14th Nov 2011 12:11pm | By Editor
Everyone’s heard of Shoreditch, Hoxton and Dalston. But what about Haggerston? Bridging the Hackney gap between the three is this once-sketchy patch of concrete, which is now getting much more attention. Words: CLAIRE VOOGHT
Haggerston is halfway up the Kingsland Road, just before you reach Dalston. It’s essentially a younger brother to the hipster hotspot, complete with trendy bars and cafes of its own, as well as the same busy, arty atmosphere.
New and exciting places to spend weekends and evenings are springing up all over the area.
Kenny Goad, from Currell Residential in Kingsland Road, says: “It’s an extension of what’s happening in Shoreditch, and that’s coming up Kingsland Road and branching out.
“There have been quite a few delis and cafes springing up, plus boutique places opening on the canal. Most of them are pop-up.”
One such spot (although permanent, not pop-up) is just off Kingsland Road, in the corner of a typically scuzzy council estate parade in between a police station and a laundrette. Going by the name of the Haggerston Tearoom (224 Haggerston Road), it serves fresh coffee, Montezuma’s chocolate and toasted artisan sandwiches.
And with these bohemian cafes come the arty types. Enver Ecer from Kingsland Estates says: “There are a lot of artists in the area. Last week an artist lady turned her one-bedroom flat around the corner into an art gallery. It was really cool – it was open to
the public and she made teas and coffees.”
And with the arrival of the creatives, come the young families and young professionals. Now it’s on the radar, says Ecer, it’s filling up fast – especially since the East London Line has come to Haggerston, linking it up with the Tube and central London.
Being 10 minutes from Liverpool Street, it’s also a hit with City workers, who are snapping up the new flats and ultra-hip
but uber-pricey warehouse conversions. Cranes are everywhere, building shiny new blocks to replace the old dodgy ones
at great speed.
For a long time, Haggerston was forgotten while its neighbouring areas attracted development and interest. But for the past couple of years, it has received the life (and cash) injection it needed.
Now streets close to Haggerston station, period conversions in Kingsland Road and properties in wharfs on the Regents Canal, which runs through Haggerston, are the most desired. Ex-council flats are still a good way to get into the area on the cheap, though.
And there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the area. The original Wah Nails (where London nail art got cool) and Bleach salon (now in Topshop Oxford Street) are in Kingsland Road, right where Haggerston blends into Dalston.
For drinking, Victorian pub The Haggerston (438 Kingsland Road) is all about wooden booths, dim lighting and eclectic music – you’ll hear anything from pop to hardcore rap to jazz.
For clubs, head south to Shoreditch. For more pubs and cheap, authentic Turkish grub, go to Dalston.
In the summer, stick around in Haggerston for Hackney Wicked art festival at the end of July and LowBrow music and art festival, which hits Haggerston Park at the beginning of September.