Sarah Thum-Bonanno returns with the second post in her series of great places to live in London. This week – Hackney.
East London is THE cool place to be right now. If you love art, music and food, this is the place to be. For these reasons, it’s become a popular place for graduates and professionals. I lived in Hackney for a few years and here are some of my favourite places.
Broadway Market comes to life every Saturday between 9am and 5pm. It is a fun place to wander around, mouth-watering. The food products are very good quality but quite expensive; expect to pay a minimum of £5 for lunch. You could always save yourself some money and just buy a cake to enjoy in London Fields park (see below)…
Just north of Broadway Market is London Fields park, a busy green space in the summer and also the home of London Fields Lido, an outdoor heated pool. At this point I must confess I never went swimming here but friends highly recommend it. The park itself has lots of green space for running and sports, and is fringed by some very nice pubs.
There are some good restaurants in Hackney. My two favourites:
- Lardo — Italian restaurant with a wood-burning pizza ovens. Their pizzas are much more exciting than the typical tomato sauce + cheese + meat combos. And the burrata anti pasta is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Have a look at some food porn (SFW, but not safe if you are hungry)
- Tre Viet — delicious Vietnamese food. The char-grilled quail is fantastic, as are the salads (and everything else to be honest)
There’s also an interesting café and shop at Unpackaged, just remember to bring your own packaging! Seriously – it is a supermarket that sells everything without packaging, so bring your own boxes/jars, or at least trousers with really big pockets.
And if you need freshly baked bread when Broadway market isn’t open, the E5 Bakehouse produces some of the best sourdough in London. The bread may be baked in a railway arch, but don’t let that put you off!
Although Hackney does not have an underground station, there are quite good transport connections with Hackney Central overground and plenty of buses. I spent many hours on the Route 38 and I was informed by a bus driver there is a number 38 bus every 90 seconds! Pretty impressive (and totally believable). The 38 goes through Islington, Holborn, the West End and terminates at Victoria, so should be useful for most journeys. If you do need the tube, Bethnal Green underground station is ten minutes away by bus.
So is Hackney the coolest place to live in London? Maybe. And with the fantastic food, culture and outside space available, it’s easy to see why.
Tempted by Sarah’s post? Have a quick browse of all the properties available to rent in Hackney on Find Properly.