SESSIONS RECOMMENDS IS OUR WEEKLY SERIES WHERE WE SIT DOWN WITH A MEMBER OF OUR TEAM FOR A 5 MINUTE CHAT ABOUT THEIR CURRENT FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS.
At the weekend, you'll find Sophie sampling her way through East London's many food markets, hunting down new places for coffee and Sunday roasts, shopping for her pet fish and adding to her new record collecting hobby.
Monday to Friday, she is one of the Sales Leads here at Sessions, managing our team as well as scoping out new kitchens across the UK, ready to take on our food brands.
THE ONE BEST FOR COFFEE
Um, so I've actually got two here, but they're good for different reasons. So the first one is called Paradox in Netil Market. It's a very small booth rather than a sitting coffee shop. They use a house roast called Kiss the Hippo, but they also have loads of rotating guest roasts. So you can always get something a bit different, something you can't really buy online or in any supermarkets.
I get a typical flat white so you're talking about £3.60. Actually whilst you're queuing for the best falafel pitas you'll ever taste in the whole of East London (at Pockets a few doors down), this is when you get your coffee.
So the other place best for coffee is a place called Batch Baby, which is actually more in De Beauvoir. They don't have one house roast, they just have lots of guest roasts on. You feel like you're in someone's living room there. They've got loads of nice mid century furniture in there, all a bit mismatched, but matched. They've got nice reading material. So that's a really good place to kind of spend the afternoon. So that's much more of a sit down, enjoy your coffee, and you can also work there.
13 - 23 Westgate St
Batch Baby Instagram
Rose Lipman Building
43 De Beauvoir Rd
THE ONE BEST FOR PASTRIES
Then next category is, um, great pastries cause who doesn't love a coffee and a pastry? So again, for this one, I do have two options. The first one is the place called Violet, just off Dalston Lane in a tiny little, really cute building actually. It's literally a building situated on its own, on a terrace block. So it looks really out of place. It's actually where Megan and Harry had their wedding cake made.
They do an, in one door, out the other vibe. They're more of like a bakery than a coffee shop, which is why they're really good for their cakes and their pastries. They have everything, but my favourite is the cinnamon. I wouldn't say the coffee is amazing. It's definitely not the best in East London. But, it's worth a shout out for the quality of the pastry.
The other one is recently opened. It's called Forno. It's kind of gone wild on social media. Not only do they do really good pastries, they also do really good, like, savoury options as well. There's a queue out the door every weekend. They're most renowned for their pizza style. But they've also got great coffee.
322 Andrews Rd
THE ONE BEST FOR WORKING IN
So the best one to work in is a place called Hackney Coffee Co and it's gorgeous. You get lots of weddings there because of how stunning it is. They also do really nice teas. REALLY nice teas. If you aren't a coffee person then you can get a great loose leaf tea. Just chill out, sit in the corner, with ambient music and enjoy!
They do a bit of food - 3 sandwiches to be exact; a meat option, a veggie and a vegan. They always change though so you won't be eating the same things all the time. Of course they do also have sweet things too.
You obviously don't have to be working to be there, it is just a nice place to chill in.
Hackney Coffee Co Instagram
THE ONE BEST FOR PROPER FOOD
So two options. First one is Mae & Harvey on Roman Road and more towards Bethnal Green. What I like about them is that they don't allow laptops, literally everyone in there is there for a nice dinner or lunch. They also have the menu written up on, like, brown paper. It's really rustic. The menu changes every day so it's best to look at the Instagram before you go.
The coffee's also really good. I can't remember the roaster but it's just a nice vibe place to have a coffee and a really good bite to eat.
The queues can be mad and you can't book so you can always put your booking in, wander down, do some shopping, come back. I remember I had an open toast, which had like pumpkin, ricotta and sage. But they do loads of nice classic brunch options, like your eggs and pancakes.
The second place to eat is the classic Cafe Route. I think their food's so good. They've got three locations. They've got Broadway Market, Dalston and also Haggertson, but the Haggertson one is my the favourite.
They use the Gentleman Barista Coffee but they white label it, so it looks like their own brand. It is delicious. They've got quite a Turkish influence so you can get all your classics but with like a Turkish twist. So they'll put like labneh on eggs or something like that.
Then for lunch they also do like, um, salad sections. You can get two for £8 or three for £10. They're really interesting salads, not just like lettuce.
THE ONE THAT IS JUST THE BEST
Okay wow, the final one. It ticks all the boxes. It's called Yeast Bakery and it's right on the canal. It's a beautiful place inside, quite big, so you feel that you can work there without getting in the way.
The coffee's really good, they use Climpson and Sons so its nice that they use a local roaster.
The music's good, really nice ambient coffee shop vibes. They have massive bakery at the back, so they do loads of cool pastries. They have a signature one. It looks like a big donut, but is actually a pastry. It's amazing. They're quite expensive but worth it. As well as everything else they bake, they've also got a beautiful homeware section.
Not just coffee paraphernalia, but loads of nice like bowls, cases, books, tote bags. Just lovely little bits that we all love and make us happy. They also have a nice brunch menu there. Quite a classic brunch menu, it's kind of salmon, your avocado, your poached eggs, but just all on lovely plates.
It's just all round, all round great. Easy. Perfect.
So, yeah. Thanks. That's me.
That's you done.
Yeast Bakery Instagram
1-3 Sheep Ln