Why I live in Stoke Newington: art consultant Georgia Spray on her creative, family-friendly London neighbourhood

·4-min read
Partnership Editions founder and art consultant Georgia Spray  (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Partnership Editions founder and art consultant Georgia Spray (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

I’ve lived in Stoke Newington for five years. I moved to a house just off Newington Green about a year ago with my husband and one-year-old daughter.

It’s such a creative community, there are so many artists I work with who have studios in this area. Partnership Editions studio is a five-minute cycle from my house, part of a complex of independent businesses, so it’s got a real independent, creative hub feel.

Where to eat and drink

We’re really lucky with restaurants. Trying to book a restaurant in central London is pretty easy now but around here you have to book weeks in advance. There are some great places and they’re in high demand.

The Jolene/Primeur group is right on our doorstep. Perilla, on the corner of Green Lanes and Newington Green, is a treat place with amazing food. The Clarence Tavern on Church Street is owned by the same people as the Anchor and Hope and has excellent food and a family feel.

Treat place: Perilla, on the corner of Green Lanes and Newington Green (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Treat place: Perilla, on the corner of Green Lanes and Newington Green (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

There’s a place called Akdeniz on Stoke Newington High Street that has amazing bread and pastries and we get takeaway from Devran on Stoke Newington Road.

Grocery shopping

The Turkish supermarkets don’t look like much from the outside but they’re brilliant. We have a Whole Foods in Stoke Newington and it’s the exact same stuff, it’s just that Whole Foods presents it in a certain way and charges more.

We do most of our shopping at Albion Food and Wine on Albion Parade. Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables is a really good greengrocer and there are two good butchers: Meat N16 and a new one, Stella’s.

Albion Food and Wine on Albion Parade (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Albion Food and Wine on Albion Parade (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

Where I work out

Clissold Leisure Centre on our doorstep has two big pools and is good for going to stuff with my baby like baby swim. There’s a yoga studio called Yogahome and for a run there’s Clissold Park.

To commune with nature

Clissold Park is so nice. The New River walk is the connection from Stoke Newington to Islington and you can walk between the two along the river with lots of greenery and wildlife.

Grade II-listed Clissold House is located in the middle of Clissold Park (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Grade II-listed Clissold House is located in the middle of Clissold Park (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

For a culture fix

There’s Earth Hackney, which has really good concerts, and we’re not far from the Barbican and Museum of the Home.

Getting around

I cycle to work and for short journeys, it’s a really good area for timid cyclists like me — I don’t go past any cars to get to work. Otherwise I get the Overground from Canonbury, you can get to Oxford Circus in 25 minutes and there’s a lot of buses from Newington Green to Angel, Highbury & Islington, King’s Cross.

Dream street

It sounds a bit smug to say your own street but we spent ages looking for our house. The reason it’s so good is it’s a really long residential street with small houses, rather than flats, so it’s mostly families.

The whole street is covered in chalk at the moment because all the kids have been drawing on the road.

On Halloween it’s famous in Hackney because there are so many families and people go really overboard with the decoration of their houses. People warned us when we moved in that on Halloween you have to have more sweets than you could imagine because you’ll be invaded by the whole of Hackney.

What’s the catch?

It’s not particularly well-connected in terms of public transport but that also means there’s more of a neighbourhood feel. You’ve got people who set up their businesses here and live here so in the day it’s very busy and lively.

Something you only see in Stoke Newington

In summer it’s the hour-long queues for artisan ice cream at Romeo & Giulietta on Albion Road. They are really good but the queue is outrageous.

In winter it’s the practical chic uniform: Arket oversized puffer coat and Ganni boots.

In three words

Community, creativity, family.

What it costs to live in Stoke Newington

Buying in Stoke Newington

Average house price: £1,223,643

Average flat price: £524,003

Renting in Stoke Newington

Average house pcm: £4,047

Average flat pcm:£1,860

Source: Rightmove

Schools in Stoke Newington

William Patten and Grazebrook Primary are both rated outstanding by Ofsted and the area has a plethora of “good” primary schools too.

For secondary pupils, Stoke Newington School is rated good.

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