Leila’s in London

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.

Loved the modern green stools with the farmhouse table. And loved how people kept coming in and out and sitting with Leila-employees? friends? Who knows.

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.

15 Responses to “Leila’s in London”

  1. Glen says:

    What a wonderful vignette! Such a charming story, and excellent images I’m glad she didn’t mind the camera.

  2. It looks so cozy! I love rustic.

  3. Leila’s is so great – but it’s true, sometimes it’s confusing, but not in a bad/hostile way?!

    Cobnuts used to be found easily many years ago (I think they’re a type of hazelnut?) but apparently they stopped selling them because they have a kind of musty smell and when supermarkets became the norm they didn’t want them musty-ing up their aisles. But in the last few years they’ve made a comeback at farmers’ markets – I think all the cobnut trees/plants are in Kent now. I love them and you can buy a whole box for £1 often…

  4. laure says:

    claire–I thought they must be related to hazelnuts! they were delicious. and yes leila’s wasn’t confusing in a bad or hostile way, just in a way that they approach the space so differently from anywhere else. It’s so charming!

  5. [...] This reminds me so much of Muriel’s Kitchen in London (more details tomorrow!), and looks equally adorable: Leila’s in London [...]

  6. This looks like my kind of place! Thanks for sharing this gem, look forward to going there.

  7. umithepumi says:

    Lovely place, like being at home.

  8. kate says:

    A friend took me here when I was in London and it was definitely one of my favorite memories of my trip! I had muesli and the milk tasted like it was straight from the cow.

  9. Emily says:

    Looks like a little piece of paradise- for us cozy-lovers. And yes, those green stools are amazing! Thanks for the inspiration….

  10. I love those green stools. I’ve never seen anything like them. I wonder if they are custom – made or recycled from something else??

  11. laure says:

    Kate–I can’t believe we just happened upon it! It made my trip.

  12. So fantastic and cozy. The green stools are perfect.

  13. Leila’s is amazing! Next time you go try their fried eggs with sage. Delicious!!

  14. Alex says:

    My friend, Russian artist Irina Zatulovskaya painted a window art (and plates and other stuff) for Leila’s opening. See the slideshow at http://www.zatulovskaya.net/Projects/Kino_leila.html

  15. [...] This reminds me so much of Muriel’s Kitchen in London (more details tomorrow!), and looks equally adorable: Leila’s in London [...]

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