When I was in London, Abby and I stumbled across Leila’s while checking out design stores in Shoreditch. Something about it called to us. And even though we had just finished an indulgent lunch, we decided to take a seat and be at Leila’s for a while.
It took a while to even figure out how to order. Who to order from. What to get. We ended up with ‘milky coffees’. Delicious and made me jittery with caffeine.
Leila’s feels like walking into a friend’s house. Where’s the cash register? Am I allowed in the kitchen? Do you work here or are you hanging out? I was shy about taking out the big camera in such an intimate space. I finally asked permission to take photos and was directed to Leila herself, sitting at the big communal table about 3 feet from me. She happily obliged and I tried my best to snap some pictures without looking like paparazzi.
The kitchen was right out in the open so you could see everything being prepared (like our milky coffees), it was so familiar and warm.
It was raining out and getting dark and I honestly could have stayed there all afternoon. Instead we left and discovered that Leila also runs a small grocery store right next door:
They cracked some cobnuts for us because we had no idea what they were. Still don’t. But they were delicious.
This was one of those afternoons that came out of nowhere and was one of the highlights of the trip. We were supposed to rush around seeing all kinds of things. Instead we sat and felt cozy and warm and, oddly, at home.