Situated in the north-west corner of Hackney, hidden away from prying eyes, Stoke Newington with its bohemian credentials and quiet ‘village’ feel has been developing into one of London’s most sought after residential areas. Currently home to the highest number of young families in London and named by the Observer in 2004 as the best place to be a parent, the area, centred around Church Street, is a quintessential trendy inner-city suburb, safe but with just enough edge to keep things interesting.
Historically, Stoke Newington has always been just off the radar, which has suited residents and businesses alike. Its Victorian streets and parks and lack of Underground services have enabled the area to grow its own personality in its own time, while nurturing a strong independent culture, including crafts and poetry. An example of this is the Stoke Newington Literary Festival which Time Out described as ‘Just like Hay-on-Wye but in Hackney.’
Stoke Newington’s ‘village’ character is reinforced by the nature of the commercial property and businesses in the area. Known for its boutique shops and wide array of restaurants, it has become one of the most desirable and successful retail locations in London. Organic groceries, family run butchers, independent bakeries and even a weekly farmers market cater for the holistic health conscious population, which is complimented by a number of yoga centres and alternative health practitioners.
Small independent boutiques, second-hand bookstores, children’s clothes shops and specialist music shops line Church Street and provide an inviting offer for casual moochers and die-hard shoppers alike.
Recently Hackney Council unveiled the refurbished Clissold House, a Georgian Mansion at the heart of a completely renovated public park including, urban Zoo and adventure playground.