Thanks very much to Meme Me (http://smcdoyle.wordpress.com) for the tip-off for this quite recently opened café on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston.
‘The Things We Love’ combine their passion for bikes, coffee and, uniquely to my knowledge, creative pursuits under an East End friendly font on Stoke Newington Road.
They join ‘Lock-7’ (http://www.lock-7.com/) and the increasing number of branches of ‘Look Mum No Hands!’ (http://www.lookmumnohands.com/), in offering the surprisingly popular service of bicycle sales, repairs and upgrades on the same site as a coffee shop. Indeed, as I was there, the shop seemed to be turning over a reasonable volume of business from both endeavours.
I have asked myself just how many cycle-cafes the East End can sustain, but a bit of surfing suggests more than I might have thought. According to the London Cycling Campaign, Hackney has the highest percentage of cycling commuters in any London borough, at nearly 10% (http://lcc.org.uk/discussions/cycling-to-work-westminster-beats-london-but-lags-behind-hackney). Great news for The Things We Love!
As a creative venue, there were also early signs of success with myself and a fellow sketcher (pictured) both having been tipped off as to it’s ‘drawing friendly’ status . The waitress added that a life drawing class is planned for their basement later this year – it’s on the – ever growing – list!
Wi-Fi, plugs, soya milk, gluten free options (although prepared in a ‘mixed’ kitchen) – all check.
Friendly service in my own case was extended to a bit of an inspection of the outline drawing I produced on site and some very kind words of encouragement from a chap, who if the elegant bikes and furniture on display were anything to go by, ‘has an eye’.
There’s plenty to love about ‘TTWL’, and despite making an entry on the already quite coffee-saturated stretch of Kingsland Road- Stoke Newington Road; I think it’s endearing enough, and enduring enough, to go the distance.
For this drawing, I’ve kept to my usual ‘hatching’ style, but cracked open an almost never used watercolour palette for a bit of variation. I have used oils – paints and pastels in the past, but never really got into watercolour. I do want to try as it seems a more practical ‘colour on-the-go’ option.
I’ve probably gone a bit mad with the crimson and I’ve pretty much used a limited palette as I might a set of felt-tip pens for ‘colouring’. I think I might have a look at some YouTube videos to learn a bit more about how to use watercolours themselves – grateful as always if anyone has any thoughts!