KOMPAS is continuing the search to find the best places to go when exploring East London, and today we’re heading to Victoria Park. Wedged right next to the park it’s named after, this small neighbourhood is one of the hidden gems of Hackney. Quaint and inviting, spending some time exploring Victoria Park will have you quickly smitten. With a wide variety of places to check out, from delis and cafes to speciality shops for each part of a home-cooked meal, Victoria Park is one of those London neighbourhoods with a charming small town feel.
Where to Shop
From the outside, The Ginger Pig may look like your average butchers’ shop, but walking in it will prove to be more than just that. A prime example of don’t judge a book by its cover, this butchers’ shop highlights the artistry behind the meat. A friendly and well-informed staff stands at the ready to help you choose the right cut for your meal. They can even offer recipes and suggestions to elevate the meal further. A trip to The Ginger Pig is more than just a regular butchers’ run.
The shopfront of Village Organic doesn’t do it justice: With vegetables lining the sidewalk, much like an average off-licence, it’s easy to write this shop off. But walk inside and it’s quickly evident that this shop is unique. Taking pride in the sourcing of all the produce they sell, Village Organic puts in the extra step to provide customers with fruits and vegetables of the highest quality possible.
The final stop along the journey of buying a complete meal from speciality stores, Bottle Apostle. They will make sure that you have the right wine for your meal. Manning the store with people well-trained in wine pairings, Bottle Apostle is up to the challenge of getting the best wine for you. Nestled right on the corner, the small shop may not look like it could carry much wine, but don’t be fooled: it most certainly can. As an added bonus, they even offer wine tastings daily.
Complete with a bright yellow sign, The Toybox is a child’s nirvana. As you walk in, the windows and walls are lined with toys. Just walking in can create a massive smile on a child’s face. You will always be greeted with a smile when you walk in, this toy shop is a stand out in East London.
Sublime is stocked with all the closet staples one might need. With items from everyday basics to edgy flares, Sublime is a fun boutique to browse around. Well supplied and neatly set up, Sublime is definitely a place to go when searching for some wardrobe updates.
What to See
This piece of looms stands regally over Victoria Park Road. Completed by an unknown artist, the mural brings some flare to the street. The scape of a woman, city, and lanterns light up the sky, even on the greyest London days.
Where to Eat
A newcomer to the Victoria Park neighbourhood, Balcone is as hip inside as it looks outside. Serving up classic cafe fare with a twist, you can find either a refreshing salad or treat yourself to a house made pastry. With a changing menu, they work to bring the freshest recipes and most seasonal food to their customers.
This family-owned Mediterranean restaurant will make you feel like you’re eating at home (but better!). Bringing some classic British dishes to the same table as a Greek feast, Chambers will bring the feeling of a home-cooked meal with the family to the dinner table.
Whether you want to loaf around over a piece of cake, or you’re getting to work, Loafing has you covered. All cakes and pastries are baked in-house and they serve them fresh with a nice cuppa. The shop is located right on the corner with plenty of windows to enjoy the views.
Pub food just got a little fresher. Offering a changing seasonal menu, The Empress is shaking things up. The Empress offers a traditional pub atmosphere with a refreshed menu. The Empress serves pub classics but switches some things up to keep the ingredients they’re using as fresh as possible. The food is good, fresh, and affordable with a separate menu kept at a price of only 10 pounds.
We loved taking the opportunity to poke around Victoria Park and find some gems along the way. If there are any places we missed that you love, please let us know. If you enjoyed this area feature, be sure to check out our posts on Lower Clapton Road and Hackney Wick, & sign up for our weekly London email.[mc4wp_form id=”1182″]