Anywhere with its own Sunday market is definitely worth a visit for a culture vulture, but factor in the plenitude of pubs and restaurants in Clapton and there are few better places to get a real sense of everyday London.
Have a tipple at the Clapton Hart
Complete with high ceilings, a beer garden and a woody vintage vibe, the Clapton Hart is the quintessential watering hole of the hipster age. While the place was refurbished and restored as a public house a few years ago, it’s got a rich history and has served at various points as a hotel, a coaching inn and a nightclub. There are plenty of real ales and craft beers available, while they also offer a decent Sunday roast.
Back in the 1930s, Lower Clapton’s Chatsworth Road was home to a bustling market, but by the 1990s all the stalls had disappeared. Thanks to the efforts and community spirit of local residents, Chatsworth Road Market was resurrected in 2011. These days Sundays on Chatsworth Road see more than 50 independent traders selling everything from food and drink to handmade crafts.
Another place showcasing the endearing sense of community that prevails in Clapton, the Black Cat Café in Clapton’s southern reaches is a vegan workers’ cooperative. In other words, it’s run by local volunteers for the benefit of local folk, with as much focus on sustaining our planet as there is on straining the coffee. Ongoing refurbishments are due to finish in February 2018, so expect the decor to be as fresh as the food.
When summer heats up and bestows London with all its sunny splendor and glory, it’s important to take some time to appreciate the good weather before it’s gone. Running along the River Lea in Upper Clapton and with great views across Walthamstow Marshes, Springfield Park is the perfect place to crack out the summer games or tuck into a picnic.
It has humble beginnings as a popup, but it wasn’t long before Sodo Pizza Café opened a store of its own in Clapton. Now there are outposts in Hoxton and Walthamstow, too, and customers certainly aren’t here for the decor: simple wooden tables and exposed brick walls characterise this sourdough pizza place. But when somewhere this slapdash about interior design is still drawing crowds, it’s testament to great food and reasonable prices.
Chatsworth Road is a high street full of activity. While the Sunday market see hordes of hipsters descend on the place, there is plenty going on during the rest of the week, too. From cafés and restaurants to old-school throwbacks such as butchers and bakers, it’s easy to spend hours strolling the street and enjoying everything it has to offer.