at Notes are seasonal and home-made, and are served throughout the day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their charcuteries are supplied by The Ham & Cheese Company who source direct from butchers and farmers in Italy and France, and their cheeses are from Mons Cheesemongers who bring their produce from St Haon le Chatel in France every week. I haven’t tried their wine, but they have a unique system of a flat ‘corkage’ charge of £8 over the retail price of all wines, to allow their customers to reasonably enjoy their selection of wines.
The cafe was very relaxing, and M’s sandwich and salad were fresh and tasty, and my lightly toasted banana bread was irresistibly good. However, due to its prime location, the weekend may be a nightmare and probably you have to wait a while to be seated.
East Streetは2012年1月、マンチェスターを拠点とするアジア料理レストランチェーン・Tampopo（ご察しかもしれないが、伊丹十三監督の映画「タンポポ」からきている）のオーナー、Nick JeffriesとDavid Foxがオープン。彼らがアジア各国を旅した経験からヒントを得た、アジア各国のストリート・フードを提供している。レストラン名やロゴ、グラフィック、インテリアデザインなど、ブランド・アイデンティティ全般は、‘i-am’ Associatesが担当（参照：Dezeen）。ネオンサインやポスター等、アジア諸国から集められたキッチュなものたちで、東南アジアの屋台街を思わせる、カラフルかつスタイリッシュな店に仕上がった。
I went to this East Street restaurant over half a year ago, and haven’t written about it. I’ve been collecting some topics in my ‘idea’ folder, thinking to write when it ‘clicks’ me. East Street is one of them. I didn’t get any specific issue I want to write today, so I decided to write about it. So my photos and what I write here may not be up-t0-date of how the restaurant is now.
East Street is a Pan-Asian street food restaurant, created sometime in January 2012 (?) by Nick Jeffries and David Fox, founders of Asian fusion restaurant chain Tampopo from Manchester. East Street offers a wide variety of Asian dishes, inspired by the founders’ own culinary experiences during their travels across Asia. ‘i-am’ Associates was in charge of its brand identity including the creation of a name and logo, graphics and interior design (reference: Dezeen). Thank to them, the restaurant is stylishly and colourfully decorated with full of kitsch neon signs, ephemera from across Asian countries, creating the essence of South-East Asian street food markets.
In general, I don’t trust restaurants cooking all kinds of borderless ‘fusion’ dishes, especially Asian as I am Asian myself. To my eyes, the food never be good if you don’t focus on whatever you can do well, except some master chefs who can create an excellent dish from anything. Unfortunately East Street doesn’t offer authentic food or something mouthwatering, like Wagamama. However, the location is convenient, and it’s upbeat and fun place to drink (you wouldn’t care the taste of food when you drink!) with your friends.
Currently visitlondon.com has been hosting6 themed weekly competitions for 6 weeks (now in 3rd week). Each week, a participant could win a trips to London with different theme, by finding Rufus down on the map with the clues to track him down. It is quite difficult like “Where is Wally?”, and I couldn’t spot him on this week competition unfortunately…
I saw those funny looking all-in-one sweat suits on LivingSocial, a deal-of-the-day website, and then I read an article that these clothing “Onesie”, which look like a rompers / babygrow / babygro or whatever, is fashionable now in UK, and one in eight adults now own it (Mail Online). I’ve often seen people (not kids, but adults!) wearing wool hats with an animal face such as panda or wolf which is quite silly for me for over 20s, but I’ve never seen anyone in Onesie in London. In fact, the onesie seems to be more popular in the North West of UK.
OK. It must be very comfortable and you can wear it at home, as originally designed to be worn in your private space. But you don’t go out with pyjama, no? According to femalefirst.co.uk, onesie has become a “hot fashion must-have”, due to A-list celebrities including Brad Pitt and Rita Ora who have been seen with Onesie in public. In a recent poll by last minute holiday firm Latedeals.co.uk, one in three of UK adults under 30 now favour Onesie as their ‘travel in’ outfit…
I thought savvy British always make fun of ridiculously dressed Japanese Lolita or Americans in buggy shorts and a baseball cap. Even a couple got married wearing Onesie (Daily Mail)! What happened to Brits?! Thankfully, I am not the only one who hates the trend (Guardian / Daily Mail). Honestly, Onesie is cute for kids under 10, probably can be stretched to teenager, but not for grown-ups – too hurt to see them…
I haven’t been noticed that British TV station ITV‘s logo has been renewed, until I saw this ITV’s poster few days ago. First, I haven’t seen ITV show for ages. Second, I wasn’t in UK on the date of the change, January 14, so I didn’t have a chance to check this out on the media.
The design of the new logo itself is not bad, if it is used for a cute cafe, an accessories shop for young women, or a children’s bookstore. But I am not sure if this logo represents ITV and its programs. As I wrote in the past (post on 2011/06/03), ITV is full of soaps, reality TVs, and talk shows, and my image of ITV is the opposite to the ‘cuteness’ of the logo. For your reference, the public voting on Radio TImes about ITV’s new logo shows that 60.86% dislike it. I prefer simple but well-designed logo of 2006 –2013 (see history of ITV logo) – it is not obsolete at all and they should have kept it!