Most commonly approached from Hackney Wick via a cycle and pedestrian footbridge, (still not shown on many maps) Roach Road on Fish Island is the site of The Stour Space: a gallery, studio space and home to The Counter Cafe.
This innocent looking footbridge could be regarded as a kind of creative superhighway. It joins Hackney Wick (see The Hackney Pearl) to the trendiest corner of Tower Hamlets.
Fish ‘island’ is more accurately described as peninsula of warehouses, formed at the delta of the River Lee and Hertford Union canal. It’s island status is bestowed upon it by turbulent traffic flow across the poetically named ‘Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach’.
The Counter Cafe takes advantage of it’s peculiar geography with an ample anchored terrace for canal side breakfasting or refreshments, as well as a pretty good view of the Olympic Stadium, and Anish Kapoor’s ‘Orbit’ tower-sculpture.
Indoors, there’s a ‘self-build’ feel: wood, exposed brick and lamp bulbs secured with oversized test-tube clamps amongst other reclaimed charms.
I’ve been here ahem, let’s say, more than once. True to their international reputation, the antipodean management serve up a very fine brunch.
I wasn’t supposed to be either drawing or brunching this Sunday morning, but it’s the kind of place which is highly conducive to both activities.
There are some odd perspectives and light sources going on in this corner of the Counter, but i’m going to plead ‘distraction by turkish eggs’.