Possibly one of the most common questions I get asked, is “does it not ever get boring? Eating out all the time? Doesn’t it all get a bit samey?”
Whilst you might be wondering what kind of idiot asks a question like that, I can actually understand where they’re coming from. Even the most glorious things in the world can grow tiresome with the routine of repetition. It’s why I don’t drink Bacardi and Coke anymore; my sixteen year old self wore it pretty thin for me. It’s why Joan Collins probably won’t get married again; she’s on husband number eight and she’s run out of somethings-blue. Well, the awesome thing about this website for me, is, every single place I write about …has to be exceptional and leave me feeling physically excited to spread the word. I spend a lot of time researching, digging, trawling social media feeds and chatting to people to unearth what we consider to be seriously cool little London places which you have to check out. The latest example of this is Hatch in Homerton. It’s no Bacardi-soaked Collins husband, that I can promise you.
It was a sunny Saturday morning when I popped along to London’s far East district to check out the place I’d heard tonnes about. For any non-cyclists, you’ll be relieved to hear that Hatch is a two minute walk from Homerton’s overground station. This means you won’t be faffing around with Citymapper trying to find it. Revolution!
Hatch is a place like no other. It’s an entire metropolis, all housed within one gloriously designed converted garage. The exterior was enough to give me lock-jaw; my mouth remained agape for a good while as I took it all in. It’s a facade made up of about forty recycled windows of various sizes, making your average breeze-block garage wall a thing of the past. The genius continues inside, as Hatch demonstrates the amount of different things one can do with a humble warehouse space.
Hatch is …an artisan cafe serving homemade foods which are simple and rustic, as well as lovingly ground barista-schmoozed coffees which are smoother than a late 80’s Simply Red track. We tried their ‘bacon sarny’, as it was described by Holly, the owner. What actually showed up was probably the sexiest ‘bacon sarny’ I’ve ever seen, with beef tomatoes, mayonnaise, bakery-fresh brown bread and smashed avocado. Our minds were also smashed by how freaking good it was.
Hatch is …an antique furniture retailer. See that seat? That side table? That 60’s bucket chair which you’re slumped into? Yeah, they’re for sale. Anything you see in Hatch with a parcel tag on it could be accompanying you home on the back of your single speed. You’ll feel like you’re walking into an East London issue of House Beautiful, if ever that existed. If it did, Hatch would make front cover.
Hatch is …also a barbers called Strop & Blade. Residing in the front corner of this quirky space, is a single vintage barbers chair, plus the barber himself, wielding a razor as if it’s a light saber, whilst chatting and charming the hell out of his obliging customers. It’s surrounded by shelves adorned with hair-upkeep-products and shavey bits and bobs, plus a ‘book exchange’ shelf, just …cos …y’know. Why not?
Hatch is …a shop, which sells carefully picked wares from local manufacturers and retailers. There are candles from local candle purveyor East Wick, ceramics by local companies including Kana and AR Ceramics, postcards by illustrators and artists and other trinkets and offerings. The stock for sale is constantly changing and being updated so you’ll never be short of new additions for your living space.
Hatch is …an office space. Working from home seemed like such an awesome idea when you were stuck in a central London job answering to Douchey Dominic in IT, but somehow it gets pretty lonely at times, right? Fear not. Get your smooth coffees, your furniture supplies and your hair snipping fixes at Hatch, whilst you work! They have a mezzanine desk space area for all you East London-based business folk who can’t stand not leaving the house all week until you’re walking the walls and talking to your toaster. Get out now! Head to Hatch! Talk to humans, not inanimate objects!
Hatch is …a Sri Lankan education in culture and cuisine, courtesy of the resident foodie team, Weligama – who operate from a super low-key marquee at the front of Hatch. They serve incredible, authentic dishes which you might not have heard of, but you must take a Sri Lankan leap of faith and get involved with. Trust us when we say you’ll have yourself a little far east holiday for half an hour as you lose yourself in these incredibly tasty, vibrant dishes.
Hatch is …a bar. I know. You’d think it couldn’t possibly be anything else, but this already-heavenly place serves BOOZE, London! They’ve spent, like, a lot of time pouring over (no pun intended) … (in fact, screw it, take the pun) …pouring over finding the best suppliers of London beverages possible, including Camden Brewery pints and Homerton locals Carpenter’s gin.
Hatch is …a juice bar. Well, kind of. It has healthy friends in all the right places. That place being, outside Hatch. There’s a sweet little juicing shack which goes by the name of Mae & Harvey. They dish out fresh cold presse offerings in cute little bottles with stripey straws and delectable ingredient combinations. We went for watermelon, cucumber, lime and basil, which hit the spot. Also, we had a carrot, orange, apple and ginger number which made us wish we were food-avoiding dieting freaks, so we could only drink this for the rest of our skinny lives.
Yeah, there’s more. Hatch is an events space, too. As if these guys haven’t already been spending most their lives living in a ganster’s paradise, they hold awesome events regularly, taking their cool score off the chart. They have indie film screenings here sometimes too.
We can’t keep up, Hatch. You’re all over this ‘cool little London places’ movement, which we’re massive fans of. We’re die-hard fans of yours and we’ll be back for your supper clubs and music events and lunchtime servings and boozey bar bonanzas. In fact, you’re SO many different things, why don’t you add ‘boarding house’ to your repertoire and we’ll come stay? We’ll start packing our bags.