I went to my first English BBQ the other week. It was at a friend of a friend's place and they were raising charitable funds for a madcap cycling journey from London to Paris...to be completed within 24 hours. The party was in a tiny slip of a street off of the infamous Brick Lane. The street may have been narrow, but their lodgings was a warehouse of whopping proportions. The courtyard alone was bigger than the flat I'm staying in. It's surprising what lies behind closed doors.
The temperature dipped into single digits, so with one hand warming over hot coals and the other chilling with a pint of cider, we chatted as the cycling team churned out training miles on a fixed bike stand. Laziness never felt so relaxing.
Wandering back onto Brick Lane, revealed more unexpected delights. The borough of Tower Hamlets is home to London's Bangladeshi-Sylheti community, so the lane is infused with the heady aroma of spices from stewing curries. The brick walls are canvases for street art, the shops are a mixture of grandma vintage chic, thrift shops, independent cafes, heaving asian supermarkets, tiny bars, obscured doors leading to indie nightclubs and of course hot beigels. Hot salted beef in a mustarded beigel is so simple, yet so utterly delicious and moreish.