8 Places to Hang in Stoke Newington

Written by: Shanna F. Jones

You’ve been down to Shoreditch, you heard it was hip but there you had absolutely no chill. You got into the club but couldn’t get into your groove. The groove was being sold for the price of Donatella Versace’s arsehole to insufferable twats from Made in Chelsea, who think they’re roughing it by getting a Luxe Uber to the East End for guac and frozen margs.

Who were those goddamn people? And why exactly were they cooler than you? The fixie bikes, the haircuts, the garish orange hot pants, the six quid bowls of cereal, did I mention the haircuts? You’ve seen enough and quite frankly, you’re traumatised. You couldn’t help but weep when you saw the designer onesies and the £100 plastic pineapples for sale in the pop-up ‘mall’ were the final straw…

No, you’re hip, don’t get me wrong – you make Gwen Stefani look like a supermarket checkout girl – but you’re more down to earth. You’re more James Dean drinking a black coffee looking out the window thinking about the meaning of it all. You’re not Kanye West wielding a gold encrusted bottle of Krug, yelling at a drain that he’s more important than it will ever be.

That’s right, you’re more Stoke Newington than Shoreditch and you’re the real deal of substance, wit and intellect. You want to soak up the atmosphere, who cares about being seen? You probably forgot to brush your hair today anyway. Just for you, here are 8 places to hang in Stokey – posers need not apply…

1. Clissold Park
Popular with joggers and roving picnickers alike, Clissold is a good sized park. You could down an entire bottle of Crumpton Oaks and start doing your best David Bowie in the Labyrinth impressions and only your immediate friendship circle would be in close enough range to laugh at you, probably.

Hang out rating: 9/10

2. The Stoke Newington Book Shop
Whether you read 50 Shades in a Wuthering Heights dust jacket or the coolest graphic novels, Stokey Bookshop has loads of choice and it’s also an award winning independent business.

Hang out rating: 5/10

3. Abney Park Cemetary
Interweb it here
A nice secluded place if you want to get away from bustling zone 2 life and like lurking around trees and gravestones. Surprisingly peaceful.

Hang out rating: 7/10

4. The Old Church
Interweb it here
Pretty arts and community space. Shows slightly bizarre arty farty stuff. Go here if you want the ‘what the hell was that? That was great’ experience…

Hang out rating: 4/10

5. Allens Gardens
Interweb it here
Hang out space AND social enterprise. This pretty public garden has community food growing projects, nice places to sit and a zip line if you want to regain your youth.

Hang out rating: 8/10

6. The Pub!
The classic hang habitat. There are more than a few great pubs in the area, we couldn’t pick one. Whether it’s The Coach and Horses, The Royal Sovereign, The Jolly Butcher or The Coach and Horses, knock back the hard stuff and pretend you’re an out of work actor in the 1960’s. If London boozers were good enough for Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I, they’re good enough for you.

Hang out rating: 9.5/10 – 10/10 if there’s a good beer garden…

7. The Independent Shops.
Whether you’re hunting for a beautiful Japanese teapot in Rouge, or getting your viola fiddled with at Bridgewood and Neitzert, there are LOADS of bloody great little shops in Stokey to keep you entertained and away from those naughty big chain giants.

Hang out rating: 6/10 (dependent on whether you’re loving or hating on S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G.)

8. The Reservoirs.
Heh heh. Oh yes. OH YES all of the rest of London, you thought you had one over on us, but do you have your own personal reservoir? The West Reservoir opened up a few years ago as a wild swimming hot spot and you can keep yourselves entertained with kayaking, sailing and hanging out at the cafe.

Hang out rating: 10/10*
*On warm days only… Hey… we’re not Iron Man…


Photos: Shanna F. Jones and Michael Barry
Reservoir photo: courtesy of West Reservoir

North Four, North London magazine, market road gallery, art, public space, exhibition, paint, community, kings cross

Market Road Gallery: Just Add Yourself

Spirited away from the hubbub of the city, sitting on the bustling boundaries of Islington and Camden, a 65 metre wide gallery resides hidden behind the Attic Self Storage building in Kings Cross. Market Road Gallery is a newly opened space for everyone to contribute to. It is London’s first bookable open air public gallery. Everyone, from the neighbourhood cat to a fancy pants established artiste, can create artwork for the space.

North Four, North London magazine, summer solstice, heatwave, hot, sun, survive, list

Top Four Ways to Survive the London Heatwave, Solstice Style

Today Britain will relish (moan) in 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. It’s set to be a record breaking 33 degrees in London. I for one am going to need all the help I can get not to disappear like the wicked witch of the West into a sticky puddle on Stroud Green Road. Here’s our Solstice-worshipping, Pagan inspired tips for surviving the hottest and longest day of the year in London.

North Four, North London magazine, velopark, drum n bounce, fitness, friday plans, outdoors, exercise

Celebrate Summer with Drum n Bounce at VeloPark

It’s time. Time to bask (complain) in the sun and ask why god why when will it end?? Yes, Summer is officially here for the week, the hottest week in the last 20 years. This Friday, Drum n Bounce are coming all the way down South to help us celebrate this fact, as healthily as possible. Right in the middle section of VeloPark (link) you can take part in uplifting and limbering flow yoga with Tammy’s Yoga before 45 minutes of energising drum n bounce aerobics. This is basically getting hot and fit and dancey to your favourite tracks before you head off in to the night (or bed) with a massive sweaty smile on your mug.

North Four, North London magazine, Black Books, pub quiz,

"It's Not a Party" Black Books Pub Quiz

Next Friday night, ignore your mounting list of life admin and venture outwards into the ether for a misanthropic wine a plenty. It’s the Black Books pub quiz at The Duke of Wellington as part of their couch potato themed quiz series. Entry is a meagre £2 but you can win some cold hard real cash if you’re up on your Dylan Moran / Tamsin Greig / Bill Bailey shaped references.

North Four, North London magazine, kings head theatre, review, heather brothers, directors, play, culture

Holy Crap! Who Are The Heather Brothers?

Who are the Heather Brothers? It’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night. Ever since I was asked to review their latest musical, Holy Crap, I’ve been trapped in something of a Google wormhole. To begin at the beginning: the Heather Brothers are, depending on who you ask, a musical writing duo/trio/quartet. Born in London, they grew up in Zimbabwe, where they spent their teenage years performing in a fraternal rock band. Again, depending on who you ask, they were variously known as: The Chequers, The Three People or Quiet World.

North Four, North London magazine, Home, world refugee day, world refugee work, film screening, crouch end, arthouse, directors

Film Screenings for World Refugee Day, Crouch End

“Arriving back in the UK, after a long time away, there seemed to have been a swing towards xenophobia and the dehumanizing and vilify of both migrants and refugees was happening at the highest levels. I wanted to create a short that would address this trend.” Director Daniel Mulloy

North Four, North London magazine, cucumber, hendricks gin, cucumber day, pub, drink, gin and tonic

The Emotional Lives of Cucumbers: World Cucumber Day

The gin enthusiasts down at Hendricks have decided to take these cucumber celebrations a slice further with their Cultivate the Unusual campaign. Encouraging gin fans to grow their own cucumbers over the last few months in preparation, Hendricks are asking us to bring said veggies to participating pubs and bars this Thursday 15th June. The Canonbury Tavern for example, will light up if you walk in with a cucumber and will proceed to exchange it for a free gin and tonic. Can you imagine?

North Four, North London magazine, Run DMC, Darryl McDaniels, comic book, art, prints, Hang Up gallery, exhibition, stoke newington

The Art of Run DMC at Hang Up Gallery, Stoke Newington

Hang Up Gallery have some pretty hush hush news. And it goes a little something like this: Darryl ‘Run’ DMC McDaniels will be popping up in the Stoke Newington gallery this month to launch his new collection of works, The Art of DMC. This is the icon’s first London exhibition, showing new and unseen collection of ‘Darryl Makes Comics (DMC)’ Fine Art, a body of signed limited edition prints showcasing his underlying passion for comics.

North Four, North London magazine, summer of love local, shop stroud green, events, june, finsbury park, crouch hill, stroud green, local business, festival
Eat & Drink Events Lifestyle

Summer of Love Local by #ShopStroudGreen

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Summer of Love ’67 where freedom of expression, art and love reigned supreme. #ShopStroudGreen are celebrating the fact with a Summer of Love Local weekend festival this June. Celebrate artistic expression and support local independent traders and makers with a weekend of live art, workshops and music (with a few special discounts, tasters and freebies for good measure).

North Four, North London magazine, the lexington pub, venue, general election, campaign, burger, food, drinks, event

Oh Snap! Top Five Free Election Night Covfefe

Oh snap! Another general election looms. Whether you’re hopeful for a landslide win or a surprising wild card outcome, wipe the bitter disappointment from your tastebuds with some gins, ales, burgers and strong covfefe. Because let’s face, it will be neither of those results will it really? Find the perfect place for you to receive the bad news in good company.

North Four, North London magazine, film screening, film london, archive footage, old videos, home movies, public information film, cinema

London, A Bigger Picture: Film Screening with Live Music

Get a different perspective on the city you live in this June. Film London are holding a screening of archive footage of London’s outer boroughs through the decades, underscored by live music accompaniment. The best of London’s Screen Archives hugely successful project, London: A Bigger Picture will be shown, funded by Heritage Lottery three years ago.

North Four, North London magazine, harringay station cat, Snowy, twitter, interview, lifestyle

Off The Record: Snowy the Harringay Station Cat

We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat to talk Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox. Summer is coming and, in North London, that means it’s time to hit the train stations. So we took Snow the Haringey Station Cat and photographer Mike Barry tumbling across one of them: the undergrowth of Haringey Station. Then we sat down with Snowy for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.

North Four, North London magazine, Rocket barbers, stoke newington, charity, just giving, chopping for chazza, men's mental health charity

Choppin' for Chazza at Rocket Barber Shop, Stokey

“You grow it, we mow it” might be their blasé catchphrase, but Rocket’s attitude to your haircut is far from casual. These guys are serious about hair and the person that grew it. Rocket Stoke Newington are holding a day of free beer and entertainment with your cut in aid of Men’s Mental Health Sunday this 12th June. Also known as “Chopping for Chazza”, there’ll be talks on mental health, stand up comedy and more from 12 - 5pm.

North Four, North London magazine, volunteer camden, islington, summer, volunteering fair, volunteer centre, june, volunteering week

Find The Perfect Volunteering Vacancy, Islington

Unless you’re already working for charity or regularly ‘do your bit’, that £6 monthly donation to The Dogs Trust might not be doing enough to quash your conscience / save the world. Whether you’re doing it for experience, to reset your karmic balance or generally give back and help out, there’ll be a role out there for you. On the Volunteer Centre Camden’s website for example, there’s a handy search page that lets you filter through hundreds of opportunities by location, interest and activity.

North Four, North London magazine, kings cross remix, good times, london clubbing, theatre, play, review, night life, interview, Tom Marshman

Finding Humour in Dark Times: Performance Artist Tom Marshman   

Currently showing at Camden People’s Theatre, performance artist Tom Marshman’s play Kings Cross (Remix) is a glorious celebration of a bygone era. The show is a tightly crafted journey through the stories of some of the people who made up the 1980s Kings Cross LGBTQ scene. Bursting with warmth, charm and affection, the play is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about London’s alternative history.

North Four, North London magazine, strong and stable my arse, Theresa May, prime minister, tories, Jeremy Deller, campaign, politics

'Strong and Stable My Arse' is all of us

The Londoner behind 'Strong and Stable My Arse'. It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. 'Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone can understand with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK. So who could possibly be behind such a simple, cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.