STOKE NEWINGTON AREA GUIDE

March 1, 2019

 

Centuries of campaigning have helped make Stoke Newington one of London’s most vibrant, community-minded, independent and green neighbourhoods.

 

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature-lover or a shopaholic, our area guide to Stoke Newington gives you the inside track on where’s best to go… from a local’s perspective.

 

It’s thanks to the dogged determination of locals to protect and improve the area that Clissold Park wasn’t lost to developers in the 1880s, that the East Reservoir was converted into a nature reserve (2016) rather than filled in and built on and that a Sainsbury’s superstore wasn’t built on the south side of Abney Park (2015). 

The area offers almost every nationality of food, has some buzzing markets and most businesses are small, independent and full of character.

 

Scroll down for sections on

 

FOOD - ENTERTAINMENT - NATURE - SHOPPING - BARS - HISTORY

STOKEY FOR FOODIES

 

 

Head to THE LAST CRUMB for the best croissants this side of the Channel. They’re cooked in-house by Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef Helen Collier. This huge, pretty restaurant (opposite Abney Cemetery on Stoke Newington Church Street) also serves fantastic Sunday Roasts. Local Buyers Club members save 10%. 

 

BRUNCH OR DINNER

 

 (Pic via @wolf_restaurant)

 

WOLF, Stoke Newington High Street. The street outside this neighbourhood Italian might be buzzing, but there’s a calm cosiness inside that makes you want to while away a morning here…. That and they serve the most wonderful cocktails!  As in Italy, food here is king! Think creamy burrata, tender gnudi and richly flavoured ragu with seasonal vegetables. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

 (Moio)

 

MOIO, Stoke Newington High St. This warm and friendly neighbourhood restaurant serves modern European food and it’s getting rave reviews. It’s run by chef João Ferreira Pinto and sommelier Carolina W Seibel, who used to work together at Michelin starred Portland. Locals describe the atmosphere as “welcoming and relaxed.” The menu features a fusion of European flavours and a there’s a fun approach to wine that encourages trying something new. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

THE GOOD EGG is a firm favourite with locals and visitors to the area, serving up mouth-watering Middle Eastern flavours. You may have to queue on the weekend but it's worth the wait. Also well worth a visit is THE GREENROOM CAFE with a beautiful garden in the summer.

 

 

 (The Prince)

 

FANCY A ROAST? 

 

THE PRINCE in Kynaston Road serves brilliant Sunday roasts. But get there early – weekends are busy!

 

THE LONDESBOROUGH on Barbauld Road also serve a consistently yummy roast.

 

 

 (Trattoria N16)

 

PIZZA

 

TRATTORIA N16 on Newington Green serves up some of the best authentic Italian pizzas around. APOLLO on the High Street is also great. 

 

 

BEST MARKET

 

Stoke Newington is home to the UK’s only 100% organic farmer’s market. Head to St Paul’s Church on the High Street on Saturdays between 10am and 2.30pm to buy direct from small sustainable farmers, growers and makers.  Run by the not-for-profit Growing Communities, this lovely local market recently celebrated its 15th birthday. You can pick up fabulous, fresh Turkish borek, delicious homemade pickles, bread baked by locals recovering from mental illness and fresh meat, veg and cheeses.

ENTERTAINMENT IN STOKEY

 

 

THE TWISTED FORK MAGIC CAFE

 

The UK’s first magic and illusion themed café opened in Stoke Newington High Street in 2018. It’s run by Magic Circle magician Rich Clarke and he and visiting magicians perform close-up street-style magic to customers for free. Look out for their evening shows, which are well worth a visit. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

 

STOKEY KARAOKE

 

Gather up to 30 of your most tuneful friends for a night out in this hidden karaoke bar. There are disco balls and props aplenty.  It’s very close to Stoke Newington Station.

 

 

 

 

RIO CINEMA

 

This Art Deco cinema is steeped in character and history. It’s a short hop from Stoke Newington in neighbouring Dalston and worth a visit. It’s run by a not-for-profit cooperative and shows brilliant movies much cheaper than the big-chains.  The Daily Telegraph named it “One of London’s best Cinemas.” See listings here

 

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FOR NATURE LOVERS

 

 

ABNEY PARK.

 

This is one of London’s ‘magnificent seven’ garden cemeteries. As well as being a woodland memorial park, this is a Local Nature Reserve and it’s a real oasis in a busy city.  This 32-acre site is home to more than 100 species of trees, 50 species of bees and fabulous bats, birds, insects and very rare fungi.  Describing the park, one volunteer said: “You’re surrounded by trees and the sounds of wildlife. Some people see the cemetery as morbid. I see it as life continuing. In the winter when the first snow falls it’s at its most beautiful.”

Check out the beautiful gothic chapel in the centre (it’s the oldest surviving non-denominational chapel in Europe).

Among the remarkable people buried here are Salvation Army founder William Booth, Harry Cox who pioneered the X-ray machine and legendary firefighter James Braidwood.

You can access the cemetery via Church Street or the High Street.

 

 

CLISSOLD PARK

 

This 53-acre park was described by campaigners as among the “lungs of the metropolis” for good reason. The land it sits on was offered for sale at £95,000 (£11 million in today’s money) in the 1880s but one man: Joseph Beck spearheaded a campaign to save it and designate it park land. It opened on July 24th 1889.  Today it’s one of London’s loveliest and best-planned parks, with the pretty New River running through a section, an aviary, lakes, deer, sports fields, a playground and tennis courts. There's also a great cafe in Clissold House. 

 

 

WOODBERRY WETLANDS

 

When Sir David Attenborough opened this nature reserve in April 2016, it was the perfect conclusion to a remarkable community campaign to protect a defunct reservoir from urban sprawl.

Built in 1833 as a storage for fresh drinking water, the East Reservoir was later treated with chlorine and sodium phosphate to ‘clean the water’, which left it devoid of wildlife.  When developers sought to fill the reservoir and build on it in the 1990s, locals rallied to save it. The result is spectacular – hailed as one of London’s ‘secretly brilliant best bits’ by Time Out, Woodberry Wetlands is now a haven for migratory birds as well as butterflies, moths, dragonflies, frogs, toads, bats and newts. More info here

 

FOR SHOPAHOLICS

 

There are plenty of lovely independent shops in Stoke Newington offering unique gifts, clothes, homeware, craft beer and gadgets for the kitchen. Here are a few of our favourites.

 

 

EARLYBIRD CARDS

 

Set up by Dominic and Heidi Early, they produce their own greetings cards and sell fun gifts. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

 

KITCHEN PROVISIONS

 

This is the place for unusual kitchen gadgetry (who knew there was such a thing as a spring onion cutter or a pickle press?!). Check out PREP cookware too for lovely homeware items and cool things for the kitchen.

 

Lovely gift and homeware shops include HAMILTONS, NOOK, THE DESIGN STORE, POST and SEARCH & RESCUE.

 

 

 

STOKE NEWINGTON BOOKSHOP

 

Owner Jo has a knack for stocking the most talented authors and finding must-read books. It’s on the High Street and their sister company ‘Stoke Newington Toys & Books’ is a couple of doors down and has a good selection of children’s books and toys.

 

 

HUB has two shops on Church Street (a men’s shop and a women’s shop) selling the best of British and Scandinavian clothing and accessories.  

 

IVORY on the High Street has lovely women’s clothes and the good people of Stoke Newington make sure there are always top-quality bargains to be found in the local charity shops. 

 

JAINES AND SON is a lovely independent neighbourhood fishmongers in the heart of Stoke Newington stocking seasonal hand-selected fish and shellfish, sourced directly from boats and delivered to the shop daily. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

Support local and save!

 

 

 

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 150+ local discounts. Save 10-25% with your membership card

 

JOIN THE CLUB! Just £12 a year. 

 

 

PUBS AND BARS

 

 

THE PRINCE. This Stokey favourite on Kynaston Road has been going since the late 1800s – there’s always good food and a brilliant selection of real ales and craft beers and there’s often live music too.

 

 

THE CLARENCE. Stoke Newington Church Street. This tavern has a large beer garden out the back and lovely, comfortable areas to sit and enjoy a bite to eat. Local Buyers Club members save 10%.

 

RYAN'S BAR. The huge beer garden in this local bar is a sun trap in the summer and a huge draw. The food is good, locally sourced and seasonal and there’s a fun, party atmosphere here.

 

VICTORY MANSION. Stoke Newington High Street. This bar and restaurant serves fabulous cocktails and Asian Tacos.  Their basement is perfect for a private party!

The RED LION has a lively atmosphere and is a great place to watch sport on the big screen.

 

STOKE NEWINGTON FOR HISTORY BUFFS

 

(Credit: StokeNewingtonHistory.com)

 

Stoke Newington has a fascinating history – from times as rolling countryside to grand mansions, it quickly became an area popular with radicals. There are plenty of opportunities to gem up on local history here in a fun and engaging way.

 

When author Daniel Defoe (most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe) lived here in the 17th century, Stoke Newington was little more than countryside.   He lived in a house that stood at what is now 95 Stoke Newington Church Street and a blue plaque is erected there in his honour.

 

The name ‘Stoke Newington’ means New Town in the Woods and the area has a remarkable history. Evidence it was a Neolithic working area for axe-making has been found at Abney Park Cemetery and Stoke Newington Common. Stoke Newington was given to St Paul's Cathedral in 940. In the 16th century, when the area was just a small village, they granted a lease to author and scholar William Patten and they subsequently leased it to Lords like Sir Thomas Abney.

 

In the 19th Century parcels of land began to be sold for building purposes and the number of homes and businesses here grew rapidly. Historian Amir Dotan told the Local Buyers Club that technically St Paul's still own parts of Stoke Newington.

 

Newington Green was home to writer, philosopher, feminist and human rights activist Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1794 she opened a boarding school for girls here and she attended the radical Unitarian Church (which is still there and which houses a less traditional graffiti memorial to her).  From time to time guided walks take place here, highlighting the area’s radical history. Visit www.islingtonguidedwalks.com for details.

 

 (Credit: StokeNewingtonHistory.com)

 

Amir Dotan has lived in Stoke Newington since 2002 and became fascinated by the area’s history. He dedicates his spare time to collecting stories and photos from days gone by. He gives regular talks about local history. Sign up to his mailing list for details; www.stokenewingtonhistory.com

 

Check out our blog "A Brief History of Stoke Newington Church Street".

 

 

 

 

GHOST SIGNS

 

How often do you look up and notice the details that point to an area’s history? Stoke Newington is home to one of the UK’s largest concentrations of Ghost Signs.  These faded painted signs on the brick walls of shops, homes and restaurants date back to the late 1700s and they’ve been documented by local history fan San Roberts. Among the more noticeable local ghost signs are a Walker Brothers fountain pen advert in central Stoke Newington Church Street. Download his Ghost Signs Tour app and take the walking tour.

 

Please help us to keep this guide up to date and relevant. Please email your suggestions to team@localbuyersclub.com

 

 

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