Maharaj and Co.

General Suppliers, Established 1888.

Large strips of scruffy Canadian pine cover the floor of the old warehouse. Sailors haul cargo from clippers, docked and resting after the tea run east. Accountants with clipboards (breaches pulled high, quills marking loosely) take stock, while dockhands scurry around in dusty rags, sweating.

Can you almost see them?

Now it’s a general store selling spice in sachets, three for a quid, the smell of Hessian lingering. Sacks of coriander, cumin, and aniseed. Dipping sauces, oils, and ghee, sweet and sour, £1.99 an ounce. Old tin faced scoops with wooden handles and brown bags, ready for a few ounces, a superb gravy of culture.

The bell rattles against the glass door, customers again.

It’s the most beautiful place on earth.

Even to browse.

Limehouse to Shadwell,
then a short walk to Wapping,
Marinara Sauce.