Sandwiched between Hackney Downs, Hackney Wick, Dalston and Haggerston, London Fields is the Elysian heart of East London. Its central artery is the delightful Broadway Market, bursting with possibilities for eating, drinking, reading, creating and entertaining on any day of the week, but especially at the weekend when it’s lively market arrives.
1. Broadway Market – Emerging out of London Fields park and ending at Regents Canal, this is one of our favourite markets in town. A pioneer of the modern London market scene, Broadway re-emerged in 2004 and has been growing ever since, now containing up to 130 pitches. As well as the usual offers of cheese, books and hearty soul food, there are some lesser-known gastronomics represented with Ghanaian food, as well as delightful independents traders offering everything from knitted animal heads to the over the top glittery footwear.
2. Buen Ayre – London is one of the finest cities in the world to eat high-end food, but that can seem out of reach for people living on a budget. Enter BuenAyre. Currently listed as one of the elite travelers top 100 restaurants in the world by, this simple compact steak house offers up the tastiest Argentinian cows and wines imaginable. You might have to stretch the wallet a bit for dinner, but their lunchtime menu of two dishes for £9 where you can enjoy a combo of ox tongue, provolone or an empanada, with a juicy flank sarnie or a Portobello mushroom. Lunch is served Mon – Fri 12pm- 3pm. 50 Broadway Market London E8 4QJ
3. London Fields Lido – This part of town positively brims with an atmosphere of wholesome healthy living, in amongst the warehouse parties and video artists snorting meow meow of a Sunday evening. During the day London Fielders can be found cycling, skate boarding and, probably, unicycling around town. But the heart of this clean living area is the newly refurnished outdoor swimming pool. This is no leaf-filled, freezing cold re-visiting of childhood traumas, instead its a 50m Olympic size, heated pool that is open all year round, with an excellent selection of swimming lessons for young and old, swimfit sessions and modern facilities. Opening times: Monday – Sunday 6:30am – 9pm. London Fields West Side, Hackney, E8 3EU
4. Stories On Broadway – Freelancing Londoners and daytime parents are now spoilt for choice for homely cafes in which to have brunch and finish their novel/keep the little one entertained, but Stories is right up there with the best of these. Allied to sister venues The Queen of Hoxton and The Book Club, Stories is the more sedate, villagey sibling. The brunch menu is broad and inviting, whether you want to stay healthy with a kick and have their spiced apple granola or indulge with a BLT fortified with black pudding. Once dusk falls this perpetually creative space transforms into a cosy bolt hole, where the beer and wine can flow heartily, with some tasty bar food on offer too. Stories is also a major events hub, including synesthesia cocktail nights, jewellery design workshops and some great free live music. 30 – 32 Broadway Market, E8 4QZ
5. London Fields Brewery – Inspired by a drought of craft beer in Hackney, this team decided in 2011 to give the borough its own brewery to provide home-grown, handcrafted beers alongside the ever-increasing amount of craft products being produced in the UK. Its run by a hugely passionate bunch of brewers and they’re very proud to show off their booze factory. For just a tenner they’ll take you through the beer making process, a behind the scenes look of this hoppy Wonkaville and end with a delicious tasting experience in the Tap Room. Tours are every weekday at 7pm; Saturday and Sunday on the hour from 12pm – 5pm. 365-366 Warburton Street, London E8 3RR
6. London Fields Fitness Studio – Like much of this area, this excellent fitness studio is attuned to the flexible nature of modern life. Founded in 2010 by personal trainer Sapan Sehgal, it offers drop-in and pay-as-you-go fitness classes, indoor cycling and personal training, all based on the idea that fitness should be accessible, affordable and enjoyable. Spin passes are just £10 a go, or you can get an incredible deal of a class pass for just £20, offering you access to over 80 classes. Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6am – 11pm. 379 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH
7. A-Side B-Side Gallery – This gallery was founded in late 2011 by artists Tinsel Edwards and Catherine Magnani. Following a hugely successful launch and several exhibitions later it continues to grow from strength to strength. In addition to our gallery space we also maintain studios, in which we house a collective of both emerging and established artists whilst supporting ambitious collaborations within an experimental and evolving creative space. Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
8. The Dolphin – This place is an absolute local institution (as is its hilarious Twitter feed) and since it’s just a stone’s throw from the train station, it’s imperative you pop in to sink a pint, get stuck into one of its many legendary karaoke nights. It is free door entry throughout the weekdays at The Dolphin, and £3 on Fridays and Saturdays. Head down to The Dolphin for a fantastically cheap and cheerful night out! Opening Hours: Sun-Thurs 4pm – 2am; Fri/Sat 4pm – 4:30am. 163-165 Mare Street, London, E8 3RH
9. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities – Curated by those excellently epicurean hedonists at The Last Tuesday Society this arcane collection of curios, freaks and artworks is the epitome of modern East London. The idea for the collection is the wonderfully odd, described as a Wunderkabinett – a mirror to a world so suffused with miracles and beauty that any attempt at categorization is bound to fail. If that sounds like rummaging around in the dustier, creepier sections of Guillermo del Toro’s imagination, then you’re bang on the money. Get down here and get creeped out, now! Opening Times: Wed-Sun 11am – 10pm. 11 Mare St, London E8 4RP
10. The Laundry – Yet another massive venue that’s been converted from its more industrial former life into a multi-purpose restaurant, tea room, cocktail bar, night club and media space. It’s benefactor is looming Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien and this many many-headed hydra of delights is a quick walk from the station and offers up big flavoured lunches, petite cakes and tea and rumbling, bass-filled good times on its dance floor! Opening Times: Sun – Thurs: 10.00am-11.30pm, Fri & Sat: 10.00am-12.30am
11. Coffee Is My Cup Of Tea – This excellently named little coffee-house can be found right outside the station and can always be relied upon for a sparky pep up or something more substantial for brunch. Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 8am – 6pm, Sat: 9am – 6pm, Sun 10am – 6pm.
12. Time Run – If you still hunker for the halcyon 90s day when a harmonica playing Richard O’Brien would chase people around The Crystal Maze, then you’ll love this escape room. 3-5 friends have an hour to solve clues and help time travelling inventor Luna and her robot Babbage in their mission. There are logic puzzles to solve, devious codes to break and all against the clock! This is a little bit pricey, but the amount of care and effort that has gone into creating this immersive experience makes it worth it. Currently running once a day up until Christmas. Opening Times: Tue – Fri 1:45pm, Sat/Sun 10:45am