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125 Church Street

Bars and pubs Stoke Newington
3 out of 5 stars
125 Church Street (© Jamie Lau)
© Jamie Lau

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A new bar in Stoke Newington from the team behind The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker on St John Street.

As seen by the recent openings of the nearby Stokey Bears burger bar, Original Sin cocktail bar and Esters café, the N16 neighbourhood is slowly adopting some hipster cool. Further evidence: this new bar/café on the main Stoke Newington strip, open from coffee time through to craft beer time. 

It’s had the customary dressing down such places get these days. Like Paxman at the start of ‘University Challenge’ I can barely bring myself to go over the form yet again, but: filament bulbs, exposed lighting trays, bare brick walls. When you remember that almost every old building in London has bare brick walls somewhere inside it, the sight of them becomes a lot less exciting. However, a fair whack of money has clearly been spent on 125, because it’s all very smart and neat and stylish. Not least the hireable cellar space, or the very useful and sizeable garden out the back – one to remember when the weekly pram festival begins in Clissold Park come spring.

To eat: grilled sandwiches, or ‘toasties’, as they were known in the days when bare brick walls meant the builder hadn’t finished yet. But they’re stuffed with inventive combinations, including fennel salami, Italian cheese and sundried tomatoes, or, last week, in honour of the Bard, haggis, cheddar and mustard. With posh crisps and own-made coleslaw they’re not a bad little snack.

And to drink, mainly local craft beers, which is never something to be cynical about. I saw pints from Pressure Drop, Hackney Brewery and Five Points, all brewed just a stroll away, as well as the more exotic all-day IPA from Founders in Michigan.

The cynic might say 125 is a bit by-the-numbers, but it all adds up to something well worth checking out as an alternative to the tried-and-tested local pubs. 

By: Euan Ferguson



Address: 125 Church St
N16 0UH
Transport: Rail: Stoke Newington
Opening hours: 4-11pm Mon-Wed; noon-11pm Thu; noon-2am Fri-Sat; noon-9pm Sun.
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