J+A Café in Clerkenwell is the kind of place where you sit down and inspired by the quaint courtyard outside and all the bunting, you write the premise to your social gentry novel on a napkin before chugging great coffee. They serve warm, hearty Irish food like homemade stew, freshly baked soda bread, seasonal quiche, and proper, brick-thick sandwiches with fresh relish. They aren’t the cheapest option in the area, but it’s worth it for access to their daily cakes with your pot of tea, and the knowledge that you’re eating great food in an old diamond-cutting factory.
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In a city of nine million people, it’s hard to keep a secret. These hidden patios, courtyards, and walled gardens are the closest we have.
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