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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Antiques & Cake

The closest I have come to West London on foot in almost 5 years and its happened entirely by random chance last weekend! I wouldn't say I dread it, but I certainly don't go out of my way to travel anywhere that requires my presence in Paddington (not because it's ropey you understand, but simply because the schlep home is such a lengthy bore and I'd really rather not have to take a punt on the notoriously unreliable Hammersmith & City Line, or indeed, any tube line on a weekend!). Since I must escape this city on the odd occasion though, more often than not, I end up having to travel to/from this hangar for trains, so this time, I decide to avoid said laborious underground trek by walking home, hopefully by way of a myriad of interesting stops and sights...I realise that this may be a tad ambitious, but what's the harm in trying eh?!

Heading off toward the Edgware Road, crossing underneath the demonstratively loud A40, glad that I've never had to stay in Hilton London Metropole and wishing that I could protect my lungs from the traffic (perhaps a cigarette will help?! No! OK!), how ecstatic I was then, to stumble on a market on Church Street. Now, aside from my love of all things cheese and plantain, you should also know that I love a market of any kind - it could be food, junk, clothes, books, furniture, cleaning products and imitation watches for all I care! It really doesn't matter what they're selling or whether or not I actually want to buy anything from anyone because the simply joy of cruising a market stall or car boot knows no bounds! For the record, I bought one of those giant laundry bags for only £3.50 (they're at least £8.99 on Amazon!!), not because I need a launderette, but because they're a superb storage solution for my spare duvet that I have no actual storage space for...because I live in London!

Amidst the market jubilation's then, I found what I've been halfheartedly been looking for since I set off on this random stomp: Alfies Antique Market! I was actually in search of cake, which I was assured I could find somewhere within the bowels of this vast emporium, but boy was I in for a treat because this place comprised of four floors, all crammed with antiques, vintage bits n bobs, and retro gubbins. The cake was going to have to wait a while I fear!

After at least 1.5 hours, I finally reach the top floor and ascending into the heavens of my new favourite creaky and cluttered bazaar, I find a cheerful and bustling cafe. I hear friends catching up over coffee and bloody marys, some navigating their sweet tooth around a freshly baked carrot cake with others basking in the sun of an open decked terrace, tucking into eggs and a cuppa. What a cute little place I whisper to myself, eager to peruse the saccharine-based delights on offer. I had barely completed my review of the options by the time I spied the lemon drizzle though, so there's no more looking for me! Sometimes cake looks delicious, but lacks flavour, and sometimes it looks so over the top, so you're bound to like it, only to discover that infact it's dry and anticlimactic...I'm pleased to report though, that this was not the case here - it was good and moist and good and generous and oh so full of flavour, tang and simplicity! Loved it.

What a great place to while away your Saturday and if you have to tell yourself you're in Maida Vale, St Johns Wood or Marylebone before you give it a go, then I'll forgive you (it's really the dodgy-but-delightful end of NW8, but I won't tell anyone!).

Alfies Roof Top Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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