Sunday, 30 January 2011
THE PAV, VICTORIA PARK
Early on this cold Sunday morning in Hackney, Victoria Park is lively with joggers, cyclists and frisky dogs. We walk pretty briskly, partly because it's numbingly cold and partly because we're in a hurry for breakfast.
Vicky Park is one of the most unexpected of London's green spaces, set up by Queen Victoria, in her munificence, to give the East End poor a much-needed green space. It's a popular and much-used place for today's east enders, many of them looking for an escape not so much from the tanneries and clothing sweatshops, but the ... y'know, really tough world of the media.
Seriously, there are a few places nicer than The Pavilion. You can sit inside where it is warm and cosy or at the tables outside to watch the sun glint through the fountain on the lake. The Pav has been turned into a wonderful cafe serving breakfasts of eggs benedict, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, and the full fried fest; they also do fresh and delicious lunches and, oh yeeeaah, freshly baked cakes. It's all beautifully cooked using organic produce, which you can wash down with a comfortingly large mug of builder's brew.
Of course on a Sunday morning the east end hipsters are here, bleary eyed after a Saturday night of god- knows-what, plus mums and dads coming in for a bite after frolicking with their toddlers.
It's a jolly and also a cool affair, served as you are by black clad, chiselled cheek-boned - I'm just doing this until my job in the media turns up - types.
Now pass the tomato ketchup; my poached egg, homemade baked beans, bacon, sausage and black pudding has arrived...