|The Crate - Canalside - Hackney Wick|
|I use fashion to express my individuality|
In London, to be hipster is to be a social pariah. You'll see suspiciously hipster-ish cafés with ironic "No Hipsters!" slogans chalked on their sandwich boards. Graffiti spray-painted on the walls of certain neighboods will warn "Hipsters Go Home!" or even "Death to Hipsters". Which is a bit much, try substituting "Muslims" or "Irish" into that particular sentiment and see how it reads.
|Ah Lads! Hipsters Are People Too!|
Tell people you going to Peckham, Shoreditch or Dalston for a drink or a bite to eat and you'll immediately get the "EW! THAT PLACE IS FULL OF F****G HIPSTERS!"
Well, so what? I like hipsters. They're well groomed, normally harmless and fun to look at. Like Hamsters. Hamsters who know how to make a good flat-white.
But you will also find some great bars. And great, cheap places to eat (hipsters being notoriously stingy).
And some of my favourite bars in London are slap bang in hipster territory. Including...
* The Crate - Hackney Wick
I have a friend (Martin from Tipperary) who has a workshop up in Hackney Wick. He moved in there just before the Olympics kicked off next door in Stratford. And Hackney Wick was a wasteland of old warehouses, crap-clogged canals and seriously dodgy back-streets. Now, Hackney Wick is one of the most stylish (well, Hipster-ish) parts of London. It's said to have the highest concentration of artists in London (they'll all be gone soon as the cool factor they brought to the 'hood sees rents and new loft apartments go up. Ironic or what?). The Crate, a former warehouse on the side of the canal that does greet beers and pizzas, is a great shop to visit when the sun is shining. You can actually do a great little pub crawl around Hackney Wick, there's a great pop-up bar called Grow, a cool restaurant bar called 90 Mainyard and yet another pop-up bar/theatre space (all old trestle tables and industrial space) in the same industrial estate that houses Crate. These are all within a stone's throw of each other.
* Frank's - Fifth Floor, Multi-Story Carpark - Peckam Rye
|Franks - The View Over the whole of London is Stunning|
|This is the view from Franks. Stunning.|
There is great food from a couple of street-style shacks and great beers and cocktails. It's closed at the moment for winter but you won't find a better spot to have a bite and a beer on a summer's evening in London (however, be warned - it gets JAMMED during summer weekends)
|The Brick Brewery - Peckham Rye|
Nearby - you will find the Brick Brewery - a great little micro-brewery where you can buy a pint made virtually in front of you and sit on the trestle tables underneath the railway line in the yard.
Also in the area - the Montpelier is worth a visit as is the relatively cheap and greatly heralded Italian restaurant, Artusi.
* The Effra Social - Brixton
Brixton is very close to where I am living at the moment. And it's a fantastic neighbourhood (the last stop on the Victoria line if you are coming from central London or Up North.)
|The Effra - Great Place to Dance, Eat, Drink.|
Also worth a visit is the Effra Social - a former neighbourhood Conservative Club (a sort of social club) that closed it's doors in the late '80s and has recently re-opened as a lovely bar and gastropub.
The Effra is unchanged since the doors closed on the old Conservative Club - there's a dance-hall at the back with a small stage for DJs and bands, it's a time-warp that the new owners have been smart enough to leave virtually untouched. You can almost picture your grandparents dancing to the sounds of Englebert Humperdink back in the day.
Brixton is changing. Fast. People talk about gentrification and how the hipsters are ruining the place. Which is bollix. You can put up with some beardy blokes in tight-jeans if it means getting great food and places like the Effra.
* The Royal Oak - Columbia Road, Shoreditch
Yes, it's on the madly gentrified Columbia Road in the part of London that defines hipster - Shoreditch. And this old man's boozer has been transformed into the kind of gastropub-ish, shabby-chic hangout that drives some people crazy. But it's a beautifully preserved, Edwardian (?) pub with green majolica tiles on the outside and lots of cosy wood, glass and brass on the inside. A real survivor, thankfully given a second life.
* The Princess Louise
|Look At That Hipster Fecker|
* THANKS FOR READING AND HAPPY BOOZING.