With a slew of restaurants and hotels opening to feed the hungry hipsters, much of East London has become more common than cool. That is, unless you go a bit further east, past Shoreditch, and deeper into Hackney—an area that’s less polished and hasn’t lost that gritty, up-and-coming appeal. Here you’ll find locals (albeit stylish locals) picking up a morning coffee or meeting friends at a market—because while New Yorkers do brunch, Londoners do markets. And with so many cool weekend markets, selling everything from fresh produce to vintage goods, it’s no surprise. Want to get in on the weekend action? Here’s how to spend the perfect weekend in Hackney.
Today you’re heading to Broadway Market—just make sure you arrive hungry. On Saturdays, the street springs to life with around 40 stalls selling everything from fresh produce to artisan breads and cheeses. Among the delicious produce and mouthwatering meals, you’ll also find vintage clothing and creations by local designers.
If you’ve planned cleverly, you’ll get to the market early, before all the hipster hoards arrive, which means you’ll need a pick-me-up. Climpson and Sons, renowned artisan coffee roasters, have a café conveniently located on Broadway Market. Once you’ve got your coffee, pick up a cupcake or éclair from Violet Bakery, an East London institution, owned by pastry chef Claire Ptak, and get shopping. Stroll along the street browsing the stalls and stand-alone shops, open throughout the week as well. Donlon Books, which could almost be mistaken for the bookstore in the movie Notting Hill, stocks an assortment of cool books.
When Broadway Market gets busy and you have to start elbowing people at the cheese stand for a sample of brie, make your way to the smaller, more low-key Netil Market—about a four-minute walk away. Vintage items, homewares, artwork, and food and drink stalls await at this cozy market. Get into the Saturday afternoon spirit and grab a craft beer from Plato Brewing Supplies or an inventive cocktail from Terrone & Co.
It’s Sunday, which means you need to make your way to Columbia Road Flower Market—an authentic market that’s been around for years. And by that, we mean a market that wasn’t created to feed the burgeoning market trend. Many of the sellers are second- or third-generation family flower traders. For them, selling flowers isn’t a hobby; it’s a career. So don’t be surprised when you hear the traders giving their products the hard sell—strolling through the flower stands and listening to the traders drive a bargain is entertaining, if nothing else.
Grab some java from the Climpson and Sons coffee stand near the market (they really do make good coffee), but hold out for lunch. If you get snack-ish, pick up one of the bacon buns (sold only on Sundays) from the side entrance of the Marksman Public House—where you’ll have lunch, too. While you’re there, ask them to hold a table for you if you didn’t book in advance, so you can continue to browse the market.
Before you even open the menu at the Marksman, order the beef and barley buns. There are so many compelling food options on the menu that we’d hate for you to miss out on this Marksman staple that keeps Londoners coming back for more. One of the newest additions to the area, the restaurant, by chefs (and owners) Jon Rotherham and Tom Harris, was opened in a refurbished pub. Upstairs, you’ll find a sophisticated dining room; downstairs, you’ll find a cozy, quintessential London pub room—perfect for a drink or a Sunday roast. But don’t expect overcooked meat drowning in a brown sauce; the food here is anything but average pub grub.
After lunch, as your Sunday begins to wind down, grab a sidewalk seat in the sun and enjoy a glass of wine at Sager + Wilde. It’s the perfectly sophisticated spot to end off your weekend in London’s hippest hood.
The post The New Shoreditch? A Perfect Weekend in London’s South Hackney Neighborhood appeared first on Vogue.