This one’s a little bit different.
It’s something of a surprise to find a working farm between a Cross Rail building site and a car pound, deep in the heart of Tower Hamlets.
It’s even more of a surprise to find a great little café there, not to mention the only Farmers’ Market in London that can lay claim to actually being located in a farm and selling goods farmed on site.*
So I’ll cut to the chase: the One Good Reason to travel East along Commercial Road, past the Lahore Kebab House and various delightful shopping outlets such as ‘Nouv Elle’, and then up a bit, is Stepney City Farm. There you can find proper coffee, proper tea in china cups and proper soups, stews and quiches made from produce grown on the (proper) farm.
Perhaps more importantly, you can also find a handful of goats, sheep, geese, chickens, cows, quails and owls, all of which you can watch, coo over, pet, feed, and then return a few months later to buy a piece of them to cook at home (apart from the owls).
Stepney City Farm really is charming. It’s a proper oasis between the City and Wharf and, let’s be honest, is in an area in central London that most of us choose to ignore. The farm is run as a charity and serves as a hub for the local community. Their market started just a few weeks ago and is apparently already buzzing. Much of the work is done by volunteers, and all proceeds from the café, and the meat and produce they and the market sell, go back into the farm to ensure it’s sustainable.
If you ache for a little glimpse of the good life, have young children, can influence your Corporate community volunteer thingy, or just fancy one of the more unusual urban experiences London has to offer, I heartily recommend a visit.
Goats, coffee and brownies. What more could you want?
Stepney, Stepney Way, E1 3DG
One Good Reason
Stepney City Farm. Goats, geese and very reasonably priced hot drinks, locally made cold drinks, light lunches and cakes. Check the website for times.
* I’m pretty certain Stepney is the only city farm that hosts a regular farmers’ market and have checked the other farms I’m aware of. Would be delighted to be told otherwise.