Itinerary Location: Clapton | Duration: 3-5 Hours
For a while, Clapton might have been overshadowed by some of the other big-character districts around it – slightly boisterous Dalston, down-with-it Hackney and suave Stoke Newington – but it has an individual spirit that makes it a destination in its own right.
As an area, Clapton might feel a little on a limb but if the transport links are working in your favour, you’ll be rewarded with excellent restaurants, verdant riverside walks and a vibrant community.
Here we guide you through a morning of market mooching with the incentive of a properly good Sunday roast. We begin at…
➊ MILLFIELDS COFFEE FOR SOME MORNING GLORY | 10:30am
Millfields Coffee is a neighbourhood joint. It’s perched on a corner overlooking Millfields Park, and inside there’s Dark Arts coffee, brunch dishes (including breakfast bao), and plenty of cake. Navigate the pets and prams, order a coffee and a pastry to go then head onto the green. If the weather is on your side, park up on a bench, sink your teeth into your flaky-edged patisserie and watch on as an amateur version of Crufts plays out before you.
➋ HEAD UP TO CHATSWORTH ROAD MARKET | 11:15am
Fully fuelled, return to Millfields and walk left up Chatsworth Road where, every Sunday, the road transforms from a regular thoroughfare to a market bubbling over with local makers, artisanal bakers and fresh veg pedlars. The vibe is more relaxed than Broadway Market, but the variety of goods is far from pared back. There are second-hand books, Afghan rugs, fresh flowers, vintage finds and a cornucopia of street food stalls doling out everything from Bangladeshi rice bowls to wood-fired pizzas.
If you can, resist diving into a full-blown feast – but don’t let us stop you from picking up some condiments and locally roasted coffee to enjoy throughout the week. And while you’re filling your bags with market finds, keep your eyes peeled for:
- L’Epicerie 56: One of those shops that’s just worth dipping into for the smells and sights of shelves piled high with freshly baked pastries and baguettes, French cheeses, chutneys; basically everything you need to make a truly spectacular sandwich.
- London Borough of Jam: A former pastry chef at St John Bread & Wine, Lillie O’Brien first started LBJ in 2011. Each jar contains no more than four ingredients and the focus is on fruit laced with ingredients such as cardamom, vanilla, hibiscus and rosewater.
- Darling & Gold: Here you will find a considered selection of clothes, accessories, gifts and beauty products. There’s also refurbished Danish and Mid-century furniture for sale – perhaps too cumbersome for a tote bag, but worth a browse.
- Triangle: This shop eschews trends in favour of conscious consumption. Everything you’ll find here – clothes, accessories, homewares – is made with genuine care, following a less-is-more attitude.
➌ FLICK THROUGH BOOKS AT PAGES OF HACKNEY | 12:30pm
By this point, you might be shopped out – but there is a light at the end of the retail-therapy tunnel. If you’re up to it, head down Glenarm Road and take a right onto Lower Clapton Road to visit Pages of Hackney.
A literal wormhole for booklovers, this shop has been a Clapton mainstay since 2008. Here you’ll find new books of all genres, as well as an extensive second-hand bookshop downstairs. Take a moment to peruse the shelves, thumb through the Booker nominees or pick the brains of the helpful staff who are poised to point you in the direction of a good page turner.
➍ DEVOUR THE ULTIMATE SUNDAY ROAST | 1pm
By this point your bag is full of market swag, you’re read up on the literary charts and you’re justifiably ravenous. From Pages of Hackney, turn right and walk straight down Lower Clapton Road, past My Neighbours The Dumplings (bookmark that for another time), past Casey’s and local institution Palm2 to The Clapton Hart, where there awaits the mother of all Sunday roasts.
We’re talking an all-the-trimmings affair with meaty and veggie options and plenty of gravy. There’s a lentil roast, herb-speckled chicken, slow-roasted pork, garlic-kissed lamb, or beef sirloin all served with fluffy-in-the-middle potatoes, seasonal veg and Yorkshire puddings so rotund they take up half the plate. Team your order with a freshly-pulled, hard-earned pint and raise your glass to a Sunday morning well spent.
➊ Millfields | 145 Chatsworth Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0LA
➋ Chatsworth Rd Market | Chatsworth Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0LH
➌ Pages of Hackney | 70 Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 0RN
➍ The Clapton Hart | 231 Lower Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 8EG
Itching to find the best roast near you? Have a peep at our guide to London’s best Sunday roasts…
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