Stoke Newington Church Street is one of those rare bits of London where you can get utterly lost for hours in independent shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. It is hard to not come across a bakery selling delectable goods that are as much a feast for the eyes as they are to the stomach. And food is not the only thing you’ll be feasting your eyes on because, by some glorious design, the street’s food spots are alternated by shops selling all things cool – from nifty gifts to leafy commodities and artsy artefacts.
Before getting to Stoke Newington Church Street, I walked through Clissold Park which has everything from an aviary to a skatepark. As with any park in Autumn, you don’t have to go far to feel the magic of the autumn leaves crunching beneath your feet.
As soon as you exit the park at St Mary’s Church onto Stoke Newington Church Street, it won’t be long before your indie journey begins.
***F O O D & D R I N K ***
Hungry? Good – you’re not going to run out of choices to line your stomach, as you’ll find eateries and watering holes dotting the street. I certainly didn’t. Although choosing was difficult, I finally took the plunge and decided to give Andi’s a try.
Andi’s interior is quaint with a set of dried flowers hanging on one wall, a bar lit by numerous decorative hanging shades, and a small, leafy garden at the back. Coming to think of it, I’ve noticed a running theme on Stoke Newington Church Street, where practically every restaurant and cafe has embellished itself with hipsteresque pendant shades and leafy interiors. Millenials ahoy!
Back to the point, Andi’s only has a brunch and dinner menu and as I was there at lunchtime, I had brunch. Their menu includes a variety of options, cold (cereals, cakes and pastries including the ever so popular cronut) and warm (energy bowls, baked eggs and sides). The energy bowls and baked eggs include a base such as green herb (which is a saucy bed upon which the eggs lay) and a choice of ingredients to pick from (up to three included in the price, with more ingredients at a cost). That way you can customise what you’re eating. In the end, I went for baked eggs with a roast garlic and onion cream base topped with halloumi, roast tomatoes and a spicy North African lamb sausage called Merguez. The flavours complimented each other (not sure if this counts a compliment to myself having chosen the ingredients). Recommendation: a slice of sourdough to mop up the sauce would have been nice!
***B O T A N I C A L***
Plants are so IN on Stoke Newington Church Street. I came across Botanique Workshop which was absolutely magical. It had a good mix of plants, bunches of dried flowers, and lovely botanical-themed handmade gifts. They also take flower orders and I bought myself the sweetest pot.
If you’re flower hopping you could also pass by the Green Room cafe. They sell a range of plants and flowers and have a large open dining area. I had been a while back and the service wasn’t too good. Hopefully, it has improved since then! The food was also a little lacklustre but the ambience was great, particularly on a lovely day.
***D E S I G N & G I F T S ***
If one thing’s for sure, is you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice with gift shops and design stores.
I was particularly intrigued by Search and Rescue, packed with curious little items, from shelves lined with candles and cushions to dining sets, stationery and cosmetics.
Another inspiring gift shop is the Nook Shop, which also sells kitchenware, plants and useful gadgets.
Well, as the title suggests, this was a speedy visit to Stoke Newington Church Street. Next time, I’ll be giving it the time it deserves.