Before you even enter Unto This Last, there’s something disconcerting. It’s at the northern most end of Brick Lane; the bit that suddenly switches from the scrum of people hunting down bagels, coffee or beers, to a quiet and residential stretch on the other side of Bethnal Green Road. (Look out for the concrete basketball court on the approach and a big wooden chair floating among the trees. Unto This Last is underneath.)
Inside is a showroom full of chairs, tables, stools, benches and some smaller pieces of furniture and wooden objects. On one side is a giant glass wall, behind which is the faint presence of a man in protective goggles somewhere in a blur of dust and wooden shavings.
Unto This Last’s ‘open kitchen’ schtick has won it a lot of satisfied customers. It’s actually difficult not to be enchanted by the spectacle of furniture being made in a shop in the middle of east London by a combination of traditional hand-making skills and some clever manufacturing computer software.
230 Brick Lane, London E2 7EB