What do you get when you mix a cafe, with a bar with a bicycle repair shop? That’s right, you heard me, what you get is look mum no hands! When I was in London my *sister kept telling me, ‘you have to come see look mum no hands! you have to come see it’. I won’t lie I did raise an eyebrow when she told me what it was, but she really did know best. Last time she was in NY I took her to the (now closed), Knit. A coffee shop that doubled as a yarn seller that offered knitting classes. I knew many knitters (as well as non-knitters) who would go there, hang out, talk shop and…well..knit. It was quite inspiring.
Outside LMNH – Bikes bikes n bikes!
Inside…strewn with banners and ribbon for Le Tour screenings??
I love ideas that cover a range of uses – it makes me feel like a smart multitasker (instead of someone with a huge to-do list that is only slowly being chipped away at), so the concept of bike repair and cafe definitely piqued my interest. Having opened earlier this year Look mum no hands is staffed with lovers of bike riding and coffee drinking. The bike workshop, away from prying eyes, has two mechanics on staff will fix your bike out of sight, while the cafe at the front serves up a mean menu of beverages and eats. It’s definitely a break from dropping off your bike then scouting around for some hole in the wall to grab a bite while you are temporarily rendered immobile.
But it doesn’t stop there, LMNH also screens films and cycle sport on their big projector screen and has an outdoor space for chill-laxing on those (sometimes) sunny London days. Excuse me!
I have to say I was quite impressed when I visited. There is bicycle and cycling paraphernalia all over the space – from bikes hanging on walls to helmets slung over vintage signs. It makes you smile and also makes it clear that the owners of this endeavour are passionate about what they like.
Our hot choc n cake
The eats are good grub! I ordered a flat white, my sister the hot chocolate and we shared a chocolate, banana and walnut cake ( I passed on the chocolate beetroot cake), and I can say without wavering that it was the BEST flat white I’ve had outside of Australia. Without fail. The lovely lady behind the counter kindly answered my questions about how the chocolate beetroot cake was made….moving me to totally want to take a crack at making it..(watch this space!). The staff was all super laid back, efficient and friendly – I felt so welcomed and so sad that I hadn’t chosen to pop by earlier so I could visit again and again and again.
At night, LMNH becomes a bar…I didn’t get a chance to sample their offerings in this incarnation, but will certainly be back in the future to check it out.
If you are in London, I highly recommend you pop by located at 49 Old Street London EC1V 9HX and open: Mon–Fri 07:30–22:00, Sat 09:00–22:00, Sun 10:00–22:00 its just a short walk from the Old St. train station.
The good grub on offer
It might surprise you. And you don’t have to be a cycling enthusiast to enjoy it – I can’t even ride a bike..(shhhh, i’ve been taking lessons), and I loved the sheer creativeness of it all, usefulness of the service offered and good quality eats they had on offer. It is clear that from kitchen to bike mechanic, everyone here loves what they do. Being surrounded by that sort of passion is infectious and makes you want to get out there and take a stab at that creative project you always mean to do. Let me know if you go!
Bikes lined up outside..ready for repair?
* adorable story..my sister told me that my lil nephew was scared to go to LMNH when he heard the name..because he thought they chopped of your hands there…now he’s learned the truth he LOVES it there!
images by ben brannan, polaroid by me, others by look mum no hands