Take a walk: Japanese tapas, Tel Aviv breakfast places, Indian restaurants, and Italian pizzerias will catch your attention. Many of the cafes on this street are owned by Turkish people, and they sell spices, and vegan and organic products that you can't find in the big chains.
Stokey is a place where you can find almost all world cultures. This gives the neighbourhood the feeling of togetherness. That's why shops like Know & Love, selling artisanal products of local designers are opening; The Axe's owner buys almond croissants and bread from Spence Bakery; Magda and Lyla at Cafe Z do not go home after work without stopping by White Hart. Income and expenditure are balanced within the neighbourhood. Shall we start our stroll?
Brekky at Spence Bakery: You look at the queue in front of you. You count 28 people. Actually, it's a short one. You got here just in time. The only thought going through your mind at the moment: I hope no one wants the strawberry hazelnut muffins, and that the cinnamon buns don't have many takers today.
Clissold Park, Stoke Newington
Rasa's curry: If someone claims to know the best Indian restaurant in London, they are probably talking about Dishoom. But if you ask a London veteran for idiosyncratic Indian flavours, they will recommend Rasa, a local gem specific to the Karela region. Start your journey with lentil chips papadom, next order is curry. At Rasa, tolerance to spiciness is required.
Shop local, wear global: Hub, a shop that works with local and artisan designers, is the first store that comes to mind when you look for sweaters and trousers; at Nook, you will ask ‘what is that smell?’ as soon as you open the door. Soaps, candles, baskets, rings, and children's toys are spread around the shelves. At Search & Rescue, throws are like paintings on sofas. Retro Hub NO16 is where you look for period furniture; a desk, a mirror, or a drawer. It is possible to bargain down the prices written on the furniture when you pay cash.
Rude & Everyday Sunshine: Coffee, posters, illustrations. Rude & Everyday Sunshine, is where this trio resides. The team behind the shop works for organisations such as London Transport System, The Guardian, and Amnesty. It is a stop for those who want to make a statement on their walls.
Crack open a book and spend the whole day at Cafe Z: A place where the staff knows your habits after you have been there a few times, where you feel like you are in a common workspace because of the number of laptops opened. Since 2002, Cafe Z has managed to be a nucleus where the neighbourhood matters are discussed, where you stop by after jogging at 7:00 p.m., and where parents meet after school pick up.
The Auld Shillelagh Irish Pub
For a Sunday roast, Londeborough Pub: When you think of roast, don't immediately think of animal parts. Delicious options such as chestnuts and legumes, grains and red fruits are served with potatoes. Londeborough Pub is the treasured place for Sunday gatherings in Stokey. Don't be surprised if you get involved in a backgammon tournament going on at the next table.
It's pub o'clock! It's 3:00 p.m., you can notice Zoom meetings going on. We are at The Axe. It's not because we want to drink an IPA but because pubs are placid at that time. Whether you are watching a film or writing, usually it's empty until 5:00 p.m. By then people appear sporadically on the bar stool. Bread from Spence Bakery, vegetables and fruits from Natures Choice, beers from the tap, and wines from small vineyards keep us company.
Let's remember what a pub is: a public house. In other words, the meeting place of people. So we must keep maneuvering around in order to meet locals. According to a rumour and comments on the internet, the best Guinness beer in London is at The Auld Shillelagh Irish Pub. We had a pint. The next stop is Doña for late-night live music, cabaret or spoken word accompanied by Mezcal.