After our expedition to Brick Lane and Colombia Road markets, Mlle and I were hanging out for a nice cup of tea. Mlle had somewhere in mind and we headed back in the direction of Shoreditch High Street. Down an unprepossessing side street, we came to our destination, 14 Bacon Street. I wouldn’t have gone down that street let alone go into the building if I hadn’t been with Mlle – it looked somewhat derelict to say the least and I really wondered where she was taking me! Above the entrance you could just about make out the name of an old business in faded writing. Most of the adjacent walls were daubed in graffiti. However there was a small sign pointing inside with “14 Bacon Street” written on it – Mlle seemed to know what she was doing so I followed along!
What a contrast from the exterior! Inside 14 Bacon Street (formerly called the Vintage Emporium) you will find a hip and trendy cafe/bar, which also doubles as a small music venue (opening hours Friday – Sunday 11.00 – 22.00). It is extremely popular and we were lucky to be able to get a table at all. Fortunately we found a small one tucked away near the stairs. The interior hasn’t been renovated as such but this adds to the character and charm. The furniture is in a cosy vintage style and with the small band playing it had a lovely convivial atmosphere. We had a welcome pot of one of their speciality teas accompanied by a large slice of berry teacake with cream cheese frosting. It was the sort of the place where we could have whiled away the whole afternoon and judging by the comings and goings a very popular meeting spot for locals.
The old vintage emporium is now housed downstairs and I had a quick browse around. There was a lot of vintage clothing with a particular emphasis on evening wear and accessories (am sure my granddaughters would have had a field day playing dress ups) and some quirky pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac. It was slightly spooky being down in the basement by myself especially when the toilet door (also housed down here) appeared to be vintage as well and for a couple of minutes I thought I’d be stuck there for posterity (yank the door hard to open if you ever go there!).
Cafe, bar and live music venue – 14 Bacon Street is definitely worth checking out if you’re visiting the Brick Lane area – it has a wonderful artistic vibe and feels like you’re stepping into a bygone era!
Copyright © 2016 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved