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

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