Home Beer Look mum no hands! Clerkenwell

Look mum no hands! Clerkenwell

by Krista

Look mum no hands

Look mum no hands!
49 Old Street
London EC1V 9HX

Date of Last Visit: Monday, 28 June 2010

The Victim: @leeturnerconn

The Damage: £6 each

The Background: Maybe it's the sunshine. Or maybe it's just Clerkenwell. I am in LOVE with London at the moment. And Clerkenwell in particular. Is it the red brick? The warehouses? The "new" Waitrose on St. John Street? Vinoteca? St. John? All these things?  I don't know.

But I do know that I'm in love with Look Mum No Hands.

Because you see, when I lived in Chicago, I used to ride my bike EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, I also used to get my bike stolen a lot. (Don't ever believe Kryptonite when they tell you its theft-proof.) One set of thieves were particularly horrible. They gradually stripped my (3rd or 4th) bike down, one item at a time. (I always locked it up in front of my apartment building. Well. With many locks.) First, they took my odometer. Then, they took all the reflectors. (Is there a black market in reflectors? Is there?) Then there was the seat, which I had stupidly not removed before heading in for the night. And after I had replaced the odometer, the reflectors, AND the seat, they took the front wheel. And after I replaced that, they took everything. Everything.

I brought my (new) bike with me to London.

And in six years, I've ridden it ONCE.

Because I'm a scaredy-cat. Seriously. My perception after one failed outing from Tower Bridge to Greenwich is that London is not a relaxing city to bike in.

Look mum no hands facing counter

One of the things I often say about moving back to the States–and Chicago in particular–is that I can't wait to ride my bike EVERYWHERE. (I kinda want one of those cool retro bikes and a cape to do it in. Thank God I don't like animals because if I did, I'd also subject the poor thing to riding in my wicker basket.)

My point in telling you all this is that Look Mum No Hands is a bikers' cafe. And boy are bikers nice. The staff here were so amazingly cheerful and pleasant and helpful and  sweet…they could teach many a high-end restaurant a thing or two. (Cara has already hinted at the oddness of the maitre'd at Bruno Loubet over here.)

Look mum no hands window bar 
Look Mum No Hands! strikes me as the perfect place to go on a Saturday morning and hang out. And you know what they have? They have free wifi. Of course they do! (The other night, I had dinner at Bodeans in Tower Hill, and I asked the server if they had free wifi. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. But after 2.5 weeks in the Middle East, where every server seemed to ask "Would you like some wifi to go with your meal?" I can't stop asking. Hey, I have an iPhone. But it doesn't always get reception. Like when you're in the basement of Bodeans Tower Hill.)

Look mum no hands salad plate 
Look Mum No Hands has SALADS. Multiple types. A small salad plate will cost you £4.50. This, IMHO, is a very good value. Needed a bit of salt or a zesty dressing, but all in all, we felt quite virtuous. Even though we weren't riding bikes.

The Verdict: Go. Save me a seat. Maybe I'll even ride my bike there. But please let's hope they don't become too cool for school. Stay sweet!

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Rich June 28, 2010 - 10:11 pm

It’s not entirely veggie though is it?

Bikes in London, officially a good thing… get why you might be a little tense, but it’s getting better (and no Boris, you can’t take credit for it). There are some wonderful cycle routes that manage to avoid the traffic, I’d particularly recommend routes 4 and 22 (partly cos they’re useful to me, and partly cos they’re really pretty – especially the bit of the 4 that goes round Greenland Dock. Grab a map from the bike shop next time you’re there!


Kanga_Rue June 28, 2010 - 11:05 pm

Ooh, I want to go!

Sasha @ The Happiness Project London June 29, 2010 - 9:40 am

Looks fab! I have an old fashioned ladies bike which makes you cycle with upright back, AND a wicker basket – love it love it – although means i cant go very fast 🙂

This place looks great. Having lived in France and Belgium where salads are great – big and exciting and filling – its good to find a place which does interesting ones here, rather than the usual caesar which makes you wish you went for the burger…

LOVE your reviews!

Sasha x

Nicole June 29, 2010 - 11:16 am

I am another American in London and I would not dream of cycling here. I too am a big scardey cat. I live right by Tower bridge and I have seen way too many mishaps.

Gourmet Chick June 29, 2010 - 9:39 pm

I am in love with London at the moment too – I think it is very much the sun, and maybe the strawberries at Waitrose! Love the name of this cafe as well. Oh and finally, congrats on 6 years – amazing.

Winesleuth.wordpress.com July 7, 2010 - 8:39 am

Oh Krista, you big scardey cat! Don’t be afraid, embrace the mayhem that is the London streets, go with the (traffic) flow and you’ll be fine. Just ALWAYS give way to the buses, esp the bendy buses, black cabs, white vans and mack trucks and any other vehicular traffic 🙂
ps. if you feel like visiting another bike cafe, bike to the Towpath cafe on the Regents Canal in Dalston.

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