North London Life Hacks For The Savvy
Written by: Sophie Taylor
The internet loves a good life hack article, doesn’t it just. But what about us shrewd North Londoners? We know it all already, right? Well here are a few North London focused tips that you might not have heard about yet (but most likely have, so enjoy the gifs we’ve carefully chosen for you instead. Gif Curators… I wonder if that’s a thing). Yes, that’s right we’ve gone and done an article with life hacks, a list and gifs in it. You can write strongly worded letters of complaint to us at email@example.com.
1. Drunken Olympics
Do you like sports? Do you like beer? Oh good. Do you also like free things? Download MatchPint app and get a free pint (568 millilitres of beer to be precise). In return, you must watch some sports at one of their participating pubs, which can be found across North London, and give them a little rating/review. This also includes watching the Olympics by the way. Too easy!
2. AA for Cyclists
Bike woes? Can’t make it to your trusty bike shop for a repair? Save your legs and your pennies and use North London based, Bikes R Us mobile repair service. They offer a complete cycle repair service either at your home or place of work. There’s no local callout charge and callouts are available up to approximately 15 miles (excluding Central London).
A full annual service costs from £25, the supply and fit of a new inner tube (puncture) will set you back £12 and wheel trueing is just £6-10 good English pounds.
They don’t have a website or an app, so go old skool and keep 020 8882 8288 saved in your phone under ‘BIKE HELP NOW!’, right next to ‘STRANGE BLOKE FROM BAR’ and ‘???’. Apparently when you ring them you have to speak to their mum first and ask if they’re in…
3. Satnav No Go
Are you one of those rare species of Londoners that drives? Well if you are, here’s a little word of advice – don’t use satnav if you want to avoid congestion charges. Apparently, that little fucker of a satnav will take you into all these pricey congestion charge zones on purpose, the naughty little snake!
4. No Place Like Home
Lost your phone, your compass and your dignity? Somehow wandered into South London and need to get home quick sharp? The flat side of the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ (20 Fenchurch Street) points towards north London like a beautiful silvery lighthouse. No need for those ruby slippers, which is just as well as you left them outside the club, didn’t you.
5. Silence of the foxes
Foxes are fantastic creatures. They’re also loud as arse when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. So here’s a tip if you’re being plagued by those screaming urban red heads: they hate chilli powder. Liberally dust some spice around your back garden, front garden, foot of your bed (can’t be too careful- according to the Daily Mail they’re after your face as you sleep). Peace at last.
6. Peace in Angel
I spend a weird amount of time in Angel, but even I didn’t know about the footpath off Duncan Street that leads down to the canals. The traffic noise suddenly disappears, the tourists are lost in the shopping centre and all you are left with is narrowboats, casual cyclists, and water. City stress heads in need of an urban refuge take note – this is one calm oasis in the middle of one of North London’s most frantic of spots.
7. Station to Station
Citymapper is a great route planning app, but as a savvy North Londoner you’re probably after something a little more extensive and in the know. Try the Station Master App, which is more of an in-depth travel guide app than a route planner, giving you intensely detailed information about each station – from the number of steps to fun facts and historical background info.
It also doesn’t require WiFi so you can browse at your heart’s content underground. Station Master has 3D maps and exit maps so you can see the true layout of a station, especially the ones with a maze of corridors, and find out the best exit.
“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.