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THE FUTURE IS AFLOAT Living in a boat




Made by your neighbours


the Turkish community




Hold your event in one of the most creative and thriving areas in London Hackney Venues has emerged as a collection of some of the most sought after event spaces in east London. Currently featuring seven beautifully restored unique venues in the heart of the borough including two stunning art-deco town halls, an eighteenth century mansion house inside of Clissold Park, a former water pumping station, a RIBA award-winning sporting centre as well as a purpose-built conference centre and a converted warehouse a stones-throw away from Shoreditch High Street. From private parties and stunning weddings to conferences, product launches, fashion shows and awards ceremonies; Hackney Venues offers a space for any occasion. Get in touch with our dedicated events team for further information or visit our website for more details.

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ALAN DENNEY Photographing Hackney since the Seventies

WHAT’S ON THIS WINTER All the best events and nights out in the area

LOVE LOCAL The products made right here in Hackney 3

from the


N16 Life’s first anniversary


t was this time last year that N16 Life started its life as a magazine. We built a loyal readership very quickly, which was a source of great motivation for our small but able and passionate team. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to N16 Life with their stories and their advertisements. Without you, there would be no magazine. I hope you will continue to support us as we start a new year. As 2017 draws to a close, we leave behind a year that, politically, was happy for some and miserable for others. But Hackney, where dozens of nationalities live among one another, and London, where 300 languages are spoken every day, have shown how different cultures bring a beautiful richness to the world. I hope the forthcoming year will be one where different races and cultures regard each other as a part of a rich and diverse picture. In this issue we spoke to Alan Denney, who has been photographing different parts of Hackney since the 1970s. Alan’s pictures document the streets of those days, the events, and the political and social developments. We were only able to print a small selection of his photographs, but do check out our website to see a lot more of them. In the Humans of N16 section we hear from an impressively international band based in Hackney, She’koyokh. This issue also makes room for Hackney’s Turkish-speaking community, which is known for its cuisine but less so for its culture and faiths. They have two different places of worship – the mosque and the Cemevi – and you will learn in this issue how language and religion divide Turkish speakers. In these cold winter months, a lot of us tend to opt for food that warms us up. If this means something to you, you're going to love Mersa Auda's piece, for which she sampled the best Sunday roasts in Hackney. Be sure to read it before you head out next weekend. And it might feel to a lot of us as if the incessant rise in property prices seems to define life in London, with Hackney as popular as ever, but have you ever considered living in comfort, style and affordability on a boat? We ask boat-dwellers about their experiences. Wishing that everything you aim for becomes true in 2018. Happy New Year!


SUB EDITOR Michael Daventry PICTURE EDITOR Mehmet Er PHOTOGRAPHY Fatma Gökçe DESIGN Umut Senogul CONTRIBUTORS Carrie O’Grady Victoria Gray Mersa Auda

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES E-MAIL CALL 020 3652 0541 07459 501 545 Join the conversation:

N16 Life Magazine N16 Life is a quarterly magazine distributed to more than 20,000 homes and businesses in N16 and the surrounding areas. It is also available in local cafes, pubs, libraries and supermarkets in Hackney.

Yasemin Bakan Editor


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. All rights reserved.

made in HACKNEY Love Local Hackney is not just rich in culture. The borough has produced some unique businesses and brands and in each issue N16 Life magazine charts some of the best of them.

Ceramics from Dalston

Season of the stitch Wool and The Gang alston-based WOOL AND THE GANG is a global fashion brand powered by the maker movement, with a unique Fashion In a Kit offering that has gained them thousands of loyal fans worldwide. The founders, designers Aurelie Popper and Jade Harwood, met while studying textile design at Central Saint Martins in London. After school they gained experience together at Alexander McQueen and Balmain in Paris. That's when they were discovered by former model, world traveller and yarn lover Elisabeth Sabrier. Together they founded Wool and the Gang. Wool and the Gang has collaborated with Giles Deacon for his LFW show, the British Fashion Council, Mini, Veuve Clicquot, Christopher Raeburn, Whistles, Soludos and & Other Stories to date.


Scented candles from Walthamstow

Sugar, spice, everything nice Know & Love 16 based online store, Know & Love, is enjoying growing recognition as a reliable source of locally hand-crafted gifts and homewares. Owner Karen Sims, a St Martin’s graduate who has worked in London, New York and Toronto in graphics, interiors and photoshoots, had the idea for the business while discussing how many talented makers they both knew with husband Tim Leahy, a branding consultant. The result is a celebration of the places Sims loves, with artisan chocolate from Bethnal Green, scented candles from Walthamstow, crochet baskets from Clapton, hand



carved wooden pieces from Dalston and ceramics from Hackney. There is also a smattering of items from abroad: ceramics from Lisbon and Digoin, baskets from Kenya and lighting from Holland made by groups helping locals get into skilled work. Every piece has an anecdote and a personal connection for Sims who has been a Hackney resident since 1987. The first anniversary will be marked with a pop up shop and craft workshops in Stoke Newington. During the autumn Know & Love will also be appearing at West Elm on Tottenham Court Road and 55 Bishopsgate.

Green inside and out Cushn Company


toke Newington-based Cushn Company combines style, functionality and ethical sustainability to create beautiful objects for your home. Their ethos is to live, work and create with an ethically sustainable approach. From the inside out, products are made using recycled and responsibly sourced fabrics, meaning that every item is truly original and makes a low impact on the environment. Studio 146 Columbia Road Flower Market, London E2 7RG.


IT’S THE BUSINESS! Haringey Council has Opportunity Investment (OIF) loan funding available at great rates for businesses looking to expand or move to Tottenham. Businesses that want to grow and create high quality employment are encouraged to apply.

To find out more visit or email

WHAT'S ON this winter

N16 Life’s unrivalled guide to the theatre, music, outdoor events and children’s activities in Hackney and across London in the winter



he London Sinfonietta marks half a century since its first concert with the very music that has marked the 50 years in between. The music of Stravinsky, Ligeti and Birtwistle is combined with courses and the London premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s piano concerto Left and a new commission by RPS award-winning composer Samantha Fernando. Join co-founder David Atherton, George Benjamin, Vladimir Jurowski and the London Sinfonietta alumni for a celebration and look to the future. Wednesday 24 Jan 2018 Tickets £35, 25, 15 Limited £5 16–25 Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX

Photo: Jayne Lloyd



estive After Hours: Celebrate the season at this Christmas extravaganza which has something for all: the Crafty Fox Christmas market, activities for children and adults, seasonal talks and greenery demonstrations, music, street food and a bar. Thursday 14 December, 4 - 9pm Farewell and closing party: Help the folks at the Geffrye see


out the Christmas and New Year season as the museum closes on Sunday 7 January for a two-year transformational development project. You’ll find street food, winter cocktails, some live music and a load of bargains, plus a lovely bonfire to warm yourself on. Join them also for the Epiphany celebration on Saturday 6 January, 3.30 - 5pm, and Sunday 7 January 2018. Free.



he Old Church launched their Winter Season with a programme of incredible music, theatre and spoken word, plus workshops, community and family events everyone can enjoy. To celebrate they’re wrapping the entire building in bows! And you can join in too. Add your own ribbon with a message of hope for the coming year. Pick one up from The Old Church bar for a donation, and add to the display outside at any time. Or come along to Open:art and make one with the team. See theoldchurch. for full programme. Stoke Newington Church Street London N16 9ES



I power but gain personal freedom; to transition from one identity to another, and to lose public face. Following their collaboration on the smash-hit My Perfect Mind, Paul Hunter takes on the role of Napoleon under the direction of award-winning actor and director Kathryn Hunter. Ticket prices £22-£12, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL, 020 7503 1646

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The tours are led by Sam Roberts, a.k.a. Mr Ghostsigns, curator of the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive and author of numerous articles and book contributions on the topic. 18 February and 15 April 2018. For those who can't wait, the tours are also accessible through the ghostsigns walking tours app.



hispers of advertising past are the focus of these walking tours through Stoke Newington, taking in some of London’s best ghost signs (painted signs, fading on walls). These are used to explore local, craft and advertising history through their unique stories and survival against the odds.

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ne of the UK’s most exclusive theatre companies creates this poignantly moving and wryly humorous reimagining of the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte. Using their trademark comic physicality, Told by an Idiot explore the absurdity of trying to retrieve time and glory. An irreverent and hugely playful show about what it is to lose immense

Director Lindsay Kemp and Manager Lucy Bending – working in partnership with LSO St Luke’s. Baroque at the Edge runs from January 5-7, 2018, at LSO St Luke’s in London.



magine if Bach was a jazzman, Vivaldi a folk-fiddler, or Handel a minimalist… The Baroque at the Edge festival invites leading musicians ranging from classical to world, jazz and folk to take the music of the Baroque and see where it leads them. No rules, no programme notes, no lectures: all you need to know is how to listen. Baroque at the Edge is a brand-new event from the creators of the highly successful London Festival of Baroque Music – Artistic



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rtist and curator Mat Humphrey is based in London. For his first exhibition at New Art Projects he has created an extraordinary series of new paintings. “It Comes in Waves” looks at how water reacts to both light and sound. Humphrey has reworked his monochrome palette and his flawless application of oil paint to create a sense of movement. These new paintings document the refraction of light through water and the patterns created by sound how energy is transferred through waves. The surface of these works, however, is flawless and strangely devoid of human mark, as if the ripples and contours of the paint had been made by water or the movement of light. These are Mat Humphrey’s darkest paintings to date; they suggest the deep dark parts of the ocean where light and sound barely penetrate. We feel like we are looking up at the light from a great depth, and rather than considering the sea bed from above, we are contemplating the way the light hits the surface of the water from below. His work is represented in international collections including those of Bryan Adams, Damon Albarn, Simon Fuller, Roland Mouret, Suzette Field and Viktor Wynd. New Art Projects, 6D Sheep Lane, London, E8 4QS , Until Sat 23 Dec, Free entry 10


ce skating returns to London’s most iconic historic landmark this season, the Tower of London. Advanced ticket booking for morning, daytime and evening sessions, including a special price for families, means skaters can secure their favourite dates and times. Two early morning sessions have been added this year which are especially suited for little skaters and beginners. There’s a cafe and bar on site too, so visitors can book a skate session then spend the rest of the day or evening in

one of London’s most impressive historic locations. The rink is open all day, every day apart from Christmas Day. November 17th 2017 – January 2nd 2018, Ice rink tickets are priced adults £14.50 / teenagers 13-15 years, OAPs, students and conc £12.50 / children 3-12 years £10.50 and family tickets (3+1 or 2+2) £42. Sessions are 9am & 10am; (this is weekends only until 18th December and then daily) 11am-7pm and 8pm & 9pm. Tower of London, EC3N 4AB



he Winter Open Studio is a wonderful opportunity to meet the craftspeople, artists and designers at the Chocolate Factory, to see their creativity first hand, and often before anyone else, as it emerges inside the studio. A well-established community of workshops that is home to many worldrenowned creative practitioners, it is well worth a visit! Alibi Pantry will be running their wonderful pop-up cafe within the studios again this winter. They will be serving refreshments and snacks as well as a choice of meals. Great coffee is also available. From 24 November (opening night 6-9pm), then 25&26 November (11am-6pm). Free Entry The Chocolate Factory N16, Farleigh Place, Stoke Newington, London, N16 7SX





he classic rags-toriches tale of Cinderella will be told in true Hackney style by an award winning pantomime team as they prove a new pair of shoes really can change your life. Cheer on the spirited heroine as she searches for love in spite of the exploits of her hideous Ugly Sisters and evil Stepmother. Throw in a pair of singing mice, a magical Fairy Godmother, the sparkle of glass slippers with glittering sets, big

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song and dance numbers, slapstick comedy and a flying horse and you have the perfect Christmas family treat for the festive season. 18 Nov - 31 Dec. Tickets £36.50 - £10


Great Flood is coming, and Mr and Mrs Noah have been set the most impossible task: to take two of each animal and build them a home. A magical ark built on stage, over 50 carved animals and a host of songs to sing along to make this production one of Little Angel Theatre’s most successful and impressive shows. John Agard’s stunning Caribbean adaptation of this timeless story, combining puppetry, masks, stories and songs, returns for another thrilling season that will enthral the entire family. Aimed at ages 5 – 10. Until 4 February 2018 £15 Full-price adults

£13 children (age 1 – 15) and concessions £52 Family ticket offer (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) Running time: 1 hour and 15 minutes approx. including 15 minute interval Family Gala Saturday 9 Dec, 4.30pm Sunday 21 Jan, 4.30pm £25

©National Trust Images/Rob Stothard


ather Christmas welcomes you to hear stories of his adventures and receive a lovely gift from Sutton House. You can also count down the playful Twelve Days of Christmas with whimsical, comic decorations and creative activities for everyone. Meet Father Christmas in his picturesque grotto by a cosy fire. Expect funny,

imaginative and surreal decorations by Rebecca Phillips, created with help from local supporters. Take part in creative activities, music, dancing, dressing-up and toys. 25, 26 November 2017, 2,3,9,16, 17 December 2017 Adult £6.00 Child £5.00 Family 2A 2C £19.00. Sutton House 2 & 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ 11

Call to Stokey’s budding women footballers


ood news for young female strikers and defenders: this year sees the launch of two new girls' football teams in the neighbourhood. Aspiring players under 12 can join one of the junior teams run by AFC Stoke Newington. They will benefit from the coaching provided by members of the women’s section, who took home the winning trophy in the Greater London Women's League last season. AFC Stoke Newington was set up in 2015 by Ian Bruce, who had previously run successful

girls' football teams at Stoke Newington School. He realised that girls tended to stop playing football once they had left school, and so he set up the club. The focus was on ex-Stoke Newington pupils but also with hopes to appeal to women from all over North London who wanted an accessible club to play for. An under-14s team followed and now even younger players are catered for. "This year was a really exciting one for us," says Bruce, "as we won the league and expanded over the summer

to offer our youngest players the opportunity of playing competitive football in the Capital Girls League with new under-11 and under-12 teams. "Both teams are coached by players from our women's team, Ciara and Alice. I think it's important that our younger players are coached

by inspirational female role models and the club is very lucky to have such wonderful coaching." Earlier this year, Bruce was named Coach of the Year at the Hackney Sports Awards, and he has equally high hopes for his young players. "Our under-14s narrowly missed out on the title last year on the last game of the season, but they've made an excellent start this year and hope to end the season with some silverware."

London’s only diamond structure school with single-sex teaching in a co-educational environment for girls and boys aged 4-18. We are a city school with 50 acres of grounds where north east London meets Epping Forest. Find out more about entry into Year 7 at our 11+ Information Morning on Saturday, 25 November 2017 at 9am. 020 8520 1744 E17 3PY 12

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Humans of N16 Award-winning, multinational She’koyokh present themselves as a klezmer band. But they source their music much more widely, singing folk and gipsy songs from the Balkans and Turkey. They have performed in such eminent European concert halls as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Gasteig in Munich and London’s Southbank Centre. SUSI EVANS, CLARINET (FOUNDER MEMBER OF SHE’KOYOKH) She'koyokh is a Yiddish word meaning “nice one!”. The name was suggested by Jim’s dad who grew up in East London which, when he was a boy, had a large Yiddish-speaking Jewish community. The band formed in 2001 after meeting at Klezfest, an annual klezmer summerschool at SOAS University of London run by the Jewish Music Institute. Festival of Jim is a small family-run festival in the woods in East Sussex. Jim Marcovitch was She’Koyokh’s founding accordionist; he tragically died of cancer in 2008 aged 34. We had been playing together almost every day for the previous seven years and were like family. He was a total maverick and we did some crazy gigs on trains and buses, playing in the sea, dancing on tables and busking at a firework festival in Spain. I live in Stoke Newington. I was born in Hemel Hempstead but my dad is from Yorkshire and my mum’s from Sunderland. I started on violin when I was six but gave up when I was seven. A few years later I took up music again because my brother and friends were all doing it. Otherwise I would have been a golfer! My parents love music and have always been very supportive. They paid for my brother to go to a specialist music school when he was 13, and I followed him there when I was 16 and now we are both 14

“SOMEONE THREW AN APPLE AND IT EXPLODED ON MY CLARINET” professional musicians. My mum plays the Northumbrian pipes and runs her own folk band, writing all the arrangements herself. Once, someone threw an apple and it landed on my clarinet just as I was playing the last note of a gig. It exploded, and my clarinet was sticky for weeks. I’ve also been bitten by a dog when playing a very high note and had eggs thrown at me when busking during siesta time in Spain. We obviously need a cage in front of the stage like the Blues Brothers! In She’koyokh we have 3 kids in total and another on the way! Babies come to rehearsals and go on tour. I take Matt & Chris’ baby to nursery once a week. Last week Meg went to Zika’s so he could look after her toddler and his children while Meg did some band admin. We pay a babysitter with money from the band fund so that Meg and Chris can spend three hours sending emails to promoters.

ÇIĞDEM ASLAN VOCALS I’m from Istanbul; my family is from Sivas in eastern Turkey originally. I sing in Turkish, Kurdish, Greek and the Balkan languages. People like listening

Listen to She’Koyokh: Watch She’Koyokh:

to the music of different cultures and tell me even though they don't understand the lyrics they can still feel it. I have always sung but performing semiprofessionally started when I was at uni in Istanbul, then professionally after I moved to London. I had seen the band perform outside in Euston and I remember thinking what a lovely band, I wish I sang with them. The following year, I met personally with the members and jammed. They invited me to sing with them for couple of concerts. This was almost 10 years ago, and I am still with them. Our songs tell stories about various things from love to migration; dialogues between mothers-in-law comparing gifts to the bride; women indecisive about who to marry; wild goats and unmarried women, angry women telling their lovers off... My favourite song is Sila Kale Bal in Romani by Saban Bayramovic, the king of Roman music. The lyrics say, “Mother I am in love with this girl, she has dark hair and green eyes and if she doesn’t marry me I'll die.” My dad for years insisted that I go back to Turkey and do my job as an English teacher but this stopped when he saw me on a mainstream newspaper’s front page. My Mum was surprised to see my gig was sold out and apparently asked my sister if all those people were there to listen to me! Our gigs in Spain performing at WOMAD or in Hungary performing


at Sziget or when we performed at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam or the most recent album launch in London are amongst the remarkable ones. Somebody from the audience once proposed to me while I was explaining the next song!

PAUL MOYLAN DOUBLE BASS I was born in Basildon. I joined She’Koyokh gradually as a stand in for many years then to ok over two years ago. My favourite song is an Albanian song Për Ty Vuaj Për Ty Këndoj.

ŽIVORAD NIKOLIĆ ACCORDION & VOCALS I was born in Kragujevac, a town in Central Serbia. I play accordion and started playing when I was seven years old. My parents noticed my passion for music and took me to audition at the music school. Susi and I studied together at the Royal Academy of Music. This music has a deep connection to tradition. It has been developed through centuries, and something that survives for so long has a high value that we need to preserve. The music can tell us something about the characters of the people from that place. This is significant when communities have to flee and live in a diaspora.

MEG HAMILTON VIOLINIST I was born in Japan, but my parents are English. I started learning the violin

when I was four, in a teaching method called Suzuki, which is a very good way of training the ear. I was in the audience for She'Koyokh's first ever gig, and so happy to be invited to join soon after. My current favourite is an Albanian song with a long violin solo where I mimic sounds of mountains, birds and wild animals. My siblings all played music at some stage. My brother wanted to sell his violin to buy a rifle but I couldn't bear it to be sold, so I bought it from him. One time, we were about to perform the world premiere of a klezmer concerto in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The minute I walked on stage there was a loud sound: my string had broken. The band had to play a couple of klezmer tunes to entertain the audience while the orchestra sat there waiting for me to come back. We attract a very eclectic audience in London. Sometimes a group of Turkish people come and sing along with Cigdem. They often get up dancing as well and request tunes again and again that we've just played! My husband, Bogdan, is also a professional violinist. We somehow manage to juggle our careers with childcare, with a bit of help from our wonderful family and friends.

CHRISTINA BORGENSTIERNA PERCUSSIONIST I was born in Madrid. My family is from Sweden. I have always been into music! There was a piano in the house... Having done a six-month ethnomusicology course at Stockholm University, I found myself immersed in Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Serbian, and Syrian folklore at the music library of Goldsmiths University while doing a music degree there. I also met Jim Marcovitch, co-founder of She'Koyokh, and sang along while he played his klezmer melodies. Slowly I met the rest of the band, around the year 2001. One of my favourite songs is about a

boy who tells his mum about the girl he loves; he tries to draw a picture of her for approval. It's called Rosni mi rosni rositse. It’s much more interesting to my ears than popular English music. Also emotionally, the melodies have normally passed the test of time which means they have a powerful message inbuilt in them, that we have the honour to interpret! We always have a babysitter either at home or at the gig (if it's in the daytime). If the gig is far away or abroad, we arrange a local sitter.

MATT BACON GUITAR & KAVAL I was born in Zambia and lived in Nigeria and Malawi until coming to this country at 12 years old. Maybe this has given me a taste for the exotic or different cultures because world music has always fascinated me. This is what attracted me to the band in the first place all those years ago in 2001. Of course, it wasn't much of a band back then - just a loose collection of klezmer musicians all willing to go busking at Columbia road flower market on a Sunday morning come rain or shine! Guitar is not really a traditional klezmer or Balkan instrument. I loved the challenge of trying to make my voice work within the ensemble. At first this involved trying to imitate the sound and style of the traditional instruments of the region, for example the bouzouki, oud, lauto, tambora or even the cymbalom. Having integrated this approach into my sound somewhat I then introduced other elements such as gypsy jazz or manouche music which, although not strictly east European, have flavours from the region due to the gypsy connection.For me music has always been about keeping an open mind and exploring different aspects of creativity. My favourite concert so far has to be WOMAD in Fuerteventura. The stage was on the beach, a balmy night with a soft breeze, a full moon hovering above the horizon, and an enthusiastic audience who were dancing by the end of the first number! Christina and I had our first child last year, so we are just getting into the swing of juggling playing music with having a family. We use babysitters when we play together who have all been fantastic. If we play outside of London we use an internet app to book them in the city where we are. They chill out(!) in the green room with Lucia while we are on stage. 15

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’m from Hungary. I came to London in 2011. I learnt English in Australia. When I was 15 years old my father went to Australia to work. He was on the other side of the world. One of his colleagues said, “Why don't you bring your family here?” So, we moved to Australia and I went to high school there. It wasn't easy starting school in another


country as a teenager. Other students bullied me. After they changed the immigration laws, we left Australia in 2008. I was happy about the experience: life is about what you are learning and studying, isn't it? When I was 18 years old I was nervous that my family would have to look after me if I didn't work and become independent. I didn't want my parents worrying about me, so I wanted to move to London and study something. When I came here, I didn't know how expensive London was. I wanted to study graphic design, but it was very expensive. It was not possible to study while I worked to pay my bills. I could afford to do an electronic music production course for one year in West London. I learnt how to compose music and devices they make music with. When I save some money, I’d like to study sound engineering. I make music at home and do recordings for radio stations. I do music outside of work. It makes me happy. I have worked as a cleaner in Clissold Leisure Centre since 2013. I like working for them. They allow you to develop skills and move to other departments. I know some people used to be cleaners, now they are lifeguards or working in the gym, sales, on reception or as a manager. I am still going to do cleaning job; I will start to do a reception job as well. This might allow me to play my music somewhere at weekends. Working as a cleaner is not easy sometimes. People

reflect their anger to us, but it is actually not related to us. In wintertime people are more rude to me. I am on a zero-hour contract. We are not paid for our holidays. Holiday pay is in the wage. If they have financial problems, they cut my hours because I am a casual worker. They might say we don't have enough jobs, we don't need you, we don't have shoes for you. If this happens to me I'll go back home. I can speak English, I love my music, maybe I can do something else. After Brexit people around me are not happy because they don't know what the future is going to bring. A lot of people I know have gone back to their countries since the Brexit vote and a lot of people are planning to go back. I don't know what to expect. It is uncertain. They are still

making plans and don't know what to do with EU people. I miss my family. I have a boyfriend here. I met him on a dance floor: we had a drink and exchanged numbers. Now we have been together for three years, we love each other. I don't want to leave him because of Brexit. I do radio podcasts for online radios. I do different podcasts for different shows. I am hoping one day to play at clubs. I also would like to start my own record label. That’s why I have done the production course. I want to play at parties and make people dance and be happy with my music. I don't want to be a superstar or famous. I just want to do it for love of music. I believe that with music we can change the world. A lot of musicians believe that music brings peace to the world.

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Italian cuisine coupled with a variety of other dishes from Europe We pride ourselves in producing high-quality food as well as creating a memorable experience for our customers. Come down to our restaurant in Wood Green today to see what all the talk is about!

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Beyond kebabs:

Hackney’s Turkish speakers b y YA S E M I N B A K A N

Our part of London is home to a Turkish-speaking community more diverse than you might think. Two centuries-old faiths with links to Islam are practised here in vast numbers.


he term “Turkish community” is widely used to describe the thousands of Turkish speakers who live in London today. But it is in fact an umbrella term that covers mainland Turks, Turkish Cypriots and Kurds – the latter of whom also speak the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish – and nowhere in London better represents the capital’s Turkish-speaking diversity than Hackney. The first to settle in this part of the city were the Turkish Cypriots, who migrated here for work between the 1930s and 1950s. In the decades that followed, their presence expanded from Hackney to other regions, including Haringey and Enfield. Migration to the UK from mainland Turkey – in particular, the Anatolian peninsula – was barely noticeable until the 1970s, when increasingly larger number began to leave because of military interventions in Turkey. A further military coup in 1980, the deteriorating economic situation and, particularly from the 1990s, a rising conflict in southeast Turkey meant that many Kurdish-speaking

Turkish citizens looked to Britain as their new home. Intellectuals, journalists, opposition figures, artists and poets were among the cream of Turkey’s Kurdish society who made the move to Hackney and other major European areas. Around 25,000 people in Hackney described themselves in the 2011 Census as speakers of Turkish as a main language, but the real number of speakers is sure to be higher. Over the past half century this community has overcome the largest barrier in its path – that of language – to set up its own businesses, community centres and associations. The Turkish-speaking community is particularly visible on Hackney’s Kingsland Road. From Stoke Newington to Dalston there are mosques, hairdressers and barbers, florists, estate agents, supermarkets, restaurants, law firms and other businesses that make the area feel like a little Turkey. But most of the owners of these businesses live outside Hackney, in places like Southgate, Enfield and Chingford.

In the 1980s and 1990s, when Hackney was an important area for textiles, Turkish speakers had a major presence in the factories both as owners and as workers. It was after these factories closed down that the community began to concentrate on the food and drink sector instead. The community is also diverse on the question of faith. It is widely assumed that the vast majority – 98 per cent, by some counts – of Turkish speakers are Muslims, but this isn’t quite the entire picture. After Sunni Islam, one of the main religious groups is Alevism, which accounts for around 15-20 per cent of Turkey’s population. In Hackney, a majority of Turkish speakers are members of the Alevi faith. They are followers of Ali, the Prophet Muhammed’s brother-in-law, and practice a mystical faith that blends Islamic, Shaman and Sufi traditions. Unlike many other religions, they do not have many strict laws; instead, they observe love among humans, tolerance and the passing of knowledge from one generation to another by means of poetry. 19




Photo: Alan Denney

The building used until 1983 as a theatre and cinema was purchased for £80,000 and transformed into Aziziye mosque

Some, but by no means all, of the Alevi believe their faith to be a branch of Islam. Another major difference between Alevism and Sunni Islam is their place of worship. While Sunnis pray in mosques, Alevis meet at the cemevi. Unlike mosques, there is no gender segregation in a cemevi and the manner of prayer is different too: whereas a hodja or imam leads a service in a mosque, a cem service will see music, song and a form of spiritual dance known as the semah. The songs that are performed, often to the accompaniment of a guitar-like instrument known as the bağlama, are centuries-old and well-known amongst Alevi. One such song goes: “Learn from your mistakes and be knowledgeable, “Don’t look for faults in others, “Look at 73 different people in the same way, “God loves and created them all, so don’t say anything against them.” Turkey’s Alevi population has routinely been subject to discrimination and the target of massacres. “Up until 1993, Alevi funerals were held at a mosque in Whitechapel largely used by the Pakistani community,” says Tugay Hurman, recalling how the cemevi he leads today, at 89 Ridley Road, came to be founded. “Alevi funerals were generally regarded as second class and when one particular event experienced disrespectful behaviour, the Alevis realised they were not temporary visitors to this country and needed to establish a cemevi of their own.” 20

Dalston’s cemevi has four thousand members and the building acts both as a cultural centre and a place of worship. Like Sunni Muslims, Alevis observe a fasting but they do this during the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, rather than the month of Ramadan. It is observed to mark the Battle of Karbala, in which Ali’s son Huseyin and his family members were abandoned in the desert and tortured for failing to give allegiance to the caliphate of Yazid I. Alevis mark the anniversary of this 680 CE battle with theatre and discussions on human values and Alevi teachings. It culminates in the festival of Ashura, where a special dish prepared from a variety of fruits, nuts, and grains is made. It is also known as Noah’s pudding and is shared not just within the cemevi but among family, friends and neighbours. There are three mosques in the Hackney region used by Turkish-speaking people not just for worship, but for advice and cultural events. One such site is at 117 Stoke Newignton Road, where the building used until 1983 as a theatre and cinema was purchased for £80,000 and transformed into Aziziye mosque. The local hodja Fahri Baltan tells the story: “When I first came here from Turkey I thought I would be leading services to hundreds of people, like in Sultanahmet [the site of Istanbul’s famous Blue Mosque]. But before Aziziye’s building was purchased, we used a flat on the upper floor of a building just nearby. There would be five or six people praying with us and I was deeply disappointed.

The Turkish Alevi community dancing semah, a form of spiritual dance at Alevi Culture Festival at Oxford University

“But then this building was purchased in 1983 and it took its present form in 1997. We have a lovely mosque now.” There are two important dates on the calendars of observant Muslims in the Turkish-speaking communities. One is Eid al-Fitr, known as the Ramadan Bayram in Turkish, which takes place over three days after the 30-day Ramadan fast. The other is Eid al-Adha, Kurban Bayram. Both are festivals where new clothes are purchased and families come together. In a ritual ceremony, the younger generation visit their elderly relatives to kiss their hand and touch it with their foreheads. Children get money, sweets and presents in return. Homemade baklava, nutty desserts, make the festival sweet, while stuffed vine leaves, soups, salads, meaty meals and rice dishes ensure the whole family have a hearty meal together. It’s not just families, either: friends will pay visits to one another. Alevis mark the festival in the same way, and just about every member of the Turkish-speaking communities echo the same refrain: it’s just not like it was back in Turkey.

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Stoke Newington Church Street

Sandringham Road


Stoke Newington

70S STOKE N When Alan Denney moved to Hackney in the mid-1970s, he started


Park 1981

Church Street 1981

Stoke Newington Church Street 1981

Stoke Newington High Street 1980 Town Guide and Public Toilets

NEWINGTON taking photographs of Stoke Newington, Dalston and Stamford Hill


Photographing Hackney since the Seventies I n t e r v i e w b y YA S E M I N B A K A N

Alan Denney unintentionally became an internet sensation when he put his photographs online, attracting millions of views. His pictures document the changes in Stoke Newington Church Street and the Dalston Kingsland Road.

Tell us about yourself. I was born in 1952 and was brought up by my Italian mother in Gillingham, Kent. In the 1950s and 60s Gillingham was a town of soldiers, sailors, dockyard mateys and working-class Tories. Like a lot of young people at that time I became radicalised: another world seemed possible! I gave up trying to become a lawyer and sold Red Mole, a weekly left-wing newspaper published by the International Marxist Group in the early 1970s. The editor was Tariq Ali. After university I worked as a teacher in a small town in Northern Italy and in 1974 I came to visit friends in Stoke Newington for a weekend. I stayed, got a job and made my life here. Back then I lived in some dreadful slum flats in Hawksley Road and on Stoke Newington Common. Jay Estates, the Hawksley Road landlord, invented a devious plan to deny tenants the protection of the Rent Acts by renaming their properties “bed and breakfast”. So every week a man would bring my breakfast: usually just a variety pack of Kellogg's cereals but sometimes a packet of toast. I've lived in Dynevor Road since 1983. I spent most of my working life as a mental health social worker for Islington Council and retired 5 years ago. 24

Why were you interested in photography? Why did you want to document political protest, police, and strikes? I grew up carefully studying a boxful of my mother's old family photos. I was fascinated to see what I could learn about my relatives just by looking at photographs of them...and stories emerged. I wanted to take my own photos to add to the collection so mum gave me a camera when I was 10, a British-made Coronet Viscount. I started taking photos of friends, family, outings and holidays – but when I came to Stoke Newington I heard rumours about socially-engaged documentary photography. I began to get an idea of what this looked like from Camerawork magazine, produced by the Halfmoon Photography Workshop in Bethnal Green. I decided to make a photographic record of life around me here in Hackney. I wanted to tell the story of a workingclass neighbourhood blighted by poverty, unemployment, racism and awful housing and how local people responded to this onslaught with resilience. I took my camera everywhere and photographed anything that caught my eye: derelict houses, urban decay, uncollected rubbish mountains on the Common in

Alan Denney


F EATU R E the winter of discontent, people busy being themselves, community festivities, protests, the Astra turning into a Turkish mosque, the first signs of gentrification on Church Street. I more or less stopped taking documentary photos after the mid-80s. Thatcher and the defeat of the miners' strike numbed me. I photographed my children as they grew up instead. In 2008 I uploaded some old photos to the Flickr website and I was surprised by the response. It encouraged me to start photographing Hackney again and I'm still at it. I've used several 35mm film cameras: an unreliable East German Praktika SLR, Yaschica and Contax SLRs, and my favourite Olympus XA, a tiny rangefinder camera. I use a small Panasonic digital camera now. A few years ago I started doing kite aerial photography, taking photos from a kite flown in local parks, I love looking down at familiar places.


You've captured the funeral of Michael Ferreira. What's the reason for so many people attending this funeral?

happening on this road? The photo with four men must have a story.

Michael Ferreira was a young black man who bled to death in Stoke Newington police station after he'd been stabbed nearby in a fight with two white teenagers. Hundreds of people from Hackney's different communities came together on a wet Saturday morning in January 1979 to show their grief and anger in front of the police station – as they did again just a few weeks ago when Rashan Charles died after a violent encounter with local police.

You have a lot of pictures taken in Sandringham Road. What was

Michael Ferreira’s Funeral 1979

The local Afro-Caribbean community called Sandringham Road “the Front Line”. At one end was the West Indian café and barber and at the other end was the Lord Stanley pub and derelict shops. It was where black youths rubbed up against the local police and it could get very rowdy. The 1981 Dalston riot started there. My partner lived round the corner in Colvestone Crescent so I often walked along Sandringham Road and it felt pretty ordinary most of the time: groups of young black men being young men,

outworkers making their sewing machines screech, loud voices and thumping reggae from open windows and, if you wanted to, you could buy Jamaican weed. It was rumoured that officers from Stoke Newington police station controlled the marijuana trade on Sandringham Road. I can't tell you what I think is going on in the photo with the four men, some of them may still be around!

How does Stoke Newington/ Hackney look compared to when you started to take pictures? What was the community like? In the 1970s Hackney was a solidly working-class area made up of lots of different communities: Jews, AfroCaribbeans, Irish, Cypriots, Asians amongst others. Manufacturing industries had virtually disappeared; there were local jobs in clothing sweatshops, retail or the Council/NHS but unemployment was high and deprivation indicators put Hackney at the bottom of the pile. Hackney looked terrible too: derelict Victorian houses on every street, boarded-up shops, piles of rubbish, burnt-out cars, deserted factories and empty workshops. The physical environment looks better now: there's less visible urban decay and there are fewer tower blocks. Stoke Newington is still a hodgepodge of working-class communities. What's new is the recent arrival of white middle-class newcomers and the social cleansing of the Woodberry Down Estate. What hasn't changed is Hackney's high level of poverty and social deprivation.

How would you describe Church Street when you compare it to the present? Church Street in the 1970s was just another run-down street in Hackney: junk shops, sewing machine and haberdashery suppliers, sweatshops, workmen's caffs, a few struggling shops and pubs. Now it's mostly posh shops, cafes, restaurants and very few ordinary Hackney people to be seen.

Is Stoke Newington living its best time? What is your prediction for the future?

Stoke Newington 1978

Stoke Newington's golden age is yet to come. I don't know what the future holds but I hope that we don't have to wait too long before the wealth of this country is shared out more fairly. 25

BE GOOD TO YOUR TASTE BUDS Discover the flavours of East Village

With London's house prices and rents constantly on the rise, more people are looking for alternative ways to live in the capital. Mersa Auda visited the close-knit community of floating homes on local canals to find out what boat life is really like. I n t e r v i e w b y M E R S A AU DA


anal boats have existed for centuries, but the idea of canal homes has never been quite as popular. To get a clearer idea of the lifestyle, we spoke to freelancer Linus; young couple Lowri and David; and Damian, who lives with his wife and nine-year-old son Morgan. In spite of daily challenges, it seems that the benefits of living on the water far outweigh the difficulties - you just need to be up for the adventure.

LINUS SAMS “I was born in London and I also grew up here. I was living abroad for ten years and when I came back I found it had changed

dramatically: new buildings everywhere, house prices gone up, higher living costs, more people. I had to live in London because all my family and friends are here, so my sister had this idea. It was very straightforward, we bought the boat on the weekend and I moved in on the Monday. This is probably the only way that I could fit back into London life. “I’ve only been doing this for a few months but there’s been quite a few challenges, like breaking down in the middle of the canal! Then there’s the fact that you’ve always got to keep the water tank full. I don’t think there are enough free water points where you can fill up. Luckily I’ve got a car, but if you don’t have


that you’ve got to go miles up the road to get it. And unfortunately, just when you get used to an area you have to move and start all over again every fortnight. “You find your way around the challenges though. It was quite stressful at the beginning but I’m starting to enjoy it now. You meet some really nice people and you actually interact with others, which is rare in London. People in the city are usually doing their own thing, not really wanting to talk. There doesn’t seem to be so much human interaction any more so for me, after being away so long, it’s good to have this community, otherwise I think it would be very lonely. “I would recommend boat life but 27

it depends on the person and their lifestyle. I’m a freelance stage technician and an artist so for me it works well, but if you didn’t have enough time to be on the boat, it’d be tricky. I’ve always led a slightly alternative life and this fits with my personality. “I’m seeing things differently from this perspective. I love to create, and this is actually bringing out a lot of stuff for me as an artist, stuff that I didn’t use so much when I was living in a room. In a house I felt stifled, claustrophobic, but here I feel the inspiration coming back. Obviously it doesn’t happen overnight, but I feel it’s starting to happen again.”

LOWRI AND DAVID Lowri: “I’ve lived quite alternatively in the past and when I came to London [from Swansea], David was living in a flat, but we were really interested in a simpler lifestyle. We met a guy who was living on a boat and David helped him to renovate, so he learnt a lot about boat life. We just thought, let’s give it a go! Obviously the

money factor comes into it as well, but it wasn’t the main thing. For me, coming to London and seeing concrete everywhere was quite overwhelming, but this made the move a lot easier. “You learn a lot here. You’ve only got a small space so you realise that you don’t need most of the stuff you have. We spend a lot more quality time together because we’re not just sitting down watching TV, and I’ve become a lot more creative now. In the next couple of years we’d like to have children and I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel having a newborn on the boat, so our life here will probably be temporary for that reason. Otherwise I’d happily do it permanently! “Lots of people just follow the crowd and buy a house. This lifestyle is not for everyone, but I think you’ve got to try it to love it. When I go to my mother’s for a night or two I think it’s nice to have the space, and we definitely miss the sofa! But I’m ready to come back every time.” David: “We don’t really miss anything. What we think we miss was just stuff that

we were in the habit of doing. The nicest thing here is that the people are great. I lived in a flat for two years and I didn’t know my neighbour; here everyone waves, everyone says hello. It would be nice to have a community hub [to discuss common issues], a place where boaters could go and have a chat, and everyone would give their opinion, find new ways, especially now that it’s getting more popular.” Lowri: “With the mooring rules [requiring a boat to move every 14 days], I think it takes a boater to understand the practical problems. It’s not really realistic for us to move around while fixing the boat, for instance. They are lenient with engine problems, but maybe they could be more considerate of people who are renovating. “As house prices are going up, most people can’t afford to buy one. I think we can learn from other countries that are more ahead when it comes to alternative lifestyles. A lot of people are actually interested in something different.”




Damian: “Living on a boat is about the only way you can have a bit of freedom in London without having to pay somebody else’s mortgage or owe hundreds of thousands of pounds and be a slave to the bank. We’ve been doing it for six years. It was originally meant to be a temporary thing for us, but it’s hard to beat this. “It’s a totally different experience from when you have a house because you have got to build everything yourself. You’ve got to be ingenious, creative, flexible and determined, or else you won’t last very long living on the water. It does get easier with time. You get a better

network and you know what the hurdles are. You get to meet lots of people and we all share knowledge. Every day is a school day. People living in houses don’t have any shared resources, whereas if you’re living on the river you have to be part of the community to survive. “There are a hell of a lot of challenges, especially surrounding the strict enforcement of the 14-day rule. The mooring rules are run by a body called Canal River Trust who are the most uncharitable charity in the history of charities. They spend a lot of time and resources threatening and intimidating boaters.” Morgan: “Then there’s the canoeists who always make the boaters move so they can have more room, when they’ve already got a big area. They buy longer paddles which take up all the space, and then they say they can’t row!” Damian: “There are conflicts over resources as we’ve only got a finite amount of waterways. There could be more dialogue. There’s plenty of space for everybody but it seems to be


congregating around certain stretches because there’s a lot of commercial interest. “When I travel for work and I’ve got instant hot water and all the amenities of a modern lifestyle in a hotel, I’m reminded that having an uninterrupted power supply is a luxury we take for granted. On a boat you learn to live without some things, and you also learn to appreciate what a luxurious life we have in this part of

the world. “Boat life is pretty family friendly, too. Morgan has grown up on the water and we’ve got quite a community of ‘river rats’- the junior pirates! This is a different side of London where there’s a strong sense of community.” Morgan: “And if we don’t like our neighbours, we can always move! ” Damian: “They tend to move first, though!”


Rated one of the top agencies in the country Oakwood Estate Agents are an independent estate agency based in Stoke Newington Church Street since 1994. The manager, Andy Loizou, has led the company, which specialises in residential sales & lettings, since the turn of the century. He told us how Oakwood’s hard work and diligence placed it in the top 20% of agents for sales and lettings in the UK as ranked by the Best Estate Agency Guide 2017.


ow has Stoke Newington changed over the years?

Stoke Newington and Hackney in general have changed so much since 1994 but the one thing that has always remained in N16 is the sense of community and it has always attracted a diverse group of people. There was always a good mix of both families and young professionals even back then and this mix remains very much the same today.

Is being independent a key factor in your achievements? We feel the key to our success is due in large part to our experience. So many businesses have come and gone over the years, but we remain a permanent fixture. I'm the manager and have personally worked here for 17 years and began my career here. Our assistant manager Jay has worked with us for 10 years; Clare, our lettings manager, has worked with us for 15 years and our senior negotiator Andrew has worked with us

for three years. Our local experience and dedication to ensuring we always work to the highest standards are what sets us apart.

As an estate agent based in Church Street, which areas do you cover exactly? We cover a range of postcodes. Our aim has always been to service Stoke Newington and the immediate surrounding areas: N16, N15, N5, N4, N1, N15 and E5 & E8.

Your top 20% rating is impressive – how does the Best Estate Agency Guide produce its ratings? This is information from the Best Estate Agency Guide’s rating system. They took the knowledge and insights that they gained from our estate agent reviews, their annual surveys of buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants, and their experience of estate agency, and used it to team up with Rightmove to map out the perfect customer experience.



Together, they identified the criteria that define exceptional service and conducted an in-depth analysis of performance data to create a long list of the top 40% of branches in the country. They then conducted the biggest mystery shopping review process ever undertaken of the property industry. Based on the points scored during the data analysis and mystery shopping exercise, they placed us in the top 20% of estate agents nationwide.

Letting or selling a property is stressful. How do you approach people when they are in such an emotionally testing situation? Selling a property can be very stressful, in particular when trying to buy somewhere else at the same time. They are many reasons why people decide to sell their home, from upgrading to a change in circumstances, and sometimes due to a death or separation. Some situations can be more delicate than others. The key is that we always take on board a homeowner’s situation and ensure that we are understanding of their situation and their needs, often going beyond the call of duty. I very much see our

job as taking the stress of selling away from sellers by ensuring we offer the best and most efficient service from the commencement of marketing, right the way through to completion of the transaction.

What is your advice for homeowners who are planning to sell their property in 2018? Our advice to homeowners is to use the autumn and winter to get their properties looking the best they can for when they sell or let in 2018. Any small jobs they've been putting off – now is the time to do this, as well as any decorative work that needs doing and any clearing/ de-cluttering to ensure it is ready. We encourage sellers and landlords to contact us this year so we can arrange to meet and discuss their requirements for 2018 and advise them accordingly to help with their preparations.

Stoke Newington has a range of neighbourhoods, but which postcode or street is the most expensive? There are many popular roads in Stoke Newington but the most expensive has

to be Queen Elizabeth Walk with its uninterrupted views of the wonderful Clissold Park.

How is the Stoke Newington property market performing? The market has slowed down throughout London, but some parts have remained relatively buoyant this year in areas which are more affordable, like some parts of East London. However London as a whole has slowed down. Continuous concerns over Brexit, we feel, have made an impact. Nevertheless Stoke Newington remains one of the most popular and sought after areas in North London and demand for properties remains high. Pricing properties correctly to attract the right buyers is crucial.

Have you ever worked with anyone famous? Yes, in 2011 we sold Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates’s house and in 2012 we sold singer Leona Lewis’s property. Oakwood Estate Agents 48 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0NB 020 7249 1000

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Currell CEO Anne Currell

‘An edgy, go-getting vibe’ Anne Currell, CEO of family-run estate agent Currell’s, talks about Hackney’s vibrancy and the options that exist for households to move into the area – even for first time buyers.


hy is Hackney so popular?

It offers the perfect mix of inner city living – vibrant, eclectic, highly creative and very green and young, with so many parks and open spaces and plenty of young people. It has a diverse and vibrant population, too. Housing is good value relative to its west London counterparts, public transport is excellent following the extension of the Overground network, and it has an edgy go-getting vibe and excellent schools.

Can you sum up Hackney in three words? Connected, creative, exciting

What’s the supply and demand like? Substantial family houses are always popular with demand outstripping supply. People who move to Hackney want to stay and so they move from flat to small house, small house to large house. Historically demand has been increasing over the last couple of decades, and Hackney has risen from being 28th (out of 33) in terms of average property price per London borough to 9th. One of the reasons for this price outperformance – Hackney has outperformed all other London boroughs over the last 20 years – is the relatively limited supply. Although many new build developments have been delivered, a relatively high proportion of the housing stock is social housing and therefore not available for private sale. Nearly 45% of all households in Hackney rent from a social

landlord. Demand is expected to increase, with the population forecast to grow from circa 270,000 today to over 300,000 by 2027.

What sort of property is available? To buy and rent privately, there is a wide selection of property, mostly Victorian stock with some Georgian – Cassland Road E9 has the longest unbroken terrace of Georgian houses in London – to warehouse conversions and contemporary new build apartments. The new build properties include shared ownership homes, of which 3,500 are currently being delivered across the borough. There is also some ex-local authority housing available to purchase privately, and existing local authority property can be bought by eligible social housing tenants via Right to Buy.

Any local celebrities? London Fields is home to Michael Fassbender and Kirsten Dunst, while Gavin Turk and Jake & Dinos Chapman live in the Victoria Park area.

What is the smartest address here? Albion Square. Will Young used to live there.

How are these new developments affecting Hackney? In an entirely positive way, usually transforming unused ex-industrial sites into new homes, which encourages the development and growth of new

“HACKNEY HISTORICALLY WAS KNOWN FOR THE TEXTILE AND SHOE INDUSTRY – JIMMY CHOO HAD HIS FIRST STUDIO ON KINGSLAND ROAD.” communities. This is particularly true of London Fields and Hackney Wick. The infrastructure around the developments and subsequent increase in population is also hugely beneficial: there are some great shops, mostly independents. London Fields is a haven for beer drinkers; Beavertown Brewery started in Downham Road. Broadway Market is the must-do destination event at weekends, there is such a positive culture of creativity. Hackney historically was known for the textile and shoe industry: Jimmy Choo had his first studio on Kingsland Road.

What are your predictions for the 2018 rental and sales market in Hackney? Demand for property, both for purchase and rental, should remain strong, although price levels will depend on whether the government is able to offer sufficient measures to boost confidence in the property market and to offset Brexit uncertainty. Help to Buy has been a huge boost for first time buyers and with a price cap of up to £600,000 it is applicable to a large number of properties in Hackney. 33

R e v i e w b y V I C TO R I A G R AY

SUTTON AND SONS 9 0 S T O K E N E W I N G T O N H I G H S T R E E T, LONDON N16 7NY SUT TONANDSONS.CO.UK f you look at Sutton and Sons, a veritable establishment on Stoke Newington High Street after nearly eight years in the area, and only see a fish and chip shop, you need to look again. They definitely serve fish and chips and it’s definitely some of the best we’ve tried in London, but that’s just scratching the surface. Although there are two other branches in Islington and Hackney Central, trying Sutton and Sons is an essential Stoke Newington experience – this


was the original. As well as the fish and chips – after a few sampling sessions, we’ve found an order of two regular cod plus a large chips to share is the ideal portion for two people – they serve a range of fish and seafood delights, from a lobster soup to a full seafood platter, served on a bed of ice, ranging from mussels to crab. If you think you wouldn’t trust a chippy to give you a decent fish supper, think again. Using fish from their own fishmonger, there’s a huge range of fish dishes available ranging all the way from

burgers to grilled fish, all cooked to perfection. Following up with Mrs Sutton’s hearty sticky toffee pudding will cap off the “have I gone home and got mum to cook for me?” feeling. There’s a really homely vibe sitting inside on their relaxed wooden benches – it’s certainly a restaurant, but relaxed enough that you




16 STOKE NEWINGTON C H U R C H S T, N16 0LU, LONDON, 020 7923 2810

ONESOUR.COM toke Newington is blessed with some of London’s best cocktail bars, all within a few meters of one another. The latest to join the ranks is the Mint Gun Club, a former beer bar, which has been transformed into a tranquil spot just off the high street, inspired by the proprietor Rich Hunt’s exotic travels around the world. Bright blue walls, white wooden shutters and pineapple motifs cement the relaxed feel of being away from home. Rich Hunt has won bartender of the year three times, and his cocktails will tell you why. Using ingredients plucked



from his explorations, there are influences from Portugal to Asia, and it’s not one for the fainthearted. Throw your expectations of Cosmopolitans and pitchers out of the window; the drinks menu is divided into elegant gimlets, aperitifs and tonics, all delicately put together to create tastes you won’t expect but definitely will enjoy. There’s also a bar snacks menu from their locallysourced, internationallyinspired pantry, and a list of teas to enjoy in the afternoons. A new jewel for the Stokey cocktail crown.

ezcal Cantina Bar restaurant specialises in highly authentic Mexican food as well as Tex-Mex. The restaurant’s walls are adorned with pictures of Mexican figures like painter Frida Kahlo. The venue has been run by Mexican native Caesar and his family who have lived in London for 16 years. Caesar explains that fajitas and burritos are an American style of cuisine known as Tex-Mex, and that the dishes in his restaurant are authentically Mexican. Chilli, he says, is commonly misinterpreted: it’s not about making the food hot, but adding taste. We began our meal with a sharing platter of five different tacos. The different types – pork, chicken, beef – were served


don’t need to feel like you can’t ask for extra tartar sauce. Watching the open kitchen and seeing the hungry customers drop in to pick up their steaming fish and chips as you enjoy your food adds extra charm and solidifies the local feel that so many people love about Stokey. If you’re looking for a cosy, local vibe, look no further.

with a classic margarita and, later, a mango margarita. A taco of shredded beef with chipotle sauce, coriander and guacamole was delicious and further tacos with Mexican chicken and pork better still. Then there’s mole, a black sauce made with 22 different ingredients including chocolate, and enchiladas, the vegetarian option. We went for the chicken and the mole sauce was delicious. Mixed fajitas were our other main, served with black beans, salsa and three corn tortillas. This simple, colourful, affordable and vibrant food was served with warmth and charm. This neighbourhood joint is a must-visit for its rich, authentic menu and cocktails.


Sunday Roasts b y M E R S A AU DA

As winter approaches and temperatures drop, there is nothing more comforting than a gathering with family and friends over a hearty meal. Not sure where to go? We’ve selected some of the best Sunday roast venues where you can enjoy excellent roasts and friendly vibes.





LADY MILDMAY Elegantly decorated with a relaxed atmosphere, the charming Lady Mildmay offers a satisfying roast that really hits the spot. The lamb and beef are both enticing options, and the cauliflower cheese side is a perfect accompaniment, but their entire menu promises great variety and interesting combinations. It's a place for chilled gettogethers of large groups, with nothing but cheerful vibes. The staff are welcoming and attentive, even if the kitchen gets very busy. A warming experience all round. 92 Mildmay Park, Newington Green, London N1 4PR 020 7241 6238 JONES AND SONS Nothing is left to chance at Jones and Sons, where quality stands firmly at the forefront. In a league of their own when it comes to attention to detail, their knowledgeable staff will guide you through an outstanding Sunday menu that revisits traditional dishes by adding a unique twist, with delicious cocktails to match. The Hampshire pork belly is superlative, as is the rib eye roast. From their skilfully concocted starters down to the moreish sides, you’re in 36

for a treat no matter what you order. Their meats are locally sourced and all ingredients are fresh as can be. Spacious and trendy with a buzzing atmosphere, this is a must try for Sunday roast lovers. Stamford Works, 3 Gillett st, London, N16 8JH 020 7241 1211





A cool, modern bar boasting a rich programme of gigs and events in the basement, Ryan’s N16 has a lot to offer beside a tasty roast. Luckily, they’ve taken their Sunday food offering seriously and you can expect very high standards for a reasonable price. Their meats are cooked to perfection and the side veggies are incredibly flavoursome, not to mention the top-notch Yorkshire pudding. Friendly staff, expertly made cocktails and a huge, lovely garden complete the experience. 181 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UL 0207 275 7807

The Adam and Eve caters for every taste. Pork is the top roast choice, and when the food is prepared by a former head-chef at The Hawksmoor, you know you are in good hands. The managers are committed to cutting down food miles and offering fresh produce, and the staff lavish equal care and attention on the guests. Aside from enjoying a top Sunday roast you can catch the football action, play pool in the screen-free area or chill in the spacious garden. It’s hard to be disappointed. 155 Homerton High Street, London, E9 6AS 020 8985 1494

Loved by the locals, The Jolly Butchers’ homely atmosphere makes it a great refuge on a cold day. Family and dog friendly, the pub features a wide selection of international craft beers. All the classic roasts are available here, but the lamb shank is the recommended choice. The vegan nut roast is also very popular. In a nod to tradition, their gravy-rich roasts have a touch of the home made, which matches the cosy mood. 204 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7HU 020 7249 9471


How to avoid sugar this year by JODIE ABRAHAMS


e are all individuals and the way we eat reflects this. Your body responds differently to foods depending on your genetics, health history, lifestyle and your environment. There is no one-size-fits-all 'perfect diet' despite what magazines and the diet industry might tell you. As a nutritional therapist, I work with women to help them eat in a way that suits them whether that's to support a particular health concern or work towards a specific goal. Our nutritional needs change throughout our lives. But increasing fruit, veg and a range of nourishing whole foods while reducing stimulants, toxins and processed foods are general principles to live by. Once these healthier habits are in place, they can be adapted for the different stages of a woman's life such as preconception, pregnancy, the post-natal period and menopause. I like to focus on including nutritious ingredients in the diet to crowd out the less beneficial ones. This puts the emphasis on enjoying a multitude of vibrant, nourishing foods rather than fixating on foods to restrict. Having said that, the biggest challenge faced by many of the women I work with is reducing

Roasted rainbow veg salad with smoky tahini dressing Salad 1/2 cup quinoa (ideally soaked overnight) 1/2 cup frozen peas Handful of mixed salad leaves (eg. rocket, watercress & spinach) 2 carrots 1 large beetroot 1 red pepper 1 red onion 2 tbsp avocado/coconut oil Dressing 1 tbsp tahini 1 tbsp olive oil Juice of half a large lemon 1/4 tsp sumac 1/4 tsp smoked paprika 1 Preheat the oven to 180°. 2 Rinse the quinoa well and place in a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of boiling water (or 1 cup if the quinoa is un-soaked).

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. 3 Chop the carrots, beetroot, pepper and onion. Place in a roasting tin and coat with the oil. Roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through. 4 Put the peas in a bowl of boiling water for a minute, then drain. 5 Mix the salad ingredients together, adding the chopped mixed leaves last. 6 Combine the dressing ingredients, mix well, then drizzle over the salad and serve.

sugar and caffeine. To address these cravings, I recommend including satiating foods. These help to stabilise blood sugar and support more constant energy levels. Satiating foods include: • Protein from nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and pseudo-cereals like quinoa and buckwheat • Fibre from fruit, vegetables and whole grains • Healthy fats from oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and cold pressed oils Because most of us lead busy lives with various demands on our time and energy, we want easy, practical ways to include foods that nourish us in our daily diets. 37

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veryone needs to throw away their stress and spend some time relaxing, especially seeing as we live in a busy, noisy town like London. Writing about this Russian banya was the most relaxing thing I did for this issue, especially considering I wasn’t exactly cheerful as I entered. My banya experience began with a sauna with a difference. Most saunas have a high level of humidity and after about ten minutes it becomes impossible to breathe; in this sauna, you sweat slowly and in a healthy way. Ten minutes later I stepped outside and underneath a wooden bucket of cold water, and pulled the rope that tipped its contents over my head. I thought I would freeze, but actually I felt wonderful. Russians say regular banya visits stop you catching colds. It is believed that a cold-hot therapy strengthens the immune system and the adrenaline helps boost the levels of serotonin in the body. Eventually, Svetlana came over with a smile to tell me my tea was ready in the café. Everyone who books in advance can enjoy a pot of herbal tea.

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Then it was time for parenie, a traditional herbal treatment using oak leaves. The oak bunches were first softened in warm water before they were gently and rhythmically

applied. My head was covered in oak leaves and the bath attendant, or banschik, began to lightly strike me with them. This Russian massage is not for the faint-hearted. Ten minutes later, I went back to the high wooden buckets and tipped more water over my head, then I stepped into the big, wooden tub. Again, it was freezing. Wrapping myself in a towel, I returned to my tea in the café, followed by kvass, a fermented beetroot juice. It was a proper detox day. Before long, a young lady told me it was time for my scrub. I was scrubbed from top to toe with honey and salt (it smelt magnificent), steamed for 10 minutes, and then showered. At my table in the café it was time for lunch: borscht, a beetroot soup, and herrings served with onions. Delicious. Sessions at Banya No 1 start at £30 off-peak for three hours, including use of steam room and showers. Treatments are extra. A three-hour session, including honey and salt scrub, parenie, mud decollete with foot bath and pot of herbal tea, is £95. Separate male and female sessions are available. 17 Micawber Street, London, N1 020 7253 6723


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

Profile for Hackney Magazine

N16Life Winter 2017  

Features, events, stories in Hackney

N16Life Winter 2017  

Features, events, stories in Hackney

Profile for n16life