If Hackney is London’s equivalent of Brooklyn, and Dalston is the equivalent of Williamsburg, then that must make Clapton…
Well, wherever it is you go after Williamsburg…! Clapton is the latest part of east London to experience the influx of hipster types, refurbed pubs, new cafés, pizza places and thrift stores. But all just slowly enough for people to still feel like they’re hanging out somewhere a bit off the beaten track.
Of course I’ve enjoyed the changing neighbourhood – I’m a dyed-in-the-wool urban junkie. But I also love that we live near a canal filled with house boats and a huge open marsh that gives you headspace from the pulsing city. And I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while now – so when the lovely Karena from Free People mentioned their Free People “Be The Blogger: UK” competition asking UK bloggers to tell them a little a bit about their local area, it seemed the perfect opportunity. (See my recent styling up of Free People’s minimal lace-ups here.)
To give you a flavour of the neighbourhood here’s my favourite coffee shop, homeware store – both on Chatsworth Road, home to the much-loved Chatsworth Road Sunday market – and canal walk.
With a Scandinavian-influenced menu (Swedish meatballs & beetroot salad on sourdough and freshly made cinnamon buns), huge windows looking onto the park, knick knacks and books, babychinos and free bananas for kids, this is easily my favourite Clapton cafe and somewhere I’m guaranteed to bump into a pal. I love the mix of new mums and their babes, people tapping away on laptops and girls in intense one-on-one discussions.
Cooper & Wolf, 145 Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, London, E5 OLA
Heaven to browse and I’ve had my eye on one of the little wickerwork chairs out the front for a while now. This Clapton homeware store has an amazing selection of ceramics (one of the owners is a ceramist), recycled wool blankets, handmade leather coin purses and key tassels, vintage ashtrays and toys and more. Only open at weekends for the moment, keep an eye out for weekday evening openings.
Triangle, 92a Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton, London, E5 OLS
The River Lea runs through the Hackney marshes and a walk by the canal, full of multi-coloured house boats, is one of the best things about living in this neck of the woods. It never gets as busy as London Fields, Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath, has the advantage of a huge open green space full of flowers and offers quite a few different walks – stay by the river, head off to explore the filter beds, get as close as you can to the Olympic Park or stop at one of the riverside pubs. I never get bored of this.