A sequel to my UK guest blogger competition entry, this post is a photo tour through my immediate local neighbourhood of Upper Clapton in east London’s Hackney. Clapton, so they say, is fast becoming London’s new Dalston (if Dalston is the equivalent of Williamsburg, then that makes Clapton the equivalent of Red Hook, Brooklyn, so says an American blogger friend of mine!) – but with the advantages of being cheaper, not so busy and on the edge of the city next to a beautiful canal and marshes. The last year has seen loads of new independent shops and cafés pop up and this is what I’ve been documenting with my trusty Canon. So if you’re ever exploring east London, make sure you check out…
My local vintage shop, Mero Retro. Run by the super stylish Bhutanese Sanju, it’s the perfect place for a good rummage through rails of carefully chosen second-hand pieces, suitcases of silk scarves, and retro cameras. In case you’re wondering, Mero means ‘My’ and I love how Sanju always makes sure to snap her customers trying on their favourite outfits!
124 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 9JY
My local pizza place, Sodo Pizza. Set up by two sourdough loving locals, Sodo is a cool little pizza parlour with an Italian slant serving up a delicious menu – my favourite is the Sunny Goat, heaven for fans of goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. All the vegetables come from local organic allotments, as do the pretty flowers on the tables, and they do a delicious house special ginger beer as well as Italian desert affogato (vanilla gelato with a shot of espresso on the side).
126 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 9JY
My local pub, The Crooked Billet. A classic English pub – lots of leather, old fashioned décor and recently re-opened with one of London’s largest beer gardens. The new menu means al fresco Sunday lunches and early suppers of traditional pub fare – fish and chips, burgers, and macaroni & cheese – are the perfect way to catch up with friends. And of course there’s a Monday night quiz night!
84 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 9JY
My local café, The Old Tram Depot. As the name suggests, it is housed in an old tram depot. An extremely pleasing interior – black and white themed and a huge splash of racing green – with cute little tête-à-tête tables and Eames style chairs. As well as pastries, sandwiches and coffee (and excellent free Wifi!) there’s an evening Japanese sushi menu and an attached gallery showing local artists’ work.
38 Upper Clapton Road, London, E5 8BQ
My local community garden, The Robin Hood. This is such a gem, a beautiful garden packed with gorgeous herbs and flowers, open to and tended by local residents. You can pop in to explore and pick herbs for free, or if you have kids, head over for the kids days and activities. Summer parties include celebrating the solstice and evening barbeques.
High Hill Ferry, Spring Lane, London, E5 9HQ
Check out Julia’s blog Stylonylon.