East London Food & Culture

All You Read is Love. Really.

It's a hard-working multi-use space. But one that's perfect at pretty much any time of day, from coffee to cocktails, says Miranda Eason
Coffee, cakes - and books. Photo: AYRIL
Coffee, cakes – and books. Photo: AYRIL

What do you get when you cross a bookshop, a café and a bar with a free-to-use co-working space for freelancers, jobseekers, artists and people who are going stir-crazy working from home?

Why, All You Read Is Love, that’s what, a multi-use space at the Green Man roundabout end of High Road Leytonstone, run by Danish siblings Anders and Karen. It’s so ace it’s making us feel sad that we’re currently working 9 to 5 out of an office in north London.

Thankfully it’s open until late on a Friday – and until 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays – so we can still get our fix of cakes, cocktails, craft beer and a carefully selected edit of literature. Phew.

It’s quite hard to know where to begin with a review of AYRIL as there’s so much to talk about. For starters there are the books by the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami, Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth, plus graphic novels, poetry and children’s picture books, as well as a selection of secondhand novels.


Then there’s the food: sandwiches packed with smoked salmon and dill, ham and mature cheddar, and hummus with sundried tomatoes, plus a range of tempting sweet treats including millionaire’s shortbread tart (which we didn’t even know was a thing, but we’re now very much on board).

Exterior. Photo: AYRIL.
Exterior. Photo: AYRIL.

To wash it down there’s excellent coffee, which uses Moorland roasters Charlie Mills, or tea – in fact, everything from builder’s to dandelion and burdock. And, if you’re in the mood, there’s wine by the glass or bottle including an Argentinian Malbec and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, not forgetting the obligatory craft beers from the Wild Card Brewery, Mikkeller and Brewdog. And cocktails, one of which is a Bloody Mary (we’ve had a decent negroni too).

Décor-wise it’s salvage chic to the max. Of course it is: the walls, floor and ceiling are all completely stripped back (seriously, look up, there’s no plaster above you). The furniture is mismatched, as is the vintage crockery and, forget fancy lighting, fairy lights are strung up around the place. The overall effect is warm and cosy, making it very easy to while an hour or more.

Portfolio Space is the co-working bit at the back for use Tuesday through Friday, with no pressure to buy anything while you work, although you’d be hard pressed not to. Originally scheduled to be open until March, All You Read Is Love is now set to be in place until July, which makes us very happy indeed.

Find All You Read Is Love at 877 High Road Leytonstone, E11 1HR. Open Tuesday & Wednesday 10am – 7pm, Thursday – Sunday 10am-10pm. Follow @allyoureadlove

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4 thoughts on “All You Read is Love. Really.”

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