I moved to Hackney Wick with my husband, who is also an architect, a year ago. I had been in West London and was reluctant to move anywhere else, but Hackney Wick opened my eyes. We have a professional appreciation for the architecture of the area, but we also love the things it offers a resident.
Eat and drink
Grow Hackney on Wallis Road, just above Overground station, is an independent bar and kitchen fused with a creative space. It’s an ethical, sustainable, experimental creative company with quite an interesting food offer. I’ve been coming to Crate Brewery and Pizzeria in Queen’s Yard since before I lived here, it has a lovely terrace overlooking the canal.
For more special occasions, Silo London operates a circular economy model where everything is local or sustainably sourced and nothing goes to waste. I really like the Ethical Bean Company on Dace Road; it is one of the remaining buildings from the area’s more industrial era.
where i train
Hackney Wick sits between the River Lea, Regent’s Canal, Olympic Park, Hackney Marshes and Victoria Park so this is my gym. I love running and almost every day I can do a different course without overtaking a car. For those who enjoy cycling, there is the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, where you can loop around the facility or there are tracks around the outside.
There’s a lot of street art, so as you walk around you’ll get a sense of how creative the area is. There are also a number of artists’ studios in former industrial spaces which are also used for events. Oslo House on Felstead Street is particularly interesting.
The Yard Theater is a venue located in a converted warehouse in Queen’s Yard. I really like Color Factory in the same courtyard, you can start your night sitting outside having fries and a beer and maybe the night takes you to a rave.
Victoria Park is a very large but also urban park with a wonderful Farmers Market, but my personal preference is Hackney Marshes. With its green spaces, its waterways and its small forest, you quickly forget that you are in London.
There’s a great place called Refill Therapy on Wallis Road where you can bring your own containers and buy dry goods. Hackney Wick Underground on White Post Lane is a mix of workspace, exhibition space and a really cool cafe, where I always go for bread. Roman Road is not far away and has shops selling things from all over the world including some very good baklava and other pastries.
I’ll walk to central London or catch the Overground, then find my way into the city. The Elizabeth line makes such an easy connection to anywhere from Stratford.
Dace Road on Fish Island. You still see a lot of old factories, but there are also new developments. The layers of the story are truly amazing. It’s a nice place to reflect and imagine how it worked 100 or 200 years ago.
Something you only see in Hackney Wick
In other areas of London there is a clear distinction between the streets where you live and those where you go out, whereas here it is all linked. You may have a courtyard two minutes from your house where you can buy bread, maybe you can see an exhibition, you can have a pizza and a beer and you can also party.
What’s the catch?
It’s the vicious cycle of creative communities moving in to take advantage of derelict spaces and more affordable rents, then attracting new developments only to be evicted by their own success. It risks becoming a new Shoreditch.
In three words
Creativity, heritage, belonging.
The London Architecture Festival starts today and runs throughout June in different locations across the capital. Visit londonfestivalofarchitecture.org.
What it costs
Buy in Hackney Wick
Average lump sum price: £481,237
Average property price: £1,124,534
Rental in Hackney Wick
Average fixed CFM: £1,633 CFM
Average house cfm: £2,507 cfm
Mossbourne Riverside Academy Primary School is rated as outstanding by Ofsted while Gainsborough Primary School is given a good rating.