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Not everyone visiting London for the first time will make their way to my local neighbourhood of Clapton! But if you get the chance and you are exploring East London’s now famous hipster quarters of Dalston and Shoreditch, not too far is the vibrant and fast-changing Clapton with its wonderful mix of cafes and independent boutiques. Here you can find the perfect coffee spot and browse the local shops where you’ll find everything from handmade jewellery to beautiful leather bags, old vinyl and mid-century furniture. So jump on the train to Hackney Central and just remember some of the boutiques are closed on Mondays!
During the week I’ll often pop down to Café 119 to grab a coffee for a morning meeting. I love the seats by the window, it’s the perfect way to watch the world go by. And when it’s time to get back to my desk at home (I’ve been a freelancer for nearly 10 years now, and I love working from home!) it’s always quite hard not to have a quick peek at what’s new in the boutiques across the road.
Bad Denim has the most amazing selection of jeans, and this is where I buy mine if if I’m not buying online. From vintage Levi’s to the latest Re/Done styles, I always know I will stumble upon something to fall in love with! A few doors down, handbag shop Mimi Berry and boutique Kate Sheridan are the perfect places to find gifts for friends and family; from little leather purses to cards and sweet pieces of jewellery.
A little closer to home are my favouite cafes Dialogue and Mosaic, this is where it’s perfect for meeting friends who live near by – both with big lovely wooden tables and lots of delicious pastries. Right next door is the brilliant Sodo Pizza, where we often get takeout on a Friday night when we want to sit down and watch a good movie at home.
Come the weekend, it’s time for the Chatsworth Road market on Sundays. This is brilliant for the most delicious cheese, pastries and dumplings stalls and we always bump into friends on our way to Sunday brunch at one of the many cafes, like Millfields or Venentia’s. The Turkish eggs at Millfields are delicious and based on an old Ottoman recipe! All the cafes are always buzzing with the Clapton locals, an inspiring mix of creative types and their families.
It’s also a chance for me to have a browse in all the nearby shops – I am obsessed with the mix of British and Scandinavian brands at the newly opened Darling & Gold, where you’ll also find beautifully minimal homewares – mugs, jugs and plates – as well as re-upholstered mid-century furniture like the gorgeous Halabala chairs. Across the road is the plant-filled Botany where you can always pick up a fresh succulent or a nice new coffee cup for your kitchen. And just next door is The Hackney Draper, where the focus is beautiful fabric for cushions and curtains – I can’t stay away from the crisp white linen!
Further up the road Triangle and Everything But The Dog are interiors heaven and I often find myself falling in love with an Ercol sofa or set of chairs! Triangle is always the place to go if you need a new candle or minimalist piece of jewellery.
Also on Chatsworth Road, you’ll find some great restaurants like Shane’s (British menu with wild foraged seasonal ingredients) Turkish restaurant Pivaz for the best poached eggs and mouthwateringly good Italian restaurant Venerdi. Upstairs from the Spar shop you’ll find our local independent The Castle cinema!
You really can spend a lovely day out in Clapton, I hope you enjoy the recommendations!