Every time I step out of my flat there seems to be a new cafe or shop opened up in the area to defy doom and gloominess.
We took Milo for his first cultural tour of Vyner Street's 'First Thursday' nights - where East London's galleries open their doors late and the area buzzes with hip young things (Milo being no exception). Vyner Street has long been crying out for a quirky little bar or restaurant and new Italian Ombra fills the gap perfectly.
Its six owners are a mix of architects, artists and an Italian chef, who has brought over the concept of Venetian tapas washed down with sundowners known as Spritz. The simple menu includes homemade pasta, fresh focaccia from the local bakery and hearty meat dishes. I loved the vintage cut-glass decanters for water and the reclaimed wooden furniture given a very contemporary makeover with paintbox bright gloss by artist Russell Bamber.
Just across the road is another newcomer Andor Bureau. Inside there's a slightly contrived mix of pared-back old furniture (artfully mismatched, of course) and bare walls dotted with artwork, but the place soon grew on me with its interesting menu, great coffee and plenty of events including weekly supper clubs and film nights (Lawrence of Arabia-themed dinner, anyone?).