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Area Guide: London Fields

Yes London Field’s is technically a park. But, fun fact, London Fields is an entire area jam packed with great cafes, restaurants and bars.

Yes London Field’s is technically a park. But, fun fact, London Fields is an entire area jam packed with great cafes, restaurants and bars. Yes you’ll see a few (maybe more than a few) mums and dads in Lululemon leggings pushing a stroller while they sip a matcha latte at 2pm, it is family friendly granted - but it isn’t to be overlooked for some of it’s cooler neighbours like Shoreditch or Hackney. It holds its own and if you’re in the mood for quirky bookshops, boutiques and bars then we’ll see you there on Saturday.

Breakfast & Brunch
After a run in the park, I mean it is literally right there. Or a dip in London Fields Lido walk a little way down to Broadway Market - the street is littered with quirky bookshops, one off clothing boutiques, cafes, cafes, oh a few more cafes… the street itself can be walked within a few minutes, or a few hours depending on how many stops you make. Stop into Bach for brunch - a New Zealand owned cafe which, if you’re there during the week you can expect to see a mac on every table with a cappuccino to one side. Sans Pere is an instagrammers dream, millennial pink doors, marble table tops and crumbly pastries along the counter, oh and they do a pretty good brunch too. Then there’s L’Eau å La Bouche, a locals favourite - part deli part cafe, you want to get a seat on one of the tables outside (on a sunny day) if you can, there’s always a line for coffee and food and with good reason - the smashed avo is excellent and the rest of the menu is just as good. Grab a bite and then grab some fine cheeses, olives and wines on your way out the door. Go to Wilton Way Cafe for a coffee on the run - it’s good, just go there.
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Lunch
After a leisurely stroll along the canal get a table at the Market Cafe it’s right on the corner of Broadway market near the bridge, which makes for perfect people watching as you sip a G&T. The newly opened Mare Street Market, (as in it literally just opened the other day) is a food, music and design space set on the ground floor of the former Hackney Council Building. A place to drop into, stay a while... have some lunch, a few cocktails, maybe a coffee oh and then you can stay for dinner too - it’s open from 8am till late every. Single. Day. With coffee shops, delis, bars and a liquor store. Then there’s the dining room, which is hosted by famed chef Gizzi Erskine. This is her first restaurant and is already gaining a lot of attention - if you ask us, you better be quick with this one, get in before every man and his dog does. If you’re after something fresh, Okko on Broadway Market is a small Japanese style restaurant open for lunch from 12:30, think sushi, poke bowls, sashimi, ramen - drool!

Culture
There’s plenty to do around London Fields, especially if you’re super cool and not at all mainstream - i think they call them hipsters? No, but seriously, there is loads to do. For starters there are two great bookshops which are stacked with great reads. Donlon Books is right near the park, and has every feminist novel you can get your hands on (but only with permission - obviously) it’s shelves are lined with culturally pressing books that should probably be in the syllabus and should definitely be read. Another great bookshop is Artwords Bookshop designer books, the finest recipe books - pretty much every book that will look good on your coffee table is here. If you’re around on the weekend (more specifically Saturdays only) Broadway Market shuts the street and the market stalls take over the road, yes there’s gluten free brownies! There’s also Netil Market which is home to the original BAO pop up - that alone is reason enough to go. If you’re after some new threads HUB is probably the coolest boutique store getting around, racks with brands like Wood Wood and Samsoe and Samsoe (if it’s got a double name you know it’s good good). Or if you’re working on your fitness hit up London Fields Lido or get your zen on at Stretch yoga studio.

Dinner
While London Fields is relatively small their restaurant scene is not, Rawduck is mediterranean inspired and funnily enough don’t have any duck on the menu, this week anyway, it changes weekly and their list of biodynamic wines is extensive, some can be a tad pricey but the bottles hanging in front are more affordable and just as good. Lardo Bebe, more like Lardo baby? Eat in and take away their pizzas are doughy perfection. Hot tip the mushroom, cheese and potato is the winner - OMG. Pidgin is open Wednesday through Sunday and is a set menu of 4-courses at £49 or with beverage pairing £85 (fun fact - in over two years they’ve never once repeated a dish), it as well changes weekly and the restaurant is a cosy and intimate and perfect for date night - sure to impress. There’s Wringer & Mangle too which is an easy choice for dinner if you just want something that tastes like a home cooked meal, they do bottomless brunch on the weekends - our favourite kind. And a good Sunday roast, they've also got a pretty killer cocktail list.
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Drinks
Ah finally, where can you get a drink around here? Plenty of places are about but the best DrinkUp picks include NT’s - sitting in Netil House it is a fun space with a great view of the overground passing by, oh they’ve just got a brand new menu too! Kansas Smitty’s is a basement bar again off the ever vibrant Broadway Market and is known by the locals for their cocktails and live music. Forest Road Brewing is actually not on Forest Road but here in London Fields, they brew their own and have a great range of local ales too. Go for the Friday night beers, and stay for the COCKTAILS ON TAP… yes, they’re good. No, we aren’t kidding. And obviously we can’t go without mentioning Martello Hall, a wine lovers (and DrinkUp) favourite. And while they don’t do cocktails on tap they do do wine on tap and their house white is actually really good.

Coffee, brunch, shopping, lunch, after lunch drinks, cocktails, dinner, more cocktails - That's a pretty darn good Saturday if you ask us... London Fields is definitely going to be THE place be this Spring.

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