London’s riviera is full of food, drink, culture and farm animals.
Why go there?
Where the Regent’s Canal meets Kingsland Road, you’ll find the Haggerston Riviera: the perfect place to relax before getting messy up in Dalston.
Sounds fabulous. How about an aperitivo?
Waterside cocktails can be found at The Barge House on De Beauvoir Crescent – highlights include the Bathtub Gin and Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Rumbullion (like rum, but fancier). On the Kingsland Road, head to The Glory, which is known for its subversive drag performances. Afterwards, try The Fox for some craft beers, before stumbling up to The Haggerston.
What about caffeinated beverages?
Toconoco on the Kingsland Basin is a kid-friendly café with a relaxed, Japanese-inspired atmosphere, but the childless need not be put off: there’s a separate playroom, making sure zen stays at optimum levels for adults. Russell Brand’s Trew Era Café (Whitmore Road) is good if you’re feeling sociable, with group activities including meditation and knitting sessions alongside locally sourced vegetarian fare.
Anything that isn’t edible or drinkable?
Learn how to fix your fixie at London Bike Kitchen (Whitmore Road). Or head to Kingsland Road and pick up some neat threads from vintage designer emporium Storm in a Teacup, before getting your locks tended to at uber-hip hairdressers Bleach. Then you should be ready for an evening of DIY punk rock at basement sweatpit Power Lunches or bongo fury at hippie haven Passing Clouds up on Richmond Road.
Where can I get something to eat?
Back on the Riviera (De Beauvoir Crescent), Arepa & Co serves up bold Venezuelan food. The Proud Archivist is good for avocado-on-toast lunches while getting some work done, and also has some fancier options for dinner. On the Kingsland Road, Italian restaurant Rotorino can fix you up with dinner and a digestivo, or if you need to sober up after a Riviera crawl, Chick ’n’ Sours will provide the age-old cure of deep-fried meat with carbs on the side. There’s also a bus stop just a few wobbly footsteps outside for a safe passage home.
And if I only do one thing?
Get back to nature with a trip to Haggerston Park.There’s something for everybody here, whether you fancy a quiet stroll, a spot of ping pong, or even playing with the ducks, donkeys and piglets at Hackney City Farm.
By Sarah Drumm, who drinks a lot of coffee while on the lookout for Russell Brand.
Fancy a change of scene? Take a look at the best bits of Twickenham.