hackney wick east london guide

Hackney Wick East London Guide

London Guide: Hackney Wick, E9. If you’re on the hunt for cool places to visit in London then you’ll just love my Hackney Wick East London Guide. This area is sandwiched in between the amazing Victoria Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Hackney Marsh. It’s also quite close to the shopping centre at Westfield Stratford and benefits from the River Lea and River Lea Navigation flowing through. Hackney Wick has plenty of street art, riverside bars and eateries plus affordable warehouse space for artists. There is also Fish Island, E3 which is South of Hackney Wick and West of Stratford. It’s called Fish Island because the roads are named after freshwater fish (Dace, Roach and Bream). Hackney Wick, Fish Island and the additional tourist attractions make for an interesting day out.

hackney wick

Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick Artist Enclave

Arrive at the Hackney Wick Overground station and you’ll notice an abundance of street art as soon as you reach street level. It’s a great place to take photographs so make sure you pack your camera.

hackney wick, street art

Street Art

The area is very urban, which I love, it’s not to everyone’s taste but there are plenty of green spaces nearby. The buildings are a mix of Victorian and Edwardian warehouse spaces along with modern industrial units. Many of the warehouses have been turned over to artists and for community use which gives this area a sense of sharing and a creative spirit. The Hackney Wicked event took place recently where artists organised DIY open studios inviting the public to view their work. There was a lot going on with food stalls, DJs and various performances by artists. It is usually more of a festival so keep an eye out for it next summer.

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Hackney Wicked

If you’re an artist looking to rent a studio, this is the place to be. The Hackney Wick Org is a good website to browse with listings and information. I’ll mention a few of these artist spaces so you get a sense of what I’m talking about. The Fish Island Labs has been set up to kick start the careers of talent in the fields of technology and the arts. This is a project by The Barbican and The Trampery and they have taken over an Edwardian warehouse by the River Lea. It is now home to around fifty emerging practitioners who are pushing creative boundaries and using new technologies. They are located at 60 Dace Road, London E3 2NQ. The Cell Projects rents out studio space on Wallis Road to artists, painters and sculptors. The address is 80-84 Wallis Road, London E9 5LW. Mother Studios was set up in 2001 by artist Joanna Hughes and are an independent, non-profit and artist-run organisation with affordable space. The address is Queens Yard, White Post Lane, London E9 5EN. Stour Space also rents space and has a shop (called the shop!) which sells exclusive pieces by artists and includes furniture, jewellery, photography and art amongst other creative items. It’s open daily from 10 am until 5 pm so check it out at 7 Roach Road, London E3 2PA.

hackney wick, stour space

Stour Space

You’ll also find galleries showcasing work from local talent like the Schwartz Gallery who are situated on the Ground Floor, Building 2, 92 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN. The White Building is a centre dedicated to art, technology and sustainability and is an incubator for artists and creatives whose work engages with technology. They have a residency studio for international and UK artists which provides space to support them making their work. It also offers temporary exhibition space and hosts events. The address is Unit 7, Queens Yard, London E9 5EN. If you fancy catching a performance head to The Yard Theatre. Situated in a warehouse, you’ll find a theatre and a bar made from recycled materials. The address is Unit 2a, Queens Yard, London E9 5EN.

hackney wick, artist galleries

Schwartz Gallery

If you’re a fan of design you might also want to browse around the Béton Brut showroom which is just around the corner from the Hackney Pearl eatery (mentioned below). They specialise in architect-led design from post-War France, Italy, Netherlands and Scandinavia. They are only open on certain days so do check the website before you visit. The address is Unit 2, 30 Felstead Street, London E9 5LG.

hackney wick, beton brut

Béton Brut Showroom

Hackney Wick Restaurants and Bars

There are some exciting eateries in the vicinity so I’ll touch on a few of these. The Counter Café is situated in the Stour Space building. It has an extensive outside dining area right on the River Lea facing with a front-row seat to view the Olympic Park. It’s a laid back independent neighbourhood café serving up some tasty brunch dishes using locally sourced produce where possible. Homeboy and I ate breakfast there one morning and the menu featured homemade muesli with fruit and Greek yoghurt, French toast with berries and toasted almonds, Turkish eggs with toast and garlic yoghurt, veggie cooked breakfast and mackerel with baby potatoes and horseradish cream. I must say the coffee was great and is roasted on the premises. It’s such an idyllic place with a community vibe and a great spot to relax right by the river. The address is 7 Roach Road, London E3 2PA.

hackney wick, counter cafe

Counter Café

Another fantastic café is Hackney Pearl which has plenty of alfresco seats on the street. They use seasonal ingredients along with British meat, fish and eggs. The menu featured breakfast including pancakes with strawberries, potato hash with fried eggs and rocket plus bacon, fried egg and roasted onion bap. At midday, the menu changes to feature dishes like Tuscan soup, broad bean and green pea bruschetta, vegetable mezze with homemade focaccia and a few other options. The address is 11 Prince Edward Road, London E9 5LX.

hackney wick, hackney pearl

Hackney Pearl

Crate Brewery is located on the ground floor of The White Building. Aside from running a bar which sells their brews, they also serve stone-baked pizza with interesting toppings. The interiors feature upcycled crates, railway sleepers, scaffold planks and pallets gathered from the local vicinity. The pizzeria is usually open from midday and on Friday and Saturday nights, there will likely be a DJ. There is space outside to enjoy the River Lea views. The address is 7, The White Building, Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN.

hackney wick, the white buidling

Crate Brewery at the White Building

Another bar and restaurant I’ll mention is Number 90 Bar. I didn’t get a chance to eat here but I did have a snoop around. The venue is very spacious with outside space overlooking the river. The menu sounded extremely tempting with superfood salads, mac and cheese, braised pulled lamb, beef burger and veggie burger with hand-cut chips plus more dishes. They have a great cocktail list so you can enjoy yours overlooking the river bank. This place was founded by local residents along with London promoters so they offer an events programme like DJ sets and cocktail masterclasses. The address is 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, London E9 5LN.

hackney wick, number bar ninety

Number 90 Bar

London Tourist Attractions Close to Hackney Wick

You can make a full day of your exploration in this vicinity by visiting the nearby attractions. Westfield Stratford City is the largest urban shopping and leisure destination in Europe. You’ll find a good mix of high street fashion and designer stores and some 65 restaurants. There is also a 17 screen cinema, a bowling alley and a casino which is open 24 hours. You can reach this shopping centre via Stratford or Stratford International stations.

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Westfield Stratford City and Olympic Park

I was actually quite impressed by The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There were thousands of people milling around, enjoying picnics, eating ice creams and exploring the area. There are plenty of benches and green spaces to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. You’ll find play areas for the kids and places to eat. The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and you can travel straight to the top by lift and enjoy a panorama view of London. Some of the buildings for sporting activities and events include The Stadium (main Olympic stadium which will become home of West Ham United FC in 2016) The Copper Box Arena (gym and activities like badminton), London Aquatics Centre (swimming pool) and the Lee Valley VeloPark (cycling track).

hackney wick, hackney marshes, wick woodland, river lea

Hackney Marshes, Wick Woodland and River Lea

If you want to get in a walk there’s Wetlands Walk, Wick Woodland, Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green. You are also close to Victoria Park which is beautiful. There are plenty of river and canal paths nearby so you can enjoy looking at the houseboats.

Hackney Wick Area Further Research

This area is still evolving so I am sure you’ll find plenty more great things to do and see in the vicinity. If you search twitter you’ll also find pop-ups and ad hoc activities happening nearby. Also, check out Instagram.

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy and Richie for exploring this place with me.