Pleasure of Visiting Caravanserai « Canning Town Caravanserai

Pleasure of Visiting Caravanserai

This past Thursday, September 24th, I had the pleasure of visiting Caravanserai with my English class. I was originally unsure of what a placed named “Caravanserai”, would entail and was worried I would soon be trapped in a never ending maze of hipsters pushing healing crystals, dream catchers, and gently used polaroid cameras. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that Caravanserai is an amazing, welcoming, and eco friendly community spaced nestled in Canning Town. Situated amongst the fast developing high rises, Caravanserai provides a relaxing oasis from bustling London where visitors can take a moment to enjoy the company of family, friends, and even strangers. Che, a volunteer at Caravanserai, graciously gave my class a tour of the space and explained Caravanserai construction and its functions within the surrounding community. Unfortunately, due to the size and timing constraints of the class, we were not able to see the Caravanserai in action. It is not hard to picture, however, local community members tending their gardens, selling their wares in small shop spaces provided, laughing and dining around “the longest table in London”, or socializing in and around the many other areas at Caravanserai. After Che’s tour, we had some delicious sweet bread and fresh mint tea from the Oasis Cafe, which many people declared was the best mint tea they had ever had. Sitting in one of the comfortable recycled chairs munching on my sweet bread, I was startled when I heard a car drive by on the road next to the Caravanserai. It was certainly not due to the infrequency of cars, as the road is quite substantial and busy, I soon realized that the Caravanserai is an experience that almost completely removes you from the city. I had begun to picture I was in an oasis in the middle of a, surprisingly chilly, desert, which is only half true. While certainly not in a desert, Caravanserai is definitely an oasis from the city that I would highly recommend anyone to visit. Whether to spend time with friends and family, get some amazingly fresh and delicious food from the Oasis Cafe, purchase some goods from local community members, or simply escape the city, Caravanserai will undoubtedly welcome anyone and everyone with open arms and a smile.


Isabel Bickford