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Rare record stores, Keralan cuisine and cosy clubbing: why you should take a stroll through Stoke Newington

Posted at 10:15 am, April 5, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Music & Nightlife, Shopping & Style
Church Street, Stoke Newington ©Yukino Miyazawa

Why go there?
Because you prize local produce over a palatable price tag. Because you’ve heard Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore lives here now. Because you want your bike nicked (it’ll happen, don’t fight it).

Lucky Seven record store ©Hans Dinkelberg

What’s the vibe?
It’s a tale of two Stokeys. Pretty, winding Church Street has loads of cute indie shops like delightfully disorganised record store Lucky Seven and cool his ’n’ hers clothes shops Hub. Stoke Newington High Street, on the other hand, is fast being absorbed into ‘the strip’ of Kingsland Road – a night-owl’s paradise stretching down to Dalston, and seemingly knocked together by an intern at Vice.

What’s that smell?
Babyccinos from café-restaurant Blue Legume and lots of green and pleasant land.

Any celebs about?
Daniel Defoe (in you live in the seventeenth century). Latterly, Helen Baxendale, which says it all really.

Rasa Indian restaurant, Stoke Newington, ©Ewan Munro

How about a local delicacy?
The two Rasa restaurants (one veggie, one not) Church Street are popular purveyors of Keralan cuisine. You’ll find some of the best smoked salmon in the capital at Hansen & Lydersen – smoked the Norwegian way courtesy of Ole Hansen, taught by his fisherman grandpa. For freebies, snaffle the tasters at Church Street’s artisan food emporium Wholefoods.

I need a drink…
To the pub! The Londesborough (on Barbauld Road) and the Prince (on Kynaston Road) are good gastro haunts, while tucked-away Allen Road boozer the Shakespeare will let you bring in your own takeaway pizza. Date night? Head for candelit cocktails at Ruby’s basement bar on the Dalston fringes of Stoke Newington Road.

Where’s the party at?
Around Church Street, probably someone’s nice front room, with an Aperol spritz (everyone’s home before midnight, or the babysitter charges double.) Otherwise The Waiting Roomunderneath the Three Crowns pub, on Stoke Newington High Street, is a cosy space for low-key weekend clubbing.

If I do one thing…
Check out the deer enclosure in Clissold Park if it’s summer, the park’s butterfly dome will be open as well: Instagram won’t know what’s hit it. By Katie Dailey, a Clapton resident who pretends to live in civilised Stokey when her parents visit. 

For more local area guides from Time Out, visit timeout.com/local.

Update: an earlier version of this post included an image of Mercado’s Bar & Cantina, which is in fact closed, and soon to become a Foxtons. Oh dear.

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