Friday, 25 October 2013

A wander round our endz

Photoshop Express, Italian leather handbag, vintage jewellery, vintage jewelry, Hackney
This week me and the boy went for a ramble round the neighbourhood. The day job means we just don't get enough time to have a wander around and just see what we happen to stumble across. On our walk we found some absolutes treasures at the Hackney Downs Studios which are just a short stroll across the park from our house.

Image via Hackney Downs Studios

First we went into Smoking Gun Vintage which is hot - full of quality clothes and many many good priced trinkets - I got this Kryponite ring for £15.00. 

A shop or so down is Portamento - my dream shop, and yours if you like Italian handbags and shoes. There are two bags, including that zebra print clutch, with my name all over them. I defy anyone not to fall in love with a pair of shoes from this store which is one part shop, one part gallery, one part Hackney cool. Sara, one of the owners, of course oozing her street-style Italian glamour, told me she is recruiting for the new monthly market - if your stylish enough - get in touch with Sara directly - the first market is 3rd November. I can already see a trunk sale taking place in my living room - when its decorated of course.

If only shoes grew on trees
And then we went for cake at The Russett, a licensed cafe and creative space tucked away at the end of the car park.  From the outside I though it looked a bit hmm really, but the inside is enough to make any lover of up-cycled industrial interiors go weak at the knees. The cake is fresh and healthy - I had a courgette number - part of my 5 a day. The Russett got its name for the orchard planted by The Tree Musketeers in Hackney Downs Park, seriously how cool is that and they source local food for local people to come and enjoy. Simple and satisfying and I am heading there for Sunday lunch very soon. 

The Russett of course has a giant apple, which made me smile.

The best car park space reservation signs I have ever seen.
I know some people are intimated by spaces like The Hackney Downs Studios. These types of creative community run hubs are sometimes seen as follies for the middle classes who have moved into an area as a result of gentrification. These pre-conceptions make me really sad. You don't need to have a university degree to enjoy hanging out in a nice space with nice shops, you just need to like browsing (and eating cake). I live in Hackney, I am not from Hackney and I love my new neighbourhood. And I am sooo not middle class which is why I love my street; a real mixture of all social classes and people. There is one man who owns at least three of the houses in our road, there is a council estate at one end of the street, there are two halfway hostels, there is a special needs school and there are flats and houses in between that are a mixture of privately owned, privately rented and social housing. This is Hackney today, like it always has been, a mixture of people rubbing along together and I just love it.

You'll find the Hackney Downs Studios at Amhurst Terrace, Hackney, London, E8 2BT.

And here is a random picture of bikes, edited using the free Photoshop Express app which I have only just found - yeah I am always late!

Get your bike fixed at the workshop while you eat cake at The Russett

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