The Canvas Cafe (E1)

The Christmas break feels just so far away and now we’re in that awful period where people choose to punish themselves for the excessive intake of food and alcohol. I never got that to be honest…why on earth, in one of the grimmest months of the year, one would make themselves even more miserable by quitting alcohol and food? This only makes depression look like a wolf luring over a herd of sheep… not sure this even makes sense but what I’m trying to convey is that balance is key in life in absolutely every aspect of it. Whether it’s our relationship with friends and colleagues, or with food and alcohol everything needs to be measured and enjoyed in moderation.

That’s why you need to stop punishing yourself, find an excuse to get out in the cold, and go enjoy a nice healthy brunch… but while you’re at it how about you also get injected with “happiness” too?!

Coming back to London from Cyprus was a big change (as it always is really)… but I came determined to cruise through 2017 as happy and as excited as possible. So there I was now on my daily commute to work, in a carriage in the jubilee line, holding my Timeout copy trying to motivate myself with plans inspired by the edit I was staring at. When I finally spotted it… the “Happiness cafe“… I have to admit it at first glance I thought “pffff what forced concept that is” but the more I was staring at my gloomy co-passengers and thinking of the prospect of another grey day in an office, I warmed up to it and decided to check it out.

So there we were, Robin and I, on a beautiful sunny Sunday walking our way through the old neighbourhoods of Shoreditch ending up at this tiny little cafe just off brick lane.

The place itself was quite basic, with that touch of “unpretentious” ambiance of edginess, plain rawness and a lot of wood. We managed to grab a seat by the window and although the door which was opening and closing every other minute would let the arctic cold to penetrate our bones, the view was very artistic, “Berlin-esque” as I’d call it.

The menu looked enticing… a lot of eggs, salads, and the casual; chia, almond milk and hemp ingredients you nowadays seek in every hipster breakfast place to ensure it meets your expectations.

As always eggs for me, and something containing bacon for Robin… whilst chewing passionately our not so pretty yet extremely tasty organic food we were realising more and more why this cafe was so “happy”.

Firstly, it definitely had to do with the staff… so friendly, cheerful and overly excited I thought they must have been extra to perform. And whilst i’m rather cynical I have to admit I really enjoyed the service, the little chats and the positive vibe the waiters had.
It made you forget you were amidst the deepest part of January and somewhere on a trip, somewhere happy, sunny and yummy.
To honour “veganuary” Robin even got one of those super instagram friendly “vegan freak-shakes” a lot of calories really masked with healthy ingredients like berries, dried fruit, a lot of almond milk etc. . . It looked very nice and definitely very cheerful as it made you feel like a kid. Or at least Robin did…

Once our little stomach’s were happy and our caffeine levels met, we stormed off at the back of the cafe, going through the tiny garden into the “happiness museum” which is hosted at the back of the restaurant. Yup, there’s a happiness museum…. it hosts a not so big ball pit for adult fun (not the sexual type) and things like a worry bin and a happy thought tree… it’s all very warm and fuzzy but definitely something borrowed from a scandinavian neighbour.

The overall experience was lovely and despite my cynicism this is place I’d highly recommend… feeling low? stop that veganuary and dry january and go have fun… you deserve it 🙂
HoursOpen today · 10am–6pm

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