My friend Bee took me to a super cool café off Brick Lane a few weeks ago. We were looking for a caffeine hit to help us postpone the ‘drop’ (in the old phrase “shop ‘til you drop!”). Café 1001 has an ideal location, being right in the middle of the market hubbub but up a private road (Dray Walk) so you don’t have to battle to get in. Dray Walk is lined with picnic benches and rich with the flavours of the café’s street barbeque. Bee and I are vegetarian but we’re still allowed to smell the burgers!
Inside, the huge space (double height with floor-to-ceiling windows) is industrial and airy but still cosy and comfortable. It feels authentic and evolved, as though it’s naturally found its style over many years. Upstairs, you’ll find a darker mezzanine floor with American diner-style booths, cushioned corner banquettes old, leather armchairs and a book orphanage – perfect for a quiet catch-up or read. We tucked ourselves into a booth overlooking the café for trendy people (and yummy cake) watching.
I hear that the café opens as an electro club in the evenings. If I’m ever still out of bed after 10pm I might find out one day!
Dray Walk off Brick Lane, The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL
Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street, Aldgate East