Coffee Price And Everything Nice- Canary Wharf Walk

Canary Wharf

If you think Canary Wharf is mainly plain grey, cold and very very corporate… then you are certainly right! Argh, I’ve never been a big fan of this place as what is there to like about that peculiar area which looks more like local Manhattan than the beautiful, charming England we all know and love?!

And as much as Manhattan can still be impressive in a way, Canary Wharf is simply soulless, transparent and absolutely terrifying. Or maybe it’s just myself but herds of identical humans in their corporate uniforms who eat their deliveroo dinners in the office scare the shit out of me! So does the ghost town the area becomes every weekend… it’s rather dreadful indeed!

Canary Wharf

Having been living in the neighbourhood for over half a year now, I’d still rather spend 10 minutes on the bus to Whitechapel and make it to my beloved Grounded each time I crave coffee. That’s mainly because while ordering my flat white I’m much more used to a warm smile and ‘hi darling how’s it going’ than automatic, robot-like ‘two sixty!’ slapped in my face.

However (yes, of course there was going to be a ‘however’!) since the last couple of weeks have been rather hectic and I didn’t really feel like going out at the weekend, I decided to put my prejudice aside and take time to actually discover what’s on my doorstep.

Canary Wharf

I spent the afternoon wandering around the highest buildings in the country but, exactly like over 100k bankers working there, they all look the same. A few square feet or green space here and there make it even more miserable with those suspicious pieces of art, little fountains and cranes all over the show to never let you forget what a marvellous, developing society we are.

Canary Wharf

I was less than impressed.

And then, all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of roof garden. You spot ferns and palm trees and the Bird of Paradise flowers. There are bamboo plants, too!

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

Someone plays the piano in the background and the sun decides to shine brighter then ever. Chinese tourists are about to master their perfect selfie smiles, a tired backpacker listens to music on the bench and a group of bubbly girlfriends indulge in their takeaway giggling hysterically every now and then.

Canary Wharf roof garden

Canary Wharf

Suddenly, my entire perspective changes. Unbelievable as it sounds, there’s actually some life going on there! And although the baristas downstairs don’t give a damn about greeting anyone, the coffee still tastes good. And if there was a prize for grumpiness, the staff at Franco Manca next door would be a strong competition, but hey, their pizza is still the best 10 quid dinner you can get in the town.

Canary Wharf pizza

And the interiors are super cool with oh-so insanely pretty floor tiles you want to post on your Insta straight away, no matter how cliche and last season it is.

Canary Wharf Franco Manca

Also, in spite of that ridiculously sterile and overpriced vibe of everything around, you can always count on more than affordable menu and a couple of sticky tables at the local Weatherspoon if that’s more to your taste, how very charming indeed!

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf has definitely gained a few points in my eyes and I did find a few places I quite enjoyed over there. Having said that, I still made it to Grounded in the end and was absolutely delighted to hear about my favourite barista’s holiday, to notice that the other one’s changed his beard style, to smile and wave at the next and happily explain to the their colleague why my hair’s not pink anymore.

What can I say? I still need people around- fun, genuine and friendly- to be my happy self. As, although I very much appreciate the clear pricing policy going on around the Isle of Dogs, it’s not quite ‘two sixty!’ what makes me feel at home.

  • Lucy Williams

    Great read & very funny! Canary Wharf is not my favourite place in London either! I’m so please you found a roof garden & a nice pizza restaurant. Love the two sixty comment, it getting like that everywhere now, such a shame!

    • I know!!! But it’s driving me crazy! I mean, being polite (I’m not even asking for ‘friendly’, simple ‘polite’ would do) doesn’t cost anything and so many people refuse to give it a try for some reason! Xx

  • Mo & Jo

    Great Photos of the city – and interesting tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Leslie Nichole

    I love finding places like this too. That is how it is downtown, everyone is so ride and uptight. The food is amazing though and you can tell the new restaurants and businesses though, because they greet you and are nice. Hah after a few years i am sure that’ll fade.

  • nottboringaccountant

    oh wow that building is amazing!

  • Rikki Singh

    Such a Nice Place and Images Also.. Thanks to share with us…..

  • Great photos.

  • Chloe

    Hi, I love the sculpture you have shown. I need to explore the roof garden.

  • maag

    OMG you kill me with the suspicious piece of art, I luv the coral and the sculptures lol…Everything so lush you will think you wee here in Florida…
    Cheers to your success,
    Maggie

    • Haha, I actually liked the one in that picture, there were many others which I wasn’t a fan of though 😉 Thanks for all the kindness Maggie! Xx

  • Michelle/cocowouldapprove.com

    Great article, that pizza looked amazing

  • It’s amazing how quickly things can change when we change our perspective. Glad you found some positives in a very stark location!

  • Kel

    haha
    is it bad that, coming from Yorkshire, I sorta imagined all of London was like this? ;p
    great photos though, it does seem like a surprisingly interesting and pretty area when you look for it! 😀

    • Oh dear, I’m not surprised, you have the most amazing, friendly people up there! Cheers for your kind words, nothing can beat the medieval cities though! Xx

  • Chelf Chelfdom

    Great post and amazing photography skills! I love your minimal vibe and I miss london so much

    • Thank you so much, it’s lovely to hear! Hope you come over soon! Xx

  • Lindsay St Alme

    Very funny, love you blog. Nice photos.

  • Wow great read! I have never explored Canary Wharf will do so this weekend! Thanks for the tips xx

    • Well, I’d say, avoid it if you can lol 😉 The roof garden is quite nice though 😉 Xx

  • Woah, I’ve been to Canary Wharf more times than I cared to but had no idea this existed! I’ll have to check it out 🙂

    Rosalie // rosaliegoes.co

  • Rio Sundown

    Very beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing!

  • nessymon

    It’s funny, I live in Lewisham and no, it wouldn’t be be favourite place, Canary Wharf is often somewhere I head to for a coffee or a quite getaway, when everyone who works there has left! It’s too uniform methinks!

    I do like the roof garden though

    http://nessymon.com/

    • I understand what you mean with the quiet vibe! Plus it’s super convenient on the DLR 😉 Xx

  • Britt K

    The food looked amazing! You’ve got some great photos here, thanks for sharing!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

  • Great post…. I love London and find it worth the trip just for a Franco Manca pizza…yum xo

  • Thank you so much Imogen, that’s really sweet of you! To be honest I didn’t realise how cold and unfriendly London can be before my trip to the north so now I know what you mean! As for your Canary Wharf visit… I think you’d be fine without it 😉 still, if you manage to make it there let me know your thoughts! Xx

  • [ Smiles ] I have never been to Canary Wharf; but I have to admit that it looks like a very interesting place!

  • Thank you so much! x

  • Thank you so much, that’s really lovely to hear! x

  • I know! At the end of the day “hello” with a friendly smile doesn’t cost a penny and makes such a difference to the whole experience! x

  • jen roberts

    Great read. Especially love your photography (and the name of your blog).
    Jen from http://www.yellowscarfandasuitcase.com

  • MAMA NEEDS CAKE

    I am from the states and I do have to say it looks beautiful ❤

  • Jessica Marinello Dunham

    I don’t know anything about this place but I enjoyed how you explained it so much I want to visit it just so I can agree with you.

  • i like all the photos, keep going.

  • Nice photos.

  • Who would have known there were so many hidden delights in what looks like such a souless place. I do not like London in general but I know it has a lot of hidden beauty

  • I agree, Canary Wharf is what I like to call a banker wankers paradise. But like you I had some work over there and was surprised to discover the beautiful garden in the middle of this soulless realm. It really does change your perspective but at the same time I still prefer to Whitechapel to Canary Wharf. It is cool that you got some insight into what it looks like at the weekend x

  • Never heard of the Canary Wharf, but I guess it is another add on to the London bucket list! Looks like a great place.
    And don’t you hate it when hospitality staff is grumpy ass?! I do! 😉 At least they could ‘act’ they would be happy

    • Totally agree, at the end of the day customer service is what they’re paid for! x