I’ve heard the stories (butcher shops, hauntings, murders, executions). I’ve read the controversy (that the Blood Alley name originates with a tourism push in the 1970s). However, what I wasn’t prepared for was how gritty and eerie this place feels (even during the day).

A friend recommended I take a walk down the alley — not because of the myth/infamy, but because you can do an interesting wine tour amongst the foodie restaurants that line the alley and mews. Salt came highly recommended, as did the Judas Goat.

Surprisingly the feeling here is similar to the feeling I got while wandering the areas of London where Jack the Ripper prowled. The graffiti in the alley is grim and the people who hang out are not tourist types.

Instead, the housing in the alley looks rather rundown; in the past it was a homeless shelter and it’s now low income housing. This is strangely ironic: high end foodie restaurants on one side, and entrances to low income housing on the other.

In the end, I rather liked the alley because of this dichotomy… and chose to not eat / wine taste here because it seemed rather ostentatious and self-indulgent.