I took 4000 pictures a week ago when visiting London. 4000! I had to go and buy an extra memory card because the ones I had with me were full. It was a sunny week and the weather could not have been better for shooting for the Tripsteri London book, and I was very happy to visit Hackney for the first time as the author lives there. So I thought that I would add a few pictures and recommendations from there as a little treat on this rainy Sunday.
Hackney is in East London, and it is a recently (within past 5-10 years) gentrified old labor neighborhood. Today, Hackney is lively with bars, restaurants and record shops..co-working spaces and all that. However, I can still see that England village charm in it that makes London the collection of little towns as it is. Just stroll down through Broadway Market to the riverside, and you will get a perfect picture what Hackney is about.
There are a few really good places for wine in Hackney: P Franco, Legs wine bar and recently opened Bright. Nature wine is the thing on these hoods, and you can find some really interesting stuff from the by the glass list: small producers and small batches, unfiltered sparklings and wines from less known countries. I think Greek wine is hot right now. We are at least very into it. Most of the restaurants also sell bottles to go, P Franco for example. And there is Noble Wine and Liquor right on the Broadway Market Street. Its a bit pricey, but a lovely place to browse. Specialty coffee is available at Climpson & Sons.
Bright is more of a restaurant, and I can truly recommend their kitchen. Simple European bistro fare: delicious tomato salad, charcuterie and some more interesting bar food dishes like Japanese sandwiches. The (open) kitchen really know what they are doing. For restaurants, there was also a really good looking meat shop on Broadway Market serving food. I cannot remember the name, but walk down the street and you cannot miss it.
Hackney is a bit tricky to get to from Central London: best way is to take the central line to Bentham Green and walk. There are also buses, but my God, those can take forever during rush hour. But if you decide to take the time, I promise you will not be sorry.