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Two great cafes & lots of inspiration in Covent Garden

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Ahhhh, I had such good fun in Covent Garden the other day. Coming from a place where Paris Grey and stripped back oak still rule, it was a real riot of colour and energy and inspiration.

I took some random pics of cool stuff I saw, just to give a snapshot of the place on a March morning, but I did go to two lovely cafes that are worth telling you about if you’re in the area and looking for a pitstop.

Below is Canela, a Portugese/Brazilian cafe/restaurant on Earlham St (close to the Donmar and the Cambridge Theatre where Matilda is currently on).

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It’s a chic, minimalist-ish interior with plenty of ceiling height and dark wood, with seating outside for people-watching on a fine day. I didn’t eat here, but my friend Laura, an immensely talented interiors guru who is quietly taking over the world (I’ll let you know when her magazine launches in September) is a regular here and she recommends – well, the entire cake counter.

Then there was lunch at Mishkin’s. A little piece of New York, landed slap bang in Catherine St,  it’s literally a hop and skip from the main shopping area.

Save yourself the New York airfare. Mishkins Jewish diner, in Catherine St

Save yourself the New York airfare. Mishkin’s diner in Catherine St

The Mishkin flat white

The Mishkin’s flat white with tin can cutlery holder and ‘authentic’ salt shaker in background

Mishkin’s does the whole ‘diner’ thing to the max, with cheap salt and pepper pots, lots of exposed brick, Formica tables, padded booths. The staff were lovely and smiley, and service was efficient and friendly, excepting one beautiful waitress who was obviously a model and bored out of her wits waiting tables.

I’m no expert on Jewish food (it’s not kosher by the way) so went for the Chicken matzo ball soup (£6) and then – God, I’m embarrassed to say this – the smoked salmon bagel with soft boiled egg (£8). So unadventurous of me, but what can I say, I love them, and it beat the usual cafe versions hands down.

The booths

The booths

I really liked Mishkin’s. Trendy but not achingly so with a kind of deliberate anti-ostentation that I don’t usually associate with Covent Garden. The food was great for what it was, and not overly expensive for London. Again, there are a few road-side tables if you want to sit out. It pitches itself as ‘a kind of Jewish deli with cocktails’ and I can well imagine a couple of sneaky cocktails and nibbles after a day’s hard shopping.

Then it was out and about, snapping away at anything that took my eye. Loads of amazing shop displays. Below is: Kate Spade; Muji; Camper; Orla Kiely; and SNOG.

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I only scratched the surface and frankly could have stayed all night. But I had a welcome taste of London and am even more inspired about scouting the amazing new local places that are popping up in the Muddy Stilettos Awards. If you’re unique, different, brilliant – I’m coming to find you!

Canela, 33 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LS. Tel: 020 7240 6926

Mishkins, 25 Catherine St, London, WC2B 5JS. Tel: 0207 2402078.





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