It has become London’s coolest borough; a cosmopolitan city within a city. Hackney is about eight kilometres from the West End and home to everyone from old-school Cockneys and arty hipsters to vibrant Asian and Afro- Caribbean communities.
To soak up the diverse vibe, make a beeline for Broadway Market, a trendy thoroughfare lined with artisan cafés like Climpson & Sons and neighbourhood pubs such as the Cat & Mutton . Saturdays are liveliest, when aromatic stalls fill the street, selling tasty takeaway food from around the globe, including Vietnamese bánh mì, Jamaican stews and French cheeses. If the weather’s good, picnic at nearby London Fields (pictured), one of Hackney’s loveliest green spaces and people-watching havens. Then stroll along Regent’s Canal, a serene waterway that winds towards another pub- fringed retreat, Victoria Park.
In terms of night-life, Hackneyites have plenty of options but many flock to Dalston, a buzzing district with a terrific little theatre, the Arcola, and bars such as Cafe Oto, Vortex Jazz Club and, in summer, Dalston Roof Park.
SEE ALSO: First-timer's Guide to London