24 November 2011

Coffee | Cycle | Saturday: New Faces & New Places...

I've fallen in love with cycling early on crisp winter mornings... they are the perfect weather setting for the darker months: cool & fresh air in your lungs, bright skies and a sense of peace and quiet all around you. 
You get to take in a bit more of this crazy-busy city when it's quiet - like being able to stop and take shots like this of the ever changing London Skyline & not be disturbed! The slight chill in the air is also a great opportunity to layer-up... and who says you have to wear drab colours in the winter? Me and my chosen Cycle Wardrobe for the day certainly didn't agree with that - inject colours into a cold day!
Headscarf: Tie Rack
Knitted Cardigan: Topshop
V-Neck Jumper: M&S
"LadyVélo" Name Necklace - Tatty Devine
Handbag: Vintage Mulberry
Tweed Shorts: Zara
Tights: John Lewis
Brogues: Topshop

Me and The Boy were greeted with such conditions last weekend, as we headed out for a long overdue CoffeeCycleSaturday. Fellow caffeine fiend & friend Simon cycled in from Surbiton to meet us, and we were joined by a new member of CCS - the lovely Jo Halstead of Vélos and Vagabonds

With a new route to explore and a new Coffee and Cake stop to visit, we had a busy day of cycling ahead of us. Before meeting up in Prufrock Coffee, I needed to take an bit of an unusual detour - I had to stop in Soho to pick up a new phone...
After being contacted by Nokia a couple of weeks ago via the blog, I was invited to their London HQ to collect a Lumia 800 to use, review & keep... yes, that's right - VCG is getting a bit more tech-savvy! I ended up being filmed throughout the morning about my experience, so keep an eye out just in case I turn up on the Nokia website! Filming and phone-fun done, we met up with Simon and Jo, fuelled up on Prufrock goodness and then made our way out of the City.

Our new route for this CCC was along Hertford Union Canal - a pleasant stretch of waterway in Tower Hamlets. I put my hand up and admit that I'd never even walked along Union Canal before, so it was interesting to check it out via bike. We were not the only cyclists who had the same idea on a lovely Saturday though...
Fantastic as it was seeing other riders out and about along the stretch, it was also a maneuvering-mash up trying to cycle along it! I wouldn't rule out seeing it by bike again as it's beautiful, but an advance warning to any others reading this thinking about doing it: be prepared for a lot of human and two-wheeled traffic! Coming off the towpath, we arrived at Victoria Park - another place in London that I haven't explored before on the Pashley... and haven't been to since I was a child.

There was certainly plenty of space for us all to cycle together for this part of the day. The Park was beautiful - autumn leaves scattered around, more happy people on bikes & lots of cute dogs to be spotted (Jo is also a lover of Sausage Dogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs like me...) so that brought lots of smiles to our faces!
After a leisurely and enjoyable cycle around the green spaces, we'd built up a suitable thirst and an appetite - perfect timing to ride over to our Coffee & Cake Stop for the afternoon!

A new one for the CCS team and for VCG - allow me to introduce you to Zealand Road Coffee. Located near to Roman Road Market, this is one of the newest Coffee Houses in East London & already has a firm local following...
With a relaxed atmosphere, it's an ideal place for cyclists to stop of and refuel - good coffee, sandwiches and of course damned good cakes are important to me ...
... ZRC certainly gets the Lady Vélo & CoffeeCycleSaturday seal of approval!

It was a wonderful day of Cycling and absolutely delightful to meet Jo. Another CCS is being planned around another part of London. Lets hope the crisp weather remains this way :)  

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