My new job is nestled between Old Street Station- a part of trendy Shoreditch known as the 'Silicon Roundabout', and Bank Station- an area known for suited and booted city workers marching their way to swanky law and finance offices. Deciding which way to walk when I've finished work can be like deciding between two worlds.
I'd spent a little bit of time in Shoreditch before taking this job, but not in Old Street or looking under the surface. Shoreditch to me, on the surface, can come across as a little bit try-hard and gaudy- like people are doing things just because they're 'cool' or boundary pushing. However, I have totally fallen in love with Old Street and the undercurrent of the area.
The vibe of Old Street to me is one of subtle creativity where anything goes. It's truly accepting of all types, including those without skinny jeans and beards. The area is known as the Silicon roundabout for the sheer quantity of tech start ups in the area- and you can really feel it. It's an amazing combination of looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg with the graininess of East London. It still has a lot of homeless people, and a real hipster vibe- anti-establishment. Even the local construction site is labelled 'White Collar Factory'.
This Friday I decided to go out and get some lunch and have a wander. I am usually in such a rush to get to work that I don't get a chance to enjoy what the area has to offer. I started off at the station. Old Street Station has a plethora of pop up shops and interesting food. I went to the French Connection pop up shop and promptly fell in love with all of it. You can tell a huge amount about an area from local cafe signs. Cafes in the City promise posh salads that fit in with the 5:2 diet and can be served in under 30 seconds. Cafes in Old Street take bitcoin, handroast their own organic granola and have enough space for people to work on their macbooks.
Once I'd finished wandering and photographing, feeling accepted and hungry, I went to Pod. I'd never been before, but I kept looking at it. Since I started my job I've been a bit lazy with healthy food- favouring convenience and longer on the sofa! I got an energiser salad with chicken- quinoa, mint, kale, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and chicken with a lemon dressing and pomegranate seeds. It was soooo yummy. Super filling and energising- just a little bit too much mint for my liking.
As I am a sucker for middle eastern food, I also got a little protein pot of hummus and falafel with sunflower seeds- and it was hands down the best hummus I'd ever had. I didn't think it would be that filling, but it was. I also found it kept me full for a long time and I didn't succum to the constant stream of biscuits that are so common in an office environment. I will definitely be going back.
I usually eat lunch at my desk so it was lovely to get outside and get some headspace. All in all a lovely break!