London Fields. How much it has changed over the past couple of years. Broadway market has become a well-known Saturday outing and the Lido is busier than ever. Trendy new places keep popping up underneath the railway arches and I recently saw that the area even has its own WeWork co-working offices now. It seems like London Fields is becoming more and more like its big hipster brother Shoreditch every day. I might regret some of these changes, but at the end of the day, there’s not much – or nothing at all actually – I can do about it. I can however share one of my favourite pockets in Hackney with you, just off London Fields.
Hidden between London Fields park and Hackney Central you’ll find Wilton Way. Although this street has changed a little as well, the ‘Wilton Way Originals’ are still the same: a few good coffee shops – one of them the home of the local London Fields Radio, a vintage clothing store, a classic barber shop and a boutique that sells random things such as design watering cans.
A must-go-to, especially if you’re a bacon (or coffee) lover, is Wilton Way Café. Their bacon sandwich is among the best ones I’ve had and their coffee is excellent. When I lived around the corner from them, it used to be my favourite post workout treat: a Wilton Way Café bacon sandwich with a glass of fresh orange juice, preferably devoured on the little bench in front of their coffee shop -and in the sun. The Café is also the home base of London Fields Radio. So if you’re lucky, you might find yourself sipping your coffee while listening to some relaxing live radio tunes.
A stone’s throw away lies Violet, famous for its cupcakes and other sweet creations. The place is pretty popular, with people coming from all over London to satisfy their cake cravings. Especially during the weekend – even more so when it’s sunny – Violet gets crowded and you’ll see the familiair London queue. If you don’t like crowds, just pick up some cupcakes to go – a selection of mini cupcakes for those of you that don’t know which ones to choose – and sit down in London Fields park. On Saturday and Sunday there’s often a cricket game going on, depending on the match it can be pretty fun to watch. And even if it isn’t the most exciting game ever, you still got your delicious Violet creations to munch on!
The last place I’d like to share with you is Healthy Stuff. It’s a little bit further up from Wilton Way – on Dalston Lane – and it’s a combination of a shop and a café. You can buy your fresh fruit and veg, bread or groceries here, and have something to eat afterwards. They do breakfast, tasty sandwiches (my personal favourite is the avocado on sourdough), salads, fruit juices and coffee. If the sun’s out you can sit down at one of the few small tables in front of the café and relax for a moment.
Happy Hackney exploring!