Queuing at Nathans for Jellied Eels

Everyone knows that what makes a Cockney a Cockney is to be born within the sound of the Bow bells from St. Mary-le-Bow. But some also say that to be a true Cockney, you should also be born “within the sound of a toothless gentleman wearing a flat cap and slurping a bowl of jellied eels”.

The jellied eel tradition is still very much alive in the East End where it all began. The eels were easy to capture in the Thames and easy to take to market as well. Gordon Ramsey called them “The most challenging dish to prepare.” Want to give it a go? If not, you’ll find them served up in pie and mash shops like Nathan’s: Pie and Eels, where Barking Road meets Green Street.

Wandering the streets with my dad after a West Ham game on Monday, we stopped to marvel at the crowd gathered outside of Nathan’s and the delicate white-haired ladies serving up the traditional Victorian-era grub. They plopped mountains of mash and pie on plates and poured over a liquor sauce which is made from the water that the eels are boiled in.

Have you been brave enough to try jellied eels? Have you grown up on them? What do you think? 

Here’s some photos I took the other day.

A traditional East End cook:

And a Gordon Ramsey take on eels…

Street Artist Don in the East End

Whilst I was wandering through the East End streets the other day, I came across three different pieces by street artist DON. Random tidbit of information – He once taught east end children at a local school how to mural a wall.

Here are the three shots I took the other day. I especially love the owl with all of its glorious details and colourful background.

Peering Out

The Banker

Owl by Don

Have you guys spotted any DON pieces around lately?
He’s just agreed to do an interview for the blog so you’ll be hearing from him in the coming weeks!

East End Street Art

When I returned to London a few weeks ago, I said one of the first things I wanted to do was to take my camera on a winding stroll through the streets of the East End.

Colour Collage

I love the vibrancy of the area, the colourful canvas walls and the creativity swiped through the grit and grime.


I love it for its diversity, its markets, its delicious food from around the world and its culture that seeps into every area of life.

Ebor Street

I love the East End for its enticing imperfections, its spray painted bricks, misspelled signs and Bengali script on some of the street names.

Nature Collage

There are quirky shops, charity shops, vintage shops, music shops, book shops, clothing shops and bakeries mingling around the market stalls of Brick Lane and too-trendy shops carrying on through Shoreditch.


I went with a friend this time, for the East London Design Show in Shoreditch Town Hall (anyone else go to that?) to check out the latest designers and get some Christmas gift ideas.

Please Wait Here

Found some interesting messages on the walls along the way. Anyone know what “Don’t kook my vagina” is supposed to mean in this one ^?


I also came across a few street artists I wasn’t so familiar with before who I’ve tried to contact for interviews so look forward to seeing some of those in the coming weeks/months.

I Heart War

Tower Hamlets has put together a nice little shopping guide for the borough here if anyone is interested.

The World The Way I Want It

One of my favourite East End blogs is Spitalfields Life. The content’s depth and the ability of “The Gentle Author” to get inside the heart of the area is impressive.


Do any of you hang out around the East End? What are your favourite and least favourite things about the area? Any hangouts or shop recommendations?


I’ll leave you with one last photograph of a Cosmo Sarson piece. I interviewed Cosmo not too long ago for the blog. Great guy. If you missed it, check it out here.

Bangladeshi Girl by Cosmo Sarson

Have a lovely week everyone!

Down in Deptford Market

Deptford Market is in a part of London I’ve never explored very well. While I sort out a job (help?) and a flat, I’m staying with my aunt and cousin in Plumstead which is nearby. My aunt took me out on a little adventure the other day that started with a walk through the L-shaped market of Deptford.

My favorite market goodie that we came across was this gigantic Jack Daniels lighter and equally massive cigarette:

Like all London markets, it was colorful and quirky. Deptford Market is full of bric-a-brac, shoes galore, locally-grown fruits and veg, cheap clothes, fresh fish, funky buttons and eccentric people. Just as a market should be.

When I was away from London for the last nearly 10 months, one aspect of London life I missed the most was the markets. They are where all life seems to unfold.

The market has an old-fashioned vibe to it with the cockney sellers shouting their wares. Super friendly vendors and no tourist knick knacks.

Stroll down the high street and you’ll find restaurants serving Indian, Vietnamese, West African, Chinese, Pakistani, Sri-Lankan, Cambodian and Turkish food.

And down miss the awesome pink building with the His & Hers chimneys!

Check it out on a Wednesday or Saturday then add your pics to the Flickr pool for a chance to be featured here.

Have you been to Deptford Market? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve found there? Would you recommend a visit? 

Malarky in the East End

One of the first things I’m going to do when I get back to London in January is to take my camera out and find all the latest street art I’m missing out on. Here’s a fresh piece from South London street artist Malarky in the East End, captured by Alex Ellison who always has his eyes on those fabulous East London walls.

Add your London photos to the Flickr pool for a chance to be featured on LLO.