A disused car park in the backstreets of Hackney Wick isn’t an obvious place to escape the stress of London, but turn down an alley (stay with us here) and you’ll reach Grow, a little haven along the River Lea. Everything is apparently locally grown and fairtrade, but the main headline is that there’s an excellent riverside setup that’s hard to beat, and on a sunny afternoon it’s full of locals watching kayakers and paddleboarders coast along the water while sipping cold drinks and eating halloumi and pulled pork buns. There are usually DJs and live bands at the weekends as well, so it’s also easy to make a night of it with a few mates.
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Lanark Coffee is a tiny café on Hackney Road where you’ll want to become regular for the food as well as the atmosphere.
Four Quarters East
Old-school arcade games and drinks by the river are a perfect match, and you can get all of them at Four Quarters East in Hackney Wick.
The Laughing Heart
Looking for a late night hang close to Bethnal Green and Hackney? Trendy wine bar The Laughing Heart on Hackney Road has you covered.
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Giant Robot is a street food/bar venue in Canary Wharf, from the same people behind Dinerama. It’s great for post-work drinks and something to eat.
Madison Tapas & Cocktail Bar
A pretty rooftop bar, Madison is still one of London’s Instagram rooftop brags of choice.
Suggested by our writers
Martello Hall is an great bar-meets-pizza restaurant on Mare Street in Hackney. Bring your mates at the weekend, or visit it late night.
The best parties involve drinks, pizza, and tunes. Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick has all three, and tons of space to sit by the canal on a nice day.
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