Saké tasting events, eco-friendly fish ‘n’ chips and baby yoga: it’s the best bits of Victoria Park Village
Trade city bustle for village life in the heart of gentrified Hackney.
Why go there?
To relax with a flat white after your oh-so-regular Victoria Park Sunday morning half-marathons. Or to use the pub loos during Field Day festival.
What’s the vibe?
‘Baby yoga in a pub’ sums up this tiny London village – one of the original pockets of nouveau-chic Hackney.
Babies? Urgh. Tell me about the boozers.
There’s a strip of cosy pubs just begging to be crawled. Start with the People’s Park Tavern (Victoria Park Road) which brews its own beer, then head to the famous Royal Inn on the Park (Lauriston Road) for some of that baby yoga. Cross the street into The Empress for posh comfy sofas or The Lauriston for cracking pizzas, before ending up round the corner at The Hemingway (Victoria Park Road) with its mouth-shaped urinals. There’s also the nearby East London Liquor Company (Grove Road) – a new craft spirits distillery with an in-house gin bar.
Sounds fun. Bet there are fancy coffee shops too.
Hey, it’s Hackney. Try The Deli Downstairs’s Refreshment Room (Victoria Park Road) or Loafing (Lauriston Road), on opposite sides of the roundabout, for coffee, cake and village gossip.
What about places to eat?
Roasts are available everywhere. Offering something different, Spit Jack’s (Lauriston Road) does speciality chicken and a mini charcuterie. Fish House (Lauriston Road) is VPV’s attempt at a local chippy: no greasy lino here, just low lighting, exposed brickwork and eco-friendly fish ‘n’ chips. A couple of doors up, Chambers (Lauriston Road) serves mountainous Mediterranean platters.
Any designer boutiques that I can pretend to afford?
Haus (Morpeth Road) is good for contemporary homeware gems. If your child is due its hipster booster injection, rush to The Toy Box or Little Gems Boutique (both Victoria Park Road) to get it kitted out. After something more grown-up? Bottle Apostle (95 Lauriston Road) hosts wine, spirit and saké tasting events, while Wonderland Ceramics (Victoria Park Road) will let you paint teapots in its creative activity space. No children necessary.
And if I only do one thing?
Victoria Park is beautiful all year round. Go boating on the lake, have brunch at The Pavilion Café, spot rare trees and down a couple of cans of Red Stripe under one of them.
By Phoebe Trimingham, the village bike (enthusiast).