The East London Borough of Hackney has got so much to offer. Here are our top picks of where to spend a great day out in Hackney for eating, drinking, shopping and leisure!
Start your day with a swim at the lido in London Fields. It’s recently had a revamp and we can’t think of a better way to start a day than by swimming in the open air. It’s a heated, 50m Olympic size pool that’s open all year round. You’ll feel like you’re on holiday if it’s sunny, and feel very smug and hardy for braving it if it’s not. It’s suitable for all weathers and it’s an invigorating experience come rain or shine.
Location: London Fields West Side, Hackney, London, E8 3EU
After a swim head to cool café Palm Vaults - one of the prettiest cafés in London. Palm prints, neon lights and a candy pink and pale green palette make this an oasis. It’s dog-friendly and there are always vegetarian options available on the menu. They don't take reservations and have a no laptop policy. The 'red velvet latte' is our favourite drink - made with Allpress espresso, freshly juiced beetroot, cacao, agave, vanilla and steamed coconut milk. It’s heaven. And the takeaway cups are super cute too.
Location: 411 Mare Street, Hackney, London, E8 1HY
With your takeaway coffee, stroll and browse the shopping street of Broadway market, which is open every Saturday. With over 135 stalls to peruse, there’s a huge variety of amazing street food stalls, fresh produce and wares from talented local designers. There are also lots of shops, bars and pubs lining each side of the street. If you get thirsty for a pint, we recommend the 'Dove' or 'Cat and Mutton'.
Location: Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Stop by Paper Dress to check out their amazing collection of vintage clothing sourced from the 1900-80s. Their ethos is that there is an era for every body shape and the staff will help you find the right one for you! The team offer an alteration service and the boutique is available to host events and parties too. Paper Dress isn’t just a boutique – they have a bar with a 3 am license, a new garden expansion and a yoga studio next door too.
Location: 352a Mare Street, E8 1HR
For a late lunch or slice of tea and cake, head to Black Cat, a laid-back, bohemian café serving all things vegan. It’s all delicious (whether you're vegan or not) - try the vegan fish and chips or a vegan sausage roll to prove it. For a cake, try a slice of the raspberry sponge. They also serve Zapatista coffee, a selection of to-die-for milkshakes and it also operates a BYOB policy. Their menu offers up exciting specials and a core menu of tofu, veggie salads, curries and sandwiches. NB: Black Cat is closed on Tuesdays.
Location: 76A Clarence Rd, London E5 8HB
For a bit of afternoon fun, go to Junkyard Golf Club on Brick Lane. It has four themed 'Crazy Golf' courses to choose from and is set in a club-style atmosphere. Think dark corners with neon lights and weird and wonderful cocktails as you putt your way around the nine-hole course. We tried the movie-themed course (Bruce) and loved the references to Jaws, Jurassic Park and ‘Jabba the putt’. Note: Book in advance.
Location: Dray walk, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
For early evening drinks and dinner on the canal, head to creative space Grow. They describe it very aptly as a space for music, art, food, conversation, community and belonging. They collaborate with local artists, musicians, DJs and community groups to provide a unique experience. Food is headed up by Slow Fire London. They specialise in BBQ with meat from Smithfields Market but also create carefully crafted vegetarian and vegan dishes too.
Location: Grow, Hackney, 98C Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5LN