Head way out east for bangin’ parties and creative kicks.
Why go there?
Because you want to party in a warehouse.
What’s the vibe?
Barren wasteland by day, frenzied rave hotspot by night. The Wick used to be a thriving industrial area, but when the businesses moved out the warehouses were converted to live-work spaces and artists moved in. There’s a smattering of shops – record reseller Vinyl Pimp, synth hawker London Modular bike emporium Skinny Eric’s Cycleworks example (all on Felstead Street) – but the Wick is all about coffee, beer and clubbing.
What’s that smell?
Bagels from Mr Bagels and pretzels from the The German Deli on White Post Lane fill the air with mouthwatering aromas. Or it could be the from one of the Wick’s three breweries.
Any celebs about?
Only London’s blummin’ cultural elite. Art world bad boys the Chapman Brothers have their studio here, as do op-art pioneer Bridget Riley and conceptualist Gavin Turk.
How about a local delicacy?
H Forman & Son on Stour Road is London’s oldest salmon smoker and they have a massive pink, and yes, salmon-shaped, factory opposite the Olympic Stadium. The Counter Café on Roach Road is perfect for breakfast and their own roast coffee, while their neighbours Muff Customs do a nice line in breakfast burritos and custom motorbikes. For something swankier, the Hackney Pearl on Prince Edward Road kicks out top-notch European cuisine.
Now I need a drink
Crate in Queen’s Yard serves up its own microbrewed beers and pizza right by the canal, Truman’s has just opened a brewery called The Cygnet on the other side the lock with fine ales and burgers.
Where’s the party at?
If you’re after something cultural The Yard Theatre in Queen’s Yard is place to be, but let’s be honest, you’re here for the raves, aren’t you? Friday night, the area around the of Stour and Smeed Roads explodes into urgent, addled life, with dubstep and techno straight through till the next day. Search for Hackney Wick parties on Facebook to find out what’s happening.
And if I only do one thing?
A walk along the canal is the best way to experience the Wick without having to get mashed off your noggin.
By Eddy Frankel, who hates parties, but likes cheap rent.
For more great bits of London take a look at reasons to visit Covent Garden.