A walk along Regent's Canal has many highlights - winding from the whoops of the monkeys in Regent's Park in the West through the mayhem of Camden in the North, you will eventually find yourself in East London. Home to Broadway Market and the magnificent (at least since the Olympics swung by) Victoria Park. But take a few steps back. There is less obvious treasure on the canal. Just by Whitmore Bridge (about halfway between Broadway and Angel), is the Towpath Cafe - an eatery, hewn out of four recesses in the wall.
Set up in 2010 by Lori de Mori, Towpath is always packed to the brim at the weekends - hipsters recovering from the night before, now yummy mummies regaling pre-infant conquests - East London in a recess. We had tried to come before, but had always failed to get a table.
So, with the sun shining one Sunday (albeit briefly as the rain has now returned) we set up stall and waited to see what all the fuss was about. The menu is varied - from standard brunch (sausage sandwiches) to full-on lunch plates (there was pork loin on the menu the day we went along). But we decided to keep it light - a sausage sandwich and a plate of Monk's Beard and Bottarga to share.
Two huge slabs of toasted sourdough encased wonderfully meaty sausages, drenched in homemade Tommy K - all sausage sandwiches should be like this.
But the real treat was the Monk's Beard and Bottarga. I have to confess, I had had neither of these ingredients before - Monk's Beard, a long thin leaf from the chicory family, with a season lasting only five weeks, and Bottarga, cured fish roe from Grey Mullet. Drenched in lemon juice and olive oil, we were meant to be sharing, but I almost wolfed the whole lot. A seriously tasty plate of food.
Along with excellent coffee and freshly squeezed juice, Towpath made for a delightful place to while away a Sunday morning. Small it certainly is, perfectly formed, perhaps.