Albion and Avalon

My lunchtimes in Shoreditch often involve a wander to Conran’s Albion Cafe, where they do the most splendid double pack of sandwiches for only £4.50. Quite reasonable. One of these lunchtimes I plan to enjoy a proper sit down lunch, so watch out for that review in a future episode. The cafe is connected to a bakery, full of nostalgic English fair such as pickles and biscuits that remind you of teas spent round a wooden table in days when screens were a rare treat not a constant immersive experience. Well worth a wander.

Albion, the caff, is situated on the corner of Boundary (such a wonderful word) and Redchurch Streets. Redchurch Street is an up and coming street linking the trendy zones of Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Every time I walk down there some new gallery, boutique or coffee shop is opening and the foot traffic is constantly increasing. Since we’re looking for an area to buy in, it strikes me we could do well to look to these areas that exist between already popular areas – as the upswell of growth for new, interesting places amongst those on a tight budget makes sense. London house prices are ridiculous at the best of times, and right now are the most resilient in the country by a long way.

On Shoreditch High Street sits another shop called Avalon, and for some reason these words both caught by eye today. It turns out they have some commonality. Both begin with ‘A’ for a start. Both also refer to islands; Albion is the oldest known name for Britain, and Avalon is a mythical island from Arthurian legend – the place where Excalibur was forged and Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds. The actual location of Avalon is, like Atlantis (another island beginning with ‘A’), subject for some debate with some people believing that Glastonbury Tor could even be the correct location. Although not an island in the traditional sense, the Tor does rise from the landscape like an island.

So what does this all mean and why did my mind fix on those two island words today? I’m still hoping to find out. Answers on a postcard please to the usual address.

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