7 Ways to Go ‘Murican this 4th of July
Written by: Violet Myers
For some weird reason us Brits have never really taken to celebrating American Independence Day. Anyone with a Pinterest board and an undying love for Saved by the Bell will know it’s the day to commemorate an old historical event which freed the US from some sort of overarching tyrannical force – AND it looks like a right barrel of laughs. On the 4th of July the states bring out the fireworks, have parades that last for days, eat more fried food than even Dr Nick would recommend and put little flags on everything, we can’t help but feel we’re missing out.
Why should the Yanks get all the fun? Roll out the old red white and blue – which is conveniently the colours of our flag anyway, we’ve tracked down the best places in North London to unleash your inner-Americana!
…wait, they’re celebrating what?!
*Warning some of the items on this list may raise your cholesterol or accidentally shoot you.*
Have a hot dog
Hungerdog, NW1 7JE
Often overlooked in favour for their more successful cousin the beef burger – and their reputation for being made from nothing but toenails and pig nipples, the humble hot dog has had a makeover at Hungerdog, boasting prime cuts of meat, tempting toppings and no pig nipples guaranteed! For the true ‘merica vibe it’s gotta be The Liberty with sauerkraut, mayo and pickles. Hungerdog.
String up the banjo
Green Note, NW1 7AN
As well as gracing the world with Little Richard, Billy Joel and er, Taylor Swift, our friends across the pond are also the proud parents of bluegrass, jazz, blues and country and western, genres that are always popular at Camden’s Green Note, who have live musical performances every night. The Jazz Cafe and The Blue’s Kitchen are also less than a moon dance away. Green Note.
Breakfast like an American pre-teen
Cereal Killer Cafe, NW1 8AH
Now, the Cereal Killer Cafe has had a lot of bad press recently – £6 for a bowl of cereal!? But where else can you feast upon cereal so packed with sugar that it has been literally banned from old Blighty? It’s almost like being in an old-fashioned speakeasy, but with less bathtub whisky and more organic almond milk. Go for an old classic like Lucky Charms or tread into even sweeter territories with Count Chocula. Cereal Killer Cafe.
Get on the Soul Train
Q-Grill, NW1 8AJ
What better way to celebrate being an American than eating quantities of meat some countries would consider a feat of showmanship and calling it lunch? Today is not a day for eating el-desko, pop into Q-Grill in Camden and experience the true meaning of Southern comfort food. We just can’t stop thinking about their buttermilk chicken and waffles, hallelujah y’all! Q-Grill.
Sweat like a Yank
Cross Fit Evolving, N7 8HS
Proving that there are two sides to every coin and that the great US of A isn’t all about ribs and syrup, why not get involved in one of the toughest sports America has to offer. Combining gymnastics, Olympic weight training, and exercise induced nausea, Crossfit has taken over the world – transforming bodies into fighting machines. An innocent fitness craze? Or a secret army recruitment process? You decide.
Get real drunk, USA style
Blue’s Kitchen, NW1 7JN
As well as packing a range of American beers and cocktails, The Blue’s Kitchen stocks 100 different types of Bourbon for your sipping pleasure – now if that ain’t a challenge I don’t know what is. Roll up your flannel shirt and stub out that Marlboro, you’ve got a long night of drinking ahead of you cowboy.
See some SPORTS!
Finsbury Park (the actual park)
Now let’s not start that age old argument about Americans calling football soccer and their pumped up version of rugby (which has very little ball to foot contact) being called football… let’s not even go there. If you fancy getting into some SPORTS Yankee style American football has really taken off over here, our very own Finsbury Park has a team called the London Blitz. Or, if you prefer watching people hit a ball with a stick and you have a thing for trousers tucked into socks (grrrr), why not check out the London Mets, our local American baseball team.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.