While the flurry of new businesses opening in Clapton has by no means come to an end, recent months have marked a sea change in the neighbouring area of Homerton, where a crop of new and exciting ventures have emerged.
Rebecca King rounds up five Homerton hotspots worth taking note of.
The new local: Adam & Eve
The original architects that opened this large pub in 1914 clearly had big ambitions – you only have to glimpse the wonderful external masonry to get that – and so do its new owners 100 years later.
Keen to restore the pub to its former glory, the Adam & Eve has been renovated with care. The sports TV was ditched, but the original partitions, mouldings and lights have been retained. This spot is ideal for both intimate rendezvous or more extravagant get togethers, with many different areas to get lost in.
Food is served by the Cornwall Project, who are also the suppliers behind major restaurants such as The Ledbury. The pub also runs pop-up food events to watch out for, such as the recent Lobster festival.
And if that wasn’t enough, the pub also has a spacious garden and an L-shaped pool table to enjoy.
155 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
The date spot: Jackdaw & Star
The interior of the Star of Hackney Downs’ sister venue has been conjured up by Lady Ray Creative, who has built a narrative around magic and collecting, the mythological characteristics associated with the jackdaw. Working with local businesses and makers where possible, Lady Ray has installed a beautiful copper bar to create a sophisticated speakeasy vibe.
The same local ironmongers helped to construct the pub’s bespoke display tables, each of which is filled with a carefully chosen arrangement of Hackney-related trinkets. Velvet curtains and cocktail menus hint towards decadence, and right at the back of the venue an extravagant outdoor space filled with red leather banquette sofas and festooned lights creates a cosy space to have a smoke or catch some fresh air.
224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
For the family: Homerton Adventure Playground
If your children need to burn off some energy, then Homerton’s Adventure Playground is the place to let them run wild. Set behind a colourful wooden gate, this impressive space has a lot of activities to choose from – and in the middle, a community house is located for parents to keep an eye on the kids.
The playground itself is a maze of platforms linked together by walkways, ropes and zip wires, while ladders and ramps can take you to different play areas. Slap bang in the middle of the playground is a large red London taxi cab, suspended up high, where you can feel free to open the doors and drive off into whichever imaginative horizon you’re headed. There’s plenty to please kids of all ages from three year olds right up to early teens.
Wardle Street, E9 5QG
The gym: Love Your Body Health Hub
Love Your Body’s owner Wes decided to open up shop after living in Homerton for the past 30 years, and noticing that Hackney was calling itself home to an ever-increasing number of runners and cyclists.
The mention of independent gyms in the Capital often stirs visions of cage fighters and competition-worthy body builders, but this self-styled Health Hub bares stark resemblance.
With a large dance studio running a mix of classes throughout the week, in addition to its gym area, Love Your Body promises to limit gym and class memberships to ensure that those who join don’t have to wait an age for a machine, or worry about feeling intimidated in the free weights area. The gym also has no shortage of qualified personal trainers who can answer any health questions you may have – or finally teach you the correct way to do a situp.
150-152 Cassland Road, E9 5DA
The cafe: Hatch Homerton
Hatch Homerton wants to have its cake and eat it too. Owner Alistair has bravely taken on the task of running a cafe, bar and a desk space rental service all under one roof.
All of this is located very conveniently next door to Homerton Overground station. Alistair gutted the space and refurbished what was once a garage, sourcing an iron spiral staircase and other quirky furniture and fittings to create this eye-catching venue. The fabulous jigsaw frontage, which is made up of many different sized vintage windows – that also function as shelves for storing interesting objects – adds to the venue’s extravagance.
Despite the bustle of Homerton High Street, Hatch Homerton is a calm and quiet refuge – the perfect place to go and develop new projects, launch a small business or simply grab some coffee.
Unit G2, Mackintosh Lane, E9 6AB