It’s a little-known area sandwiched in between London Fields, Shoreditch, Dalston and Hoxton, but East London’s Haggerston is one of South Hackney’s most characterful areas, bursting with cool little cafes, little-known East End boozers and beautiful green spaces.
Continuing our focus on East Village’s wealth of brilliant surrounding neighbourhoods, today we’re taking a look at this vibrant area and the reasons you should head down there to check it out for yourself.
All the best days begin with a good breakfast. Head over to Haggerston Espresso Room (HER) and get the day off to a good start with an Antipodean-style flat white and some sexy toast. Yes, you read that right: sexy toast is a HER speciality and frankly, it lives up to its name; thick slabs of sour dough toast, smothered in cream cheese, dripping in honey and dusted with cinnamon. The battered, mismatched chairs, piles of magazines and free Wi-Fi mean you can stay for hours, though you’ll have to squeeze in alongside the bespectacled freelancing hipsters and yummy mummies.
For a stroll in the park, most people head to hipster haven London Fields, but Green Flag-awarded Haggerston Park boasts a plusher carpet of grass and much nicer facilities, including a community orchard run by volunteers. Stretch your legs on the acres of greenery or spend a few hours whiling away an afternoon in the sunshine (sigh), before heading to the south-east corner of the park, where you’ll find Hackney City Farm. This city gem is a wonderful place to take kids or just grab a snack; take a tour of the fully functioning farm to learn about the pigs, chickens, hens, goats, donkey and rabbits and be sure to hit Frizzante cafe and restaurant, serving up homely, locally-sourced dishes.
After a wholesome trip to the farm, take a left (on a Sunday only) and you’ll find the wonderful Goldsmith Row Book Market. A relatively recent addition to the end of Broadway Market, there can be little better way to while away an hour, browsing through books from various punters (including Newham Bookshop) or sitting on the side of the pavement with a warming hot chocolate listening to the sounds of local musicians performing along the street. Further along the street, you’ll find Broadway Market; the market of choice for fashion-conscious foodies, this quaint little street is packed with tiny independent food and furniture stores, and comes to life on a Saturday when the streets are lined with market stalls hawking everything from Vietnamese weasel coffee to home-made brownies.
And if that wasn’t enough, Haggerston now has its very own giant Stik project on a wall. Proof, if nothing else, that this lovely little area has finally made it.