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I used to live in Hackney just a couple of minutes walk from Victoria Park, yet it took me two years to discover how amazing it is there!

Here are a few of my top tips…

Mayan King – fabulous cocktails, amazing Mexican breakfast, chilled out music, friendly staff, comfy sofas, relaxing atmosphere

91 Lauriston Road London E9 7HJ – 020 8986 2120

Join them on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=755065429#!/group.php?gid=106516731684&ref=ts

Loafing – yummy cakes and pastries and pies, lovely tea served from mix and match traditional tea cups and tea pots, white washed wood, cute courtyard out the back

79 Lauriston Road London E9 7HJ 020 8986 0777

M.E.G – great little gift and trinket shop, selling vintage inspired gifts, cards, jewellery, candles etc.

164 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD 020 8533 3231‎

Ginger Pig – local butchers and delicatessen with rare breed meats for sale in the butchers upstairs, with a great array for vegetables, cheeses, pies etc. downstairs. Ask to try a bit of the cheese before you buy (the peccorino with chilli is my favourite) and ask them for their advice. My boyfriend and I wanted to buy stilton for his grandad, but we don’t like it so they told us which would be best, and turns out it was so good we actually liked it!

99 Lauriston Road, London 020 8986 6911 (another store located at 8-10 Moxon Street, Mayfair, London 020 7403 4721)

http://www.thegingerpig.co.uk/

Bottle Apostle – wide variety of wines availabel to suit every budget. They have lots of bottles availabel to sample, and they hold tasting events

95 Lauriston Road, Hackney, London E9 7HJ 020 8985 1549

http://www.bottleapostle.com/

Victoria Park Books – Again, this one took us two years to find, but it is a great little independent bookshop, specialising in a fantastic array of childrens books

174 Victoria Park Road, London E9 7HD‎ 020 8986 1124‎

http://www.victoriaparkbooks.co.uk/

The Pottery Workshop – a tiny little workshop/shop selling beautiful pottery. It is tucked away, and is worth checking for opening times as I have gone past quite a few times and it has been closed, but it is worth a visit. Reasonably priced too.

77a Lauriston Road London E9 7HA 020 8986 9585

Royal Inn on the Park – a great place to hang out at with friend, especially on a lazy summer afternoon. Sit out in the courtyard on one of many, many wooden picnic benches, all lined up. Get there early to avoid standing around as it gets pretty busy and packed. My boyfriend and I shared a bottle of wine which was a little pricey, but nice. Others drank beer, but again a little bit more expensive than some other places, but worth it for the ability to sit outside!

111 Lauriston Road, London 020 8985 3321

Bagel on the Park – ridiculously cheap, but really yummy, bagels. Tiny little shop with only a couple of places to sit, but why sit in the shop when its situated right next to Victoria Park? Head into the park and do as I do with friends, chill on a bench or lay on the grass (weather permitting, obviously, this is England!)

105 Gore Road, Hackney, London E9 7HW 020 8986 6061

http://www.bagelonthepark.com/

Bill Hall – fruit and veg, pretty standard, although a little price, head up the road to Merceys (I can’t remember the correct spelling – it is opposite the Tesco metro, and crazily cheap. While you are in the area pop into the lovely flower shop across the road, and This and That for lots of bargains). The latter three may not strictly be Victoria Park, but it is just a couple of minutes walk away, and Merceys for fruit and veg is so cheap and great quality.

Enjoy, and let me know of anything else you can reccomend!

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