Sunday, July 12, 2009

A walk to Victoria Park Village, Hackney

It was a bright, sunny day when we went for a walk along the Regent's Canal to Victoria Park in search of lunch.

We also wanted to explore the area just to the north of the park, called Victoria Park Village, which adds a touch of dash to Hackney.

The green taxi outside the Royal Inn on the Park is nearly as colourful as the flower arrangement gracing the bar.

Further on from the Inn on the Park is the Fish House where you can enjoy a huge plate of fresh fish and real British chips complete with mushy peas.

They offer a more complete menu in the evening and they don’t mind if you order a child’s portion, which would have saved us from ourselves… And you can always ask for a glass of wine which isn’t featured on the small menu.

After lunch the tour continued where we saw the finishing touches being put to the brand new wine shop Bottle Apostle due to open imminently. Using the innovative Enomatic wine system the machine dispenses servings of wine on a pay-per-serving basis using special credit cards that can be charged in the shop. Each bottle can have a different price per serving, as well as different measures. The wine is kept in good drinking condition by injecting nitrogen (an inert gas) into the bottle in the same volume as that removed in each serving.

There will be a total of 32 different wines to taste at any one time and when we tracked down the manager, Tom Jarvis, at his ‘office’ in the Lauriston he was hard at work with all the last minute details as well as full of enthusiasm for his new venture.

We visited one last shop in Victoria Park Village, the Ginger Pig butcher and delicatessen. Their first butchery opened in Borough Market in the 1990s and they now own three more shops in London supplied by produce from their Yorkshire farm. We returned home with a pork hock chosen from a selection of well presented meat. Next time a Hackney rolled rib of beef?
This is another part of London which is exciting and interesting, and is approachable from both directions on the Regent’s canal.

I need say no more.

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