Hackney Magazine Winter 2018

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ISSUE ISSUE 99 || WINTER WINTER 2018 2018 || hackneymagazine.com hackneymagazine.com FREE







CHRISTMAS AT HACKNEY VENUES Get in the festive spirit this Christmas by celebrating with friends and colleagues in one of our four East End venues. From the enchanting 18th Century mansion House in Clissold Park, two stunning 1930's town hall's and the super cool Hackney House in Shoreditch there is a space to suit all styles and budgets. To book your next festive get together in the heart of Hackney visit www.hackneyvenues.com or call 0208 356 5505


WINTER 2018 | hackneymagazine.com | ISSUE 9



6-7 Interview with the director of Mary Wollstonecraft Live! Anna Birch

Yasemin Bakan

Sub Editor


Edward Rowe

Michael Daventry


8-9 Your local guide to music, theatre, exhibitions, talks and shows



Umut Senogul

10-11 Sam Roberts is documenting London’s fading history


Victoria Gray, Mersa Auda

Graphic Design Advertising 01992 310680




12-13 Hackney’s new cool area: Newington Green



HackneyMagazine www.hackneymagazine.com

14 Deniz Bilgin, co-owner of Stoke Newington Green Fruits & Vegetables

Hackney Magazine is distributed free every quarter to more than 25,000 homes and businesses throughout Hackney.


18 These four spots teach you how to make your own food & drink


P 16

19 Cornerstone

Credit Jade Nina Sarkhel

16-17 Vegan dining in Hackney is taking root

Published by Metropol Media Ltd Metropol Media Ltd cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Metropol Media Ltd take no responsibility for omissions or errors. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. All rights reserved. ISSUE ISSUE 99 || WINTER WINTER

2018 2018 || hackneymagazine hackneymagazine .com .com FREE

ON THE COVER Photo: Martin Cusack
















Phaedra Clothing

By Cecil

‘The Assembly Market’ brings independent designers to Stoke Newington


bney Public Hall is set to host the Assembly Market on 17-18 November. Led by the founder of Hackney-based, lounge wear company Under The Cloth, Jannine Newman, the market brings together independent designers and creatives in fashion, interior design and printing.

Fireworks Display at Clissold Park


he annual, stunning spectacle of colour and music returns to Clissold Park on Saturday, 3rd November with the 2018 Hackney Fireworks Display. This years event will be enhanced with live music, street performances, street



A diverse selection of clothing from simple linen garb made in Cornwall and Rutland to dresses and handmade knitwear from London, kaftans, pyjamas and children’s wear awaits visitors. A variety of artwork and prints, vintage wares, jewellery, bags, cushions, quilts, and botanicals will also be showcased.

Participants include fashion designer Justine Tabak and brands such as Nadinoo, Spry Workwear, Phaedra Clothing and Daydress, alongside print makers Paper Covers Rock, Elvira Van Vredenburgh and Jess Albert. “I want people to come in and browse, talk to the designers and understand their brands. This event is about building a dialogue between designers and customers, which is a lovely way to shop for both customer and designer” explains Jannine. Free, Abney Public Hall 73A Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 0AS Instagram @theassemblymarket

food and bars, plus a children’s village and sparkler zone. As always, the display is synchronised to music. Gates open at 5.00pm and the display starts at 7.30pm. The display lasts 20 minutes and is suitable for all ages. The event will remain open and operating after the display until 9pm. Please note, some forms of entertainment may be weather-dependant. Clissold Park Stoke Newington Church Street, Green Lanes, N16 9HJ Ticket: £2.75 - £8.25 www.eventbrite.co.uk

Hackney Farm’s Tetra Pak Project WOODLAND PLACE

We are building a woodland pavilion and w e n e e d y o u r h e l p ! Get in touch at:



or visit us to see how you can take part. You

construction project for a new activity and well-being space at Hackney City Farm has begun. The new space, named ‘Woodland Place’ will nestle in the Farm’s Wood. The project received £13,426 from the Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by Peoples’ Postcode Lottery players. Local people chose Woodland Place after taking inspiration from drawings by local architect Sarah Bland of Studio Wic. Residents, volunteers, and cafés led by Sarah are preparing sustainable materials for the project: a pavilion with a platform and canopy, including a Tetra Tile roof made from repurposed Tetra Pak foil. Woodland Place will be open to the public as a space to join workshops and for quiet reflection in a natural environment. “We look forward to welcoming volunteers to help transform this space and bring the community together. We seek volunteers to help build as well as plan and lead Woodland Place events,” said project coordinator Caroline Baker. For other dates and to register interest, contact:

Credit Amani A/Shutterstock.com

can also donate your waste 1ltr cartons to help us create our ‘tetra-tile’ roof

“Primary starter numbers down” says Education Director By Edward Rowe


rimary school starter numbers have dropped recently despite growing demand for school places, a top Hackney education official has said. “Over the last decade we’ve seen a steady increase in demand for places however, in the last year or so, like many London boroughs, we’ve seen a drop in the number of children starting primary school” Hackney Learning Trust Head and Director of Education Annie Gammon told the Hackney Magazine. “The reasons for this are unknown” she explained, “but

could be related to house prices, benefit changes and possible effects of Brexit.” Lower primary school uptake has affected boroughs across the capital, but officials insist Hackney Council is keeping tabs on the situation. “This is a pan-London issue, which could be a blip or it could have a longer term impact. Hackney is well placed to respond to changing demand for school places: we are closely monitoring projection data to ensure we have appropriate numbers of school places for all local children,” Ms Gammon added.

Educators have combined year groups to address the issue, with Harrington Hill Primary School having had a mixed year 1 and 2 class since September 2017. Class organisation is determined by individual head teachers and governing bodies, and mixed age classes may be considered by schools that have vacancies in two consecutive years, or where the admission number is not a multiple of 30. A number of primary schools across London have mixed age classes, and have had them for several years. HACKNEYMAGAZINE.COM





Wollstonecraft Live! team around the Mary Wollstonecraft stencil made by ex-local artist Stewy, on the New Unity church wall

“Get Mary on the Green” says local professor A unique reading of the commissioned text, Wollstonecraft Live! which depicts the shooting of a biopic of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life, with actors and an original music score took place in the atmospheric 18th century Unitarian Chapel in Newington Green. Director Professor Anna Birch told us about Mary Wollstonecraft and the “Mary on the Green” campaign for a statue of her on Newington Green.


rofessor Anna Birch FRSA is a theatre director, researcher and activist. She works to celebrate both the life and legacy of women hidden from history and, in particular, Mary Wollstonecraft. Birch has curated exhibitions, published books, screened films inside and outside, commissioned writers and artists, and collaborated with community centres and museums. These include Walking Women, Glasgow Women’s Library, Mildmay Community Centre, Newington Green Action Group, New York Air Gallery, and Queen Mary University. When did you learn about Mary Wollstonecraft? 6 HACKNEY MAGAZINE


I have lived in Stoke Newington for over 30 years. In the late 1990’s I learnt that Mary Wollstonecraft lived and worked on Newington Green in the 18th century. My children attended Newington Green Primary School and in 1999, or thereabouts, the school librarian gave me a local history book by local historian Pat Haynes. In the book, there was a section on Mary Wollstonecraft and her life on Newington Green and I got very excited to have this radical feminist, eighteenth century neighbour. I had a copy of the biography by Clare Tomalin and a copy of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman on my bookshelf and I started to read them. Her writing is so inspired

Anna Birch and contemporary that as a theatre director I included her in a Stoke Newington Festival event to mark the millennium,

and then commissioned Kaethe Fine to write Wollstonecraft Live! to be performed both on Newington Green and in the Unitarian Meeting House. This event celebrated the regeneration of Newington Green, led by the Newington Green Action Group in 2005. The new generation talk about feminism, but do they know about Mary? Our work is accessible, well informed, often funny and relevant to the concerns of all women- all women matter to us. You will notice that the casting for Wollstonecraft Live! is inter-generational, mixed race, local and from further afield. The audience are extras in the filming of this biopic of Mary Wollstonecraft and


they participate and interact with our cast, the historical location of the Unitarian Meeting House, and the inspirational writing of Mary Wollstonecraft. Her writing is intense and can be dense but, in our approach, we create a ‘living monument’ where the audience interact with her-story and take their own version of Mary Wollstonecraft away with them. There is plenty of food for thought in our productions and people remember Wollstonecraft when they cross Newington Green to catch a bus, or see the plaque on Newington Green Primary School to honour her. People tell us that we wet their appetite for Wollstonecraft and that they go away and find out lots more about her from the

numerous biographies and web pages now written about her. Whats’s the latest news about the Mary on the Green Campaign? I am a founder member of the Mary on the Green campaign maryonthegreen.org campaigning for the world’s first memorial sculpture to Mary Wollstonecraft. We are proud to announce that the contemporary artist, Maggi Hambling, won the selection process unanimously! Please help us to raise the balance and green light this exciting, sculptural memorial on Newington Green. You can make a donation here: Mary on the Green www.maryonthegreen.org Follow Anne Birch on Twitter @anna_birch1

WOLLSTONECRAFT LIVE! Our very special event takes place in the atmospheric Unitarian Meeting House where Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) meditated and prayed in Pew 19. Wollstonecraft Live! invites you to enjoy Wollstonecraft’s writing and her letters as you take part in the filming of a biopic of her life. In the pioneering spirit of Wollstonecraft herself, we imagine how she would tell her life story set on Newington Green, where she ran a school for girls. Here she tested her ideas for girls’ education, which in her view was linked to citizenship, emancipation and independence. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of selected women and men being granted the right to vote, reminding us that our eighteenth century neighbour and human rights activist was also a trailblazer to Parliament. Newington Green offered Wollstonecraft the support she needed to become a successful writer, and to fund both her life as an


independent woman and to support her extended and dependent family. Fragments & Monuments performance and film company continues to be fascinated by the contribution made by Wollstonecraft in her extraordinary, short life. As a consequence of working on ‘location’ a work style found on film/TV locations is a hallmark of Fragments & Monuments’ production design. The film crew follows the performers and audience as film crew and paparazzi might, to create an atmosphere of celebrity and ‘event’. Filmed performances are taken back to the original location and projected onto buildings and large screens, and broadcast using the internet.





Xmas Show at the Jealous Gallery


Much of Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s work focuses on issues in Arab countries. His work Earwitness Theater, a multimedia installation now at the Chisenhale Gallery, presents a chilling account of the experiences of prisoners at the notorious Saydnaya prison in Syria. It is estimated that as many as 13,000 people have been executed in Saydnaya since 2011. The capacity for detainees to see anything in Saydnaya is highly restricted as they are mostly kept in darkness, blindfolded or made to cover their eyes. As a result, prisoners develop an acute sensitivity to sound. Abu Hamdan recorded the memories of former Saydnaya prisoners in collaboration with Amnesty International and with Forensic Architecture, 8 HACKNEY MAGAZINE


Foley Explosion in Hackney Showroom

a research group based at Goldsmiths, University of London, where Abu Hamdan got his Ph.D. chisenhale.org.uk THE SHOREDITCH CHRISTMAS CRAFTS MARKET 5- 20 DECEMBER, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS

The Shoreditch Christmas Crafts Market will appear at the Red Market, in Old Street.The Market is about fusing local creative talent with a familyfriendly environment. This exciting and magical Christmas market in the heart of creative London brings you funky, ecochic, beautifully handmade, locally produced, unique Christmas gifts. 12.00/17.00pm | Free Entry 288-299 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA XMAS SHOW 21 NOV 2018- 30 DEC 2018

Jealous is festively thrilled to fling open the doors to this years xmas show, filled with tonnes of tinsel, ready to go

Christmas Wreath Workshop at Stour Space

gifts and pre-framed prints at their Shoreditch and Crouch End Gallery spaces. The annual group exhibition will feature Jealous’ vast portfolio of limited edition prints from many outstanding artists, available to take away ready framed on the day. Jealous East 53, Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PT Jealous North 27, Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 8TE jealousgallery.com

Play & Shows FOLEY EXPLOSION 12-13 NOVEMBER 2018

Foley Explosion is an immersive storytelling show about Russia; an alternative spy thriller featuring live Foley sound effects. Looping technology layers sounds to conjure a movie in the mind in this solo show about a year spent in Russia. Featuring disinformation, fake news and cameos from the intelligence community past and present:

Edward Snowden, Grigori Rasputin and Alexander Litvinenko. 19.30pm | £12/£10 hackneyshowroom.com KING CHARLES III 23 JANUARY - 2 FEBRUARY 2019

King Charles III is a modern Shakespearian classic - a play in five acts, written in a combination of blank verse and prose, and featuring all the drama, comedy relief, intrigue and political machinations one would expect from the bard. First performed at the Almeida Theatre in 2014 with Tim Pigott-Smith in the title rôle, it won Critics Circle and Olivier awards for Best New Play. towertheatre.org.uk


David Hamilton’s ‘How The Mind Heals Your Body’ talk will discuss the mind-

body connection, and how to harness it for health and wellness. You’ll learn about the placebo effect and how it works. David gained a Ph.D in organic chemistry before spending 4 years working as a scientist in one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Beach, Blanket, Babylon 19-23 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA £12 per adult 7.30pm, For tickets: uk.funzing.com


Florist Gemma will be on hand to talk you through the flowers and show you how to put together your

bespoke design. She’ll provide everything you need, including your wreath base, gorgeous foliage and festive decorations - feel free to bring some of your own along if you want a perfect match to your tree! 11.00-12.30/13.00-15.30 | £55 Stour Space, 7 Roach Road, London E3 2PA For tickets: eventbrite.co.uk


Music 10 DECEMBER 2018

Eat Your Own Ears are proud to present Miho Hatori; the incredible voice behind Gorillaz’s Noodle, at The Shacklewell Arms. 20.00pm | £11 ADV shacklewellarms.com


The MTA, the multi-award winning drama college, is delighted to be producing this year’s family panto at the new Tower Theatre. Expect to boo, expect to cheer, expect to laugh, expect to sing along. Originally commissioned by The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Cinderella has everything that you could want from a traditional family panto, plus original songs. Performed by the graduating year group - you are advised to book early. £10 Concessions £7 towertheatre.org.uk

The World Harmony Orchestra ‘Music for Peace’ events will take place to mark the centenary of the Armistice of WW1 on 10th and 11th November 2018 at St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington, N16 9ES Both events will raise funds for the new St Mary’s Centre housing the Hackney Winter Night Shelter, Hackney Migrant Centre and Food Bank. On 10th November 2018, there will be a ‘Come and Sing’ performance of ‘The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace’ by Karl Jenkins. Anyone who can read a music score is invited to attend the workshop at 2pm and the performance will be at 7.30pm £8-£20 For tickets: eventbrite.co.uk/e/ sing-for-peace-karljenkins-the-armed-mantickets-50392622691

violin and strings, with international violinist Virginie Robilliard who was a prize-winner at the LongThibaud International Violin Competition and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.


Lawrence Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre at the Chisenhale Gallery

The World Harmony Orchestra will perform Vaughan Williams’ ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’, Ravel’s ‘Tzigane’ for violin and orchestra and Arvo Pärt’s ‘Fratres’ for


The second half will feature folk and traditional music from many countries in the world currently affected by war and conflicts. £12/£10 For tickets: eventbrite.co.uk/e/ concert-for-peacecentenary-ofthe-armisticetickets-50927393204



Ghost Signs

Sam Roberts is documenting London’s fading history Ghost signs tell a story of London’s economic, social and political history. Sam Roberts began documenting ghost signs in 2006 after the first ghost sign he spotted in Stoke Newington. Interview: Yasemin Bakan


although paint was used for myriad other types of signage from road names to directions to bomb shelters in the war. The commercial examples range in purpose from simple shop fronts to largeformat ‘branded’ billboards advertising goods and services. Are the UK and/or Hackney interested in preserving ghost signs? The UK is starting to recognise the historic value of the signs, whereas other countries such as Belgium, Australia and the USA have more advanced movements towards

Credit Gloria Soria


hat are ghost signs? For me, they are ‘fading painted signs’. Other definitions exist, many of which include a much broader range of what I would describe as ‘historic’ signs eg moulded plastics, neon etc. However, these don’t always have the faded, ghostly, aspect, that is what sets these signs apart as ‘ghost’ signs. How did you notice and become interested in ghost signs? I became conscious of fading signs on walls in 2006 within the context of my interest in the history of advertising. I was fascinated by the idea of handpainted billboards once being a viable form of advertising, and the faded aspect suggesting that these relics may not be with us forever. The one that caught my attention also happened to advertise the repair of ‘fount pens’ which seems an alien concept in today’s disposable/throwaway culture. What was your day job back then? At the time I was working for the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, managing their professional qualifications programmes. What was the reason for using ghost signs? What are now ghost signs were once brightly coloured and full-bodied signs. Most of those that I have been documenting for the last 12 years are commercial advertisements,


their documentation and preservation. Nonetheless, back in 2012-13 Hackney Council added two signs to its local list in recognition of their “Aesthetic or Artistic” merit. Both signs can still be seen, the fountain pen one on Stoke Newington Church Street, and one for Blooms Pianos, on Kingsland Road. What is your favourite ghost sign in Hackney? It would have to be the Walker Brothers/Watermans one on Stoke Newington Church Street. It dates from the late 1920s and contains lots

Sam Roberts outside the first ghost sign he spotted in Stoke Newington.

of features, including an illustrated element that make it interesting. It is the first one I ever noticed, but still captivates me each time I see it. The story of the sign is included on my Stoke Newington Ghost Signs walk which can be downloaded free via the Ghost Signs Tours mobile app. Do you get any business offers related to ghost signs? I have two award-winning London walking tours that I deliver for private clients, including businesses and student groups. I am also regularly approached by companies that want to have fake, or ‘faux’, ghost signs painted for their business. I do take this kind of work on, but would always prefer to be producing brand new painted signs that can fade over time to become the ghosts of the future. Do you think more should be done to protect ghost signs? I am not a campaigner for the protection of ghost signs, largely due to the need to keep myself focused on projects to convey their value and historical interest. However, I understand their meaning at a local level so am happy to write a letter of support for those that seek to follow the official channels towards the listing and protection of their local signs. For Sam Robert’s ghost signs tours visit www.ghostsigns.co.uk Twitter @ghostsigns




NORTHWOLD ROAD Late-Victorian sign for Robert Ellis’ ironmongers shows how the mortar lines in the brick can be used as grid lines for setting out the lettering on a sign. Robert and his wife moved to these premises in 1878 following the tragic deaths of their infants at their previous home and workshop on Stoke Newington High Street.

CAZENOVE ROAD Barely legible now due to the level of fading, the full text of this sign reads, ‘Good Judges Drink John Brown’s Whiskies’, and contemporary Victorian press advertising illustrates the play on words with a picture of two white-wigged judges savouring a glass each.

STOKE NEWINGTON, CHURCH STREET Multi-layered ghost sign (‘palimpsest’) featuring advertisements for Westminster Gazette, Criterion Matches and Gillette. Each layer of these was teased apart and illuminated by Craig Winslow for the 2016 London Design Festival.

KINGSLAND ROAD, DALSTON This locally listed ghost sign takes us back to the time when Shoreditch and Hoxton were a centre for cabinet making, including the manufacturing of pianos. It was painted by a firm called Howell Signs from Clerkenwell. HACKNEYMAGAZINE.COM



Hackney’s new cool neighbourhood:

Newington Green


By Yasemin Bakan

ewington Green, the hidden gem between the borders of Hackney and Islington, has finally gained the popularity it deserves after many years. With restaurants, cafes and boutiques opening one after another, the once ‘no-goarea’ is already rapidly changing. Newington Green’s Green Lanes side which is one of the longest streets in London, used to be a place with cafes that only men could go to; their clientele mostly consisted of retired or unemployed men from Turkey who would go there to play board games. The street used to have only a few Turkish restaurants, barbers, off-licenses and two pubs.




In the area surrounding the Green sits the New Unity Church, that has been running since the 18th century, and is also known as the place that Mary Wollstonecraft developed her feminist ideas. Next to it is the Belle Epoque French bakery and Mildmay Club, which was established in 1888 and serving on a members-only basis ever since, along with the Holistic clinic Shine, and Acoustic cafe on the corner. For the last few years, Newington Green has gone through an observable change, and this change seems to be bringing great popularity to the area, just like its neighbour Stoke Newington Church Street, which has a similar backstory

Atom Gallery

Perilla Dining

Blue Nile Restaurant

Jumi Cheese London and went through a similar change in the past.


Hülya Rousseau says when she and her husband Eric decided to open Belle Epoque in 2002, they were still living in Finsbury Park, and the fact that she really liked the Clissold Park and its surroundings had a big impact on their relocation to Newington Green. “Newington Green was quite a run down area and there was nothing like a bakery or patisserie and we thought it would attract lots of people. “In 2002, Newington Green was kind of a no-go-area with drug-gang activity, prostitution and crime. There was lots of squatter accommodation in the area. “The park in front of our shop was in a very poor state and used by drug users. We got burgled 10 times within the first year of trading.” Hülya also adds that since they’d opened Belle Epoque, their customer portfolio hasn’t changed dramatically but she believes for the last few months that a different range of crowds are now coming to Newington Green.


Two years ago, both chef Ben Marks, who is in his 20s, and the Front of House Matthew Emmerson bought their restaurant by the corner on Newington Green under the name Perilla Dining, offering a fine dining concept in a relaxed atmosphere. Ben was brought up on the other side of Clissold Park. Matt lives around the corner off

the Essex road. “I was familiar with the area” says Matt “and I really liked the community feel around here and the greenery. We fell in love with the windows of our site and the light that beams through, not to mention the green across the road! “We have customers from all over London but we are blessed with a core of local regulars who keep coming back! We are primarily a neighbourhood restaurant and want to remain that way! “Loads of great stuff has popped up since we opened Bergen House, the Jumi Cheese shop and Jolene, along with Yield. I think the future’s really bright for this little area of North London. I hope to see lots more places opening up in the coming 12 months.” In September, Primeur founders Jeremie ComettoLingenheim and David Gingell opened Jolene’s a place with a bakery/restaurant concept in Newington Green. Another popular and new restaurant that overlooks at Newington Green is Bergen House, with its Modern European and British menu. The owner Damian Benjamin says: “I have known Newington Green for many years and followed its development with interest. I decided to open a restaurant on the Green. I thought the restaurant I wanted to open would be a good fit with the locals”. I’m walking towards Green Lanes, Sarıyer Balık, is a cosy seafood restaurant that has been managed by a Turkish family for more than 30 years. A few meters away on the

Post at Green Lanes left are the Green House coworking space and Feest cafe, which are meeting points for freelancer professionals living in the area. Just next to the Green House there is a men-only Turkish cafe which has been around since the 80s. I then ask a Turkish man smoking outside about his views on the changes in the area. He says: “I live on Stoke Newington Church Street. 30 years ago, it was a place like Newington Green. Over time, slowly intellectuals, artists and young families started to relocate to the area and the place went through a rapid transformation. Now a similar transformation is noticeable in Newington Green. I had been married to an Irish woman for 22 years so I’m used to British culture. If these cafes happen to shut down, I will go to English-owned cafes instead.” Chef Camille Tardieu is the founder of Cérès which is set to open on Green Lanes in a few weeks. “The first time I came to Newington Green was to visit the Newington Green Fruit and Veg shop. I instantly loved the area and this wonderful greengrocer. I have continued to shop there regularly for my supper clubs, private events, and every day shopping for home!” says Camille talking HACKNEYMAGAZINE.COM

The Green House about how she came across Newington Green. What kind of cuisine does Camille bring to the area? “My Provencal and Sicilian heritage allows me to explore new ways to interpret Southern French and Italian classics, and to integrate other culinary influences in my cooking.” The newly opened places in the area are of course not just restaurants. Post at Green Lanes which relocated to Green Lanes from Stoke Newington Church Street offers vintage jewellery and souvenirs. Dusty Payne, the co-owner of Post at Green Lanes, says: “We wanted to come to an area we could grow along with and Green Lanes feels as if it is in the process of redeveloping itself as a street. A lot of the empty buildings are now being taken over by shops, cafes, and independent boutiques.” The future looks bright for Newington Green.





Snake Fruit

I BOUGHT THIS SHOP ON MY WAY TO THE MALDIVES FOR MY HONEYMOON Deniz Bilgin is the co-owner of Stoke Newington Green Fruits & Vegetables. Bilgin is bringing his 11 years of experience and expertise of having worked at the New Spitalfields Market, London’s biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market, to his shop located on Church Street.


was born in Istanbul. Then, I relocated to Hackney in 1994 when I was 14 years old. Most of my family lives in London and my dad was already living in Hackney. Upon finishing secondary school in Hackney, I started to work at textile factories managed by people from Turkey. After the textile factories started to close one by one, those people from Turkey who had been working at the factories started to change directions, opting for the food sector. I then worked at the Sofra Cafe Restaurant chains as a waiter for three years. And afterwards, my 11 year adventure at the New Spitalfields Market began. Fruit and vegetables from all over the world are imported to be sold at New Spitalfields. I used to work nightshifts at the market. I managed to get promoted to the highest level over 11 years. Vegetable and fruit prices are like stock exchange markets, the rates and prices vary depending on the season and can even change within a day. Therefore, you can



buy tomatoes priced at £5 today but you may need to buy a box of tomatoes for £15 tomorrow. This makes business a little stressful sometimes. After marrying my wife, I decided to buy this shop based on Stoke Newington Church Street. My wife works at Barclays Bank and I didn’t want to work nights any more. I knew the owners of this shop from the New Spitalfields Market. Six years ago, when I was on my way to the Maldives with my wife for our honeymoon, I was talking to the owners of the shop on the phone. I said “I want to buy this shop” and then we bought it. I thought I could manage the business in a wholesaler style as I had sufficient understanding of fruit and vegetable price fluctuations after 11 years of experience at New Spitalfields Market. However, it didn’t work out that way. Back then, I didn’t know which vegetable would be used for which recipe. For example, people would come up to me and ask what parsley is. Or would ask how they could use parsley, or would ask how to use an Italian herb on such and such

a dish. We have to answer these queries. My teenage and younger years were spent in Hackney. I know the people and the borough. But after buying this shop I’ve got to know them better. Our customers are mainly European: French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish. We can work out where they are from when they talk to their children in their native languages. There is a fruit called Kiwano. One of the world’s most vitamin-based fruits. We have a red banana that is imported from Ecuador, which can be roasted before it’s fully grown and when it is grown enough it can be consumed just like a banana. When we first introduced the snake fruit (originally known as Salak), people were afraid to touch it as it has a skin similar to a snake’s and tastes like a pear. The jack fruit which comes from the tropical countries is also an interesting one. It grows on trees and can weigh up to 50 kilograms. It has a taste like a mixture of mango and pineapple. It’s been used mostly in vegan recipes. Italy has a herb called cima di rapa. It is known as turnip tops in English. You can use this herb in every recipe that has spinach in it, by replacing the spinach with cima di rapa. We offer free bananas for kids. We also provide a constant supply of fruit and vegetables to certain charities in Hackney that help homeless people. Stoke Newington Church Street is quite peaceful, there is a community feel going on. Families know each other as their children attend the same schools. As long as nothing gets stolen from the Whole Foods, this street never sees any fuss.



Joslin Morrison Nutritional Therapist





As we transition into the winter months, here are some tips on how to boost your immune system and stay fit and healthy.


void refined sugar Research has shown that sugar suppresses the immune system, preventing it from working properly and slowing down our recovery time. By eating fresh, whole foods and avoiding processed foods (that are full of sugar), we can help our body to build up its natural defences. Look after your microbiome We have a symbiotic relationship with our gut flora, and the health of it is directly linked to the health of our immune system. By looking after our gut, we stand a much better chance of being able to fight off infections. We can do this is by feeding our microbiome with lots of vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough, natural yogurt and kombucha.

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Stay hydrated In the winter we have a tendency to drink less water. Even though the temperature has dropped outside, it is still just as important to drink 1.5 - 2 litres of water a day. Evidence has shown that dehydration can lower our natural barrier defences, so be sure to keep hydrated. If HACKNEYMAGAZINE.COM

cold water is unappealing, you can try adding fruit or herbs to your water, or herbal teas – they all count towards your daily quota. Don’t forget the ‘sunshine vitamin’ In winter the angle of the sun changes and we are unable to make vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D plays a huge role in our immune system, and insufficiency can compromise our immune response. As well as food sources such as oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, egg yolks and cheese, you may also want to consider a vitamin D supplement between November and March, to keep your levels optimum. Check with your doctor or nutritional therapist on the best dosage for you. Keep moving Many people enter hibernation mode in the winter, but fresh air and exercise actually help to protect us from colds and flu. Exercising on a regular basis and going outside for bracing walks will improve your oxygen supply and blood circulation, and energise you for the winter months ahead. For more information or to book an appointment, please email joslinnutrition@gmail.com WINTER 2018


Credit Kim Burrows Vegography

Valentina Fois, Founder of Lele’s

Credit Jack Orton


Credit Jade Nina Sarkhel

Vegan dining in Hackney is taking root Co-Founders of The Spread Eagle: Luke, Meriel

In 2018, Hackney has begun to be referred to as London’s “vegan quarter”.

The Spread Eagle 16 HACKNEY MAGAZINE


Biff’s Jack Shack

Credit Kim Burrows Vegography

Credit Jade Nina Sarkhel

By Victoria Gray


ith Hackney Downs Vegan Market — based at Hackney Downs Studios — expanding to two days a weekend and new vegan-centric businesses popping up left, right and centre, it’s certainly the place to be plant-based. One of Hackney’s best-loved eateries, the Sutton and Sons fish and chip shop, has recently reopened Graham Road branch with a vegan-only menu, following the overwhelming popularity of a vegan menu that was introduced in the other branches earlier this year. So why are the vegans gathering in East London? We spoke to some of our favourite vegan venues to understand how Hackney has embraced the plant-based lifestyle. Of course, veganism itself is not new. The term was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society. But since 2016 the number of vegans in the UK is said to have increased by over 500%. This uptake has been accredited partially to the rise of social media, and the ability to share ideas and inspiration that make the concept of excluding animal products less daunting. As part of this, chefs, restaurants and cafes have begun experimenting with vegan dishes.


Valentina Fois, who runs Lele’s cafe on Lower Clapton Road tells us, “Instagram influence, magazines, it all helps. For some people it is inevitably a trend. When I started my cafe two years ago, I was vegetarian, so when I went vegan myself I then didn’t want to serve non-vegan food so I took a gamble, which has paid off. If people get to explore vegan food a bit because it’s trendy, that’s good. Maybe they’ll love it, maybe they won’t, but it’s an opportunity.”

Vegan cafes like Lele’s have been popular in the borough for some years, with many chefs pointing to the Black Cat cafe, which hosts pop-ups and events that allow vegan cooks to try out their craft as an inspiration. And vegan ‘junk food’ has found a new home too, showing that veganism isn’t ‘holier than thou’, as plantbased fried ‘chicken’ shop Temple of Seitan is a testament to.


Experimentation is key to finding an audience. Christa Bloom, co-founder of Biff ’s Jack Shack, which serves jackfruitbased burgers and ‘filthy vegan food’ at their Broadway Market stall on Saturdays, says “I’ve been vegan for almost ten years, and my co-founder Biff for two. Before starting the Shack we spent months trialling out recipes and hosting vegan dinner parties for our friends.” The mania for pop-ups in London has helped the trend spread, but many vegan businesses settled in Hackney after enough success to open ‘bricks and mortar’ locations. Early in 2018, the Spread Eagle, London’s first vegan pub — 100% plant-based from the food to the furniture — opened. Its kitchen is run by Club Mexicana, the vegan creatives who built success at street food markets and pop-up kitchens. Meriel Armitage, founder of Club Mexicana and co-founder of the Spread Eagle, says, “People in Hackney are inherently curious. There’s a desire to know what’s new and exciting and be a part of it. All the restaurants in Hackney are exciting: they don’t fit with the normal mould, and that’s the same for vegan food, so the two match well. “We’ve found a thriving home in Hackney because of this, coupled with the fact more

people are going vegan or reducing the amount of meat and dairy they’re eating.” Danny Sutton, owner of Sutton and Sons, agrees that Hackney’s varied food scene is an ideal breeding ground for a generation of vegan foodies: “Hackney has always been a hub for diverse food with cuisine from all around the world. It is a place for all restaurant types, so I’m not surprised that we are seeing more vegan restaurants. Offering people choice is important and that is something that Hackney will always be good at.” And business is booming for the plantbased. Biff ’s Jack Shack opened a new Boxpark Shoreditch location in October; new restaurants like Stokey Veg Vegan on Stoke Newington High Street are opening all the time; and well-established favourites are adding vegan menu options. What’s more, non-vegans are making up a significant percentage of the plantbased restaurants’ customer bases. While the vegan audience has traditionally been strict, these businesses are taking an openminded approach to those trying to reduce their meat and dairy consumption. “We’re about inclusivity. Everyone should be free to do what they want; forcing people to go in a direction never works. At Lele’s, we offer the opportunity to try some tasty food that happens to be vegan. It’s really dangerous to close yourself off,” says Valentina Fois. Meriel Armitage continues: “We won’t change perceptions if we’re not letting nonvegan people in. There’s nothing better than hearing a carnivore tell us that they’ve had one of their best meals at the Spread Eagle. “It feels like we’re really changing mindsets and not just being part of a special club.” The future’s looking green in Hackney.

HACKNEY’S BEST VEGAN FOOD SPOTS ◆ THE SPREAD EAGLE 224 Homerton High Street, London E9 6AS, thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk ◆ SUTTON AND SONS 218 Graham Road, London E8 1BP, suttonandsons.co.uk ◆ BIFF’S JACK SHACK Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ / Boxpark, Shoreditch E1 6GY, biffsjackshack.com ◆ LELE’S 50 Lower Clapton Road, London E5 0RN, leleslondon.com

Vegan Fish & Chips at Sutton And Sons

◆ BLACK CAT CAFE 76A Clarence Road, London E5 8HB, blackcatcafe.co.uk




These places teach you how to make your own food & drink We all know how good Hackney’s restaurant scene is, but there’s also a thriving community of places to make your own delicious food too. We’ve rounded up a few of the best classes to help you turn your own kitchen into the hottest dining spot in Hackney. By Victoria Gray

Pickling and preserving: Newton and Pott

Cooking skills: Made in Hackney Where? Stoke Newington How often: Varies, but often weekly How much: From £60 for masterclasses Find out more: www.madeinhackney.org Teaching skills from growing your own food to mastering your favourite takeaways, you can learn a lot at charity and community cookery school Made in Hackney, whether on a four-hour masterclass or a four-week course. And if that isn’t enough, by purchasing a ticket you will be paying for one person in need to attend a vital community cookery class.

Where? Broadway Market How often: Two classes a month How much: From £50 Find out more: www.newtonandpott.co.uk Kylee Newton, founder of Newton and Pott tells us: “People get to learn tricks of the pickling trade, things to look out for, to take the fear out of words such as bacteria or sterilisation, making home preserving easy and not so daunting. Learn about the seasonal fruit and vegetables and to waste-notwant-not by using up the seasonal glut.”

Gin masterclass: Martello Hall

Cooking in groups: Underground Cooking School

Where? Mare Street How often: Weekly How much: From £40 Find out more: www.martellohall.com

Where? Old Street How often: On a booking basis How much: From £120 Find out more: www.undergroundcookeryschool.com

Just fancy a drink? Martello Hall’s expert cocktail makers can show you how your favourite spirit is made, and how to use it to make perfect cocktails. Another class lets you blend your own gin, taking the distilled spirit and infusing it with various botanicals. You’ll then create your own bottles, naming and sealing them to take home.

If you’re having a party, or a corporate event, why not ditch the traditional restaurant meal and cook it yourself? The Underground Cooking School has state-of-the-art kitchens and top chefs to teach you how to make a fabulous three course meal from a variety of cuisines that you’ll then get to enjoy along with copious wine and beer. Cheers!




Cornerstone Hackney


By Mersa Auda


om Brown’s fish restaurant Cornerstone is the new kid on the block everyone is talking about. Tom reached notoriety as Nathan Outlaw’s head chef at the Michelin-starred Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, after many years working at top fish restaurants in Cornwall. His solo project brings together his Cornish background with everything he has cultivated in kitchens over the years, including his obsession with sourcing the best quality ingredients he can find. Located on a quiet corner in Hackney Wick, Cornerstone has, of course, a strong seafood focus. Since great fish is hard to come by in the Big Smoke, Tom wants to provide Londoners with a trusted spot where seafood is not only served fresh, but presented in new and surprising ways. The constantly updated menu is shaped in response to what is in season and available fresh on the market. Rather than come up with the recipes first, Tom keeps himself on his toes by letting his findings in the

market dictate the starting point of the dishes. The Cornerstone experience begins with its chic understated decor. Black curtains and a palette of greys provide a soft, elegant background. A few plants and plenty of natural light in the daytime add to the relaxed atmosphere. The open kitchen takes centre stage, and not only spatially. Occupying most of the room, it invites interest in the chefs’ activity as they busily prepare delicacies. It also serves as a counter bar where guests can enjoy a pre-meal drink. The menu consists of a range of small, seasonal dishes. Three or four plates per person are recommended, and sharing is encouraged. The chef ’s selection is a great introduction to Brown’s cuisine. The general rule to add little or nothing to fresh seafood is not followed strictly here, but the stronger flavours often seem to work. Delicate with tangy notes,

oysters are coupled with horseradish cream, celery and dill. A perfectly roasted hake is accompanied by pumpkin purée and a garlicky thyme dressing. The cured gurnard’s slight smokiness is complemented by the freshness of grapes, the nuttiness of almonds and sherry vinegar: a very well-balanced combination of flavours and textures. Even unassuming vegetables are given a chance to shine, such as the sweet roast carrots served with cod’s roe and pistachio. Not every single item on the menu is exceptional, but it’s all under control: if he finds he is not entirely satisfied with a dish, or if it does not get a great response, Tom will remove it from the menu. “It’s either 10 out of 10 or nothing”, he tells us. Considering how quickly his popularity is rising, now is the perfect time to grab a table at Cornerstone and sample Tom’s intriguingly, creative recipes. www.cornerstonehackney.com

WINTER WINES By Victoria Gray It’s time to get out our heartiest wines, ready to accompany rich winter foods, and celebrate the holiday season. RIOJA RESERVA IJALBA 2012 ■ £17 Bring this spicy, full-bodied Rioja to any meal you’re going to this winter, and watch yourself suddenly become the most popular person in the room. Borough Wines, 163 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UL VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO FRIZZANTE MAGNUM 2017 ■ £42 When the party season rolls around, become the life and soul by bringing a larger-than-your-average bottle. This fresh Prosecco will make any celebration special. Bottle Apostle, 95 Lauriston Road, E9 7HJ

EXTRAORDINARY WEDDINGS AT QMUL LONDON, E1 enquiries@qmweddings.co.uk 020 7882 8176

CAVE DE LUGNY BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY ‘LES CHENAUDIÈRES’ 2016 ■ £9.99 If you don’t love the idea of winter reds, this well-rounded white is the ideal alternative, all the strength and character of a red, but crisp and refreshing too. Majestic Wines, 201-207 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6LG

qmweddings.co.uk @WeddingsQMUL




Call Stork Removals on 020 8366 6644 for free estimate, free boxes & free advice

info@storkremovals.co.uk www.storkremovals.co.uk


Licensing for Hackney Landlords A licensing scheme for private landlords is being introduced in Hackney. The scheme, known as Selective Licensing is to force rogue landlords to clean up their acts and reduce anti-social behaviour. The manager of Oakwood Estate Agents Andy Loizou tells us about the new scheme.


hen will Selective licensing and Additional HMO Licensing become a legal requirement and which properties will be affected? As of 1st October 2018, selective licensing for landlords has been in effect in Hackney, however this will only run in three wards: Stoke Newington Ward, Cazenove Ward and Brownswood Ward. To check if your property is in any of these three wards you can use the map via the following link: www.hackney. gov.uk/constituencies-wards. If you are a landlord and are renting any size property within these three wards you will by law have to apply to Hackney Council for a licence under the new Selective Licensing rules. However, additional HMO Licensing will run throughout the whole of Hackney. Therefore, if you have a property that is rented to three or more people that form two or more households, you will have to apply for an additional HMO License regardless of where your property is located in Hackney. How much does a licence cost? Additional HMO Licence: This applies to all privately rented properties occupied by three or more people making up two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys in the property and will cost £950.00 Selective Licensing: This applies to all privately rented properties occupied by a single person, two people

Andy Loizou

or single household in the Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington wards and will cost £500.00 How do landlords apply for a licence? Information on the Hackney Council website states that ‘If you’re a landlord and you need a licence under the selective or additional licensing schemes, you have from Tuesday 25th September to Sunday 2nd December to submit a licence application. We’ll be enforcing the schemes from Monday 3 December. We’ll continue enforcing the existing mandatory licensing scheme during this period.’ Once landlords commence with their application they

will have to provide any info or certificates that the council requires in order to be licensed. Are any properties exempt? If you have a property outside of these wards, you will be exempt unless you have a property rented or that will be rented and occupied by three or more people making up two or more households. In this situation, regardless of the number of storeys in the building, you will require an additional HMO Licence. Again, we must stress this applies to the whole of Hackney Borough and there are no exemptions from this. What happens if you breach your licence? HACKNEYMAGAZINE.COM

If you don’t have a licence or are in breach, you could face a financial penalty notice of up to £30,000 or an unlimited fine from the court. It’s important that landlords understand their legal obligations and the requirements they need to meet. More information can be downloaded via www.hackney. gov.uk/constituencies-wards. If you are currently a landlord or are thinking of renting out your property in the future, please contact our office. We can arrange a free no obligation valuation and can advise accordingly to ensure you understand all of your legal requirements. oakwoodestateagents.com 020 7249 1000. WINTER 2018




Tom Brown Interview: Yasemin Bakan


Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Alex Turner and Thierry Henry.

reat British Menu 2017 finalist Tom Brown, specialises in cooking seafood and is passionate about Cornish produce. Brown is now in charge of his own restaurant – Cornerstone – in Hackney Wick. The restaurant is named after the chef ’s favourite Arctic Monkeys song.

Brunswick East

What engages you when you are not cooking? Football (Arsenal of course) and music. What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Hellman’s mayonnaise on everything! Equal amounts of mayonnaise to chips is a must.

Credit Cedar Film

Tell us about yourself. I started my career in Cornwall. I worked in various restaurants around the South West including Rick Stein’s Fish, before I met Nathan Outlaw. I started working for Nathan at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock where I climbed the ranks until I became head chef. After three years there, I moved to London to be head chef at Nathan’s eponymous restaurant at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge. Then, last year after I was a finalist on Great British Menu 2017, I felt like it was the right time to spread my wings and go

What is your favourite smell and ingredients? My favourite smell is the Cornish sea air – it’s home! In terms of ingredients, just any type of British seafood. I love getting something different through the door from my suppliers and experimenting.

Tom Brown

restaurant in Knightsbridge, I didn’t exactly fit in that area, walking around with all these tattoos. But in Hackney Wick, there are so many artists and creative people and it is so vibey.

Why did you choose to open a restaurant in Hackney Wick? Ever since I’ve lived in London I’ve always loved Hackney Wick, so when I came across this site it felt perfect. Hackney Wick has a such a great vibe and community and I felt it totally suited the type of restaurant I wanted to open. Although I loved the 22 HACKNEY MAGAZINE

Tell us about a secret Hackney spot we might not be aware of... Brunswick East in Dalston. Surprise us with a revelatory fact about yourself… I never really intended to become a chef. I did it for a bit and learnt to love it - loved the creativity and the gratification.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Opening Cornerstone and all the success that has brought!

“My favourite smell is the Cornish sea air – it’s home!”

it alone. It’s always a chef ’s dream to have control over what you do and Cornerstone has absolutely been that!

Which ingredients and cuisines have most influenced your cooking? British ingredients are my bread and butter, especially British seafood. The ingredients are the most important thing - if you don’t get those right, you may as well not open the doors. We’re


Where is your favourite place for breakfast and coffee? Pearl – it is legendary!

constantly working on ideas and that is what I love. We get a nice bit of fish and do a nice piece of veg with it. We buy the best scallops we can and do a nice tomato dressing. They’re the only two things on the plate and they speak for themselves. What are you cooking today? All sorts. The dishes that are standards on the menu are the shrimp crumpets and pickled oysters. Although I do like to change the ingredients up of those dishes every now and then just to keep it fresh!


58 Stamford Hill, London N16 6XS thebirdcageN16.co.uk • @thebirdcageN16 Tel: 020 8806 9077


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