Tag Archives: East London

Our Neighbourhood: Bare Brew opens in Wanstead

Wanstead is blessed with some of the best places to eat & drink in East London – and the offering has gone up a notch with this summer’s opening of Bare Brew.

Found at number 7 on Wanstead High Street, the cafe has a light and creative feel. More Shoreditch than Snaresbrook really! We’re big fans of the wallpaper (when you see it, you’ll know what we mean…), the super-cool paintwork and design.

Just hanging today…

A post shared by Bare Brew (@barebrew) on

Its owned and run by Gemma & Lisa; two women with a passion for coffee, fitness, arts & music.

So, what about the menu? It has awesome Square Mile coffee,  Hans Sloane hot choc, Tea & The Gang teas and daily smoothie specials. Food-wise; there’s tempting cakes, and changing brunch and lunch menus.

It seems like a great place to get some work done too. Has free wifi, USB ports and even offers pre and post workout snacks.  Kids are welcome, there’s board games etc and Bare Brew is really doggy friendly too. There’s plenty of treats for four-legged friends.

The CultureJukebox team will definitely be regulars here.. We think it’ll be a great place for late-opening and live-music too.. Watch this space! Find out more about Bare Brew here.

 

On Beer: East London’s Burgeoning Beer Mile (and a bit)

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a real ale or two (or three or four…)  So, it’s great to hear about some awesome new breweries opening up close to our home in East London.

In fact, the team here thrilled that some of these new breweries are putting purpose before profit too. Opening up near each other, this new brewing scene is top tribute to a fantastic beer culture that is brewing in our corner of the capital.

So, what’s new?

The Magic Spells Brewery, Leyton

The newest and latest independent Craft Brewery in East London currently produces three bottled beers:  A Craft Lager, a Pale Ale (called Hackney Hare) and an IPA.

Magic Spells’ beers are a somewhere between modern brewing techniques and old styles and methods; taking inspiration from classics and adding a modern twist. The brewery creates distinct flavour profiles for the beers – an up front and bold hoppy flavour, a satisfying bite to the beer, smoothly balanced due to a nice malty body and warming alcohol.

The brewery sources most of the malt used in its beers from the UK plus British hops boosted by punchy flavoured hops from New Zealand and America.

It was founded by Jas Hare, an Eastender born-and-bred, who has a fantastic track record in the drinks industry as well as being a craft beer enthusiast.

Magic Spells Beers are available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles with an RRP of £2.49 and £2.99 respectively. They’re all available online, and in venues around London too.

 

Nirvana Brewery, Leyton

Another new brewery for 2017, Nirvana does something completely different. A low / no-alcohol brewery – sure a great idea for our increasingly health-conscious times.

It’s the UK’s only micro brewery dedicated to zero and low ABV craft beers. Beers on offer include Mantra (an IPA at 0.7% ABV), Kosmic (a stout at 0% ABV), and Chakra (a stout at 1% ABV). The team at Nirvana promise “no compromises” on flavour, so we’re excited about our first visit!

Pretty Decent Beer

Opening up just down the road in Forest Gate, Pretty Decent Beer Co has just opened its doors.

On Sheridan Road in Forest Gate, near Cann Hall Road, this brewery looks like one to watch. The team promise: “We make decent beer and do decent things with the money you spend drinking it. We brew our beer in London and every bottle helps to fund sustainable water projects around the world.”

 

The CultureJukebox team hasn’t had chance to visit yet, but this brewery promises to be really superb – we like what we’ve seen on Instagram so far.

And Pretty Decent Beer Co is just a few minutes walk from some of Forest Gate’s best independent venues – The Wanstead Tap for an incredible selection of real ale and provocative programming, Burgess & Hall for beautiful wines; and the quirky and delicious Hawkes cider HQ.

_

A proper round-up of some of Forest Gate, Leyton and Leytonstone’s best watering holes for this summer is coming soon. Where do you think should be on the list? Send us a Tweet and let us know where we should visit..

 

On Food: Zona N16 Opens in Stoke Newington – we try it out

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a delicious morning treat out on occasion, so it was great to hear about a new addition to Stoke Newington’s burgeoning breakfast cafe scene – Zona N16.

The space is a gastro-cafe by day, serving artisanal hot drinks and light bites brunch menu. Wines, cocktails and craft beers by night.

So, what did we think?

Zona N16 is right at the end of Church Street and about a 15 minute steady meander up from Dalston Kingsland.  Stepping in off the busy Stoke Newington High Street, the first thing that greets you is the sense of space and calmness.

It’s more impressive inside than out; nicely complimented by wonderfully friendly staff, with customers ranging from couples on dates, families enjoy a Sunday brunch out and hipsters-that-should-know-better cooking up something creative on their Macbooks.

 

Zona N16’s decor is superb, boasting clean lines and tasteful furniture with plenty of elbow room. A state-of the-art Kees van der Western coffee machine takes pride of place as you step in.

Q) What do you call a day without coffee? A) Depresso. ~ image c/o Zona N16

After a silky smooth cappuccino, it was time to place our order.

I went for Smoked Salmon Benedict, served on a fragrant croissant with mustard hollandaise and a sliced gherkin. It was served with avocado too. The salmon was full of flavour, the fragrant croissant was a unique twist on the brunch classic – this was a delicious portion of food. After running the Hackney Half Marathon the day before, I was hoping for a bit more carbs on the plate! But it was a truly delicious.

My significant other had the granola bowl and ordered the sourdough toast too. This was a lighter option, but really satisfying. The yoghurt was creamy, the granola had a true luxury crunch and the sourdough toast? Well, you’re in Stoke Newington. It just has to be done.

After lolling about, enjoying the atmosphere and great service we decided to order a dark hot chocolate drink as a pud. This was perhaps a bit too indulgent, but was a decadent finish to a sublime Stokey sustenance.  We’ll definitely be back!

Our Neighbourhood: frosty Wanstead Flats

We love living in E12 – there’s so much green space, and time to think. And this December the cold snap means we’ve had chance to experience our neighbourhood and Wanstead Flats in a totally different way.

We hope to take many more photographs through the winter! See some more #EastLondon images on our Instagram feed too.

imag5706-011imag5711-011imag5714-01

And an image from E12, looking out over Forest Gate and across East London. We love living here! #Aldersbrook

imag5768-01

 

On Art: The Waldorf Project’s Remarkable Journey Through Time, Taste & Touch

The CultureJukebox team have been fans of The Waldorf Project since day one, writing about it a few times. We were invited to Chapter Three last week, and the third instalment is in our opinion the most powerful work yet.

It’s a journey through time, taste and touch and is unlike anything else. It invites people to really feel.


Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Stepping into the show (taking place at HereEast – the Olympic Park / Hackney Wick) you step into somewhere other from the very first moment. The room is dark, and the atmosphere is dark too.

You’re dragged backwards, forwards, and manhandled by a series of beautiful and strong performers. The Waldorf Project is part dance, part immersive theatre, and part experimental food & drink experience.

It’s the drinks that really focus the mind. The first involves balloons and some sort of chemistry experiment. Later, the audience kneels at an altar as a warm, sweet drink is aggressively poured down your mouth.

6ea77b48ce53f8c4e9f669ca8ab77ffd
Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Things get weirder throughout the show. You’re bundled through tunnels, you have to grasp strangers, and you do things in-between large sheets of plastic. It’s just brilliantly imaginative.

The production is based around the Japanese emotion of AMAE, a temporary surrender. And that’s what you have to do.

The audience has to surrender their comforts, surrender their conceptions of taste and also disconnect. This disconnection from technology and the usual sounds and distractions of everyday life has a huge impact on the feeling around the performance.

There’s strictly no phones, which means you’re focused on the music, the flavours and the people. I was dreaming of lost nights in warehouses in East London, the sounds making me reconsider what these nights meant and what the future holds.

We often don’t consider these things, or how other people consider us. But surrendering to The Waldorf Project’s spell allowed new connections to be born, and started a new way of looking at things.

The superb lighting design helps focus these unconnected thoughts, and drives a loose structure that holds the experience together – illuminating the space and the spaces within ourselves too.

8c9f562d035436ae00adf81253e93d13Image credit: Lee Arucci (Waldorf Project Ch 3, Futuro)

Everyone is separated, but brought together by the light, by the characters living in this remarkable place, and by the sound and structure as you experience this unique show. You’re never really alone.

And maybe that’s the truth. Maybe we do have more in common, and maybe we are more connected than we first thought? Perhaps, by tasting, trying and touching new things we can grow and see things differently?

We thought the show was truly amazing, well done Sean Rogg. It’s open until December 4th, tickets and more details are here.

On Culture: The Wanstead Fringe

This month, Wanstead’s annual Fringe Festival begins its fantastic celebration of some of East London’s most creative residents and venues.

With a more than thirty events taking place venues around Wanstead and beyond – people can enjoy live comedy, open-air cinema, poetry, a vinyl record night, a cult pop quiz,  art exhibitions and much more.

If you’ve not been to Wanstead before, it’s the perfect excuse to hop on the Central Line and head East..

Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson
Wanstead Kinema, c/o Geoff Wilkinson

The literary events are one of the highlights. The CultureJukebox team are looking forward to Aldersbrook resident and Guardian journalist Hugh Muir joining local author John Rogers on a discussion about the changing face of London’s suburbs. The talk will cover place, space and the future of East London.

Locals are also looking forward to some of the live music – with East London rising stars Recoupes and Luna Blaze (Tues 13th) at the brilliant Wanstead Tap. Finally, a live acoustic night in the Manor House sees Wanstead-based acts take to the stage in a  special event called  Keep your Freak Flag Flying.

The Duke, Wanstead

Other eclectic events include nocturnal photography walks, a guided gardening tour and yoga among the trees. There’s also a cornucopia of events for families, children and particularly foodies..

.. in fact, some of Wanstead’s best independent eateries are offering food and menus at a discount, as part of Wanstead Restaurant Week. With this summer’s arrival of Bombetta, The Ginger Pig and a beautiful new greengrocer alongside some of the area’s old foodie-favourites doing great business – it’s a brill time to visit the area.

Bombetta
Bombetta

For more information on The Wanstead Fringe, see here: https://wansteadfringe.wansteadium.com/

Our Neighbourhood: the Forest Gate Arts Trail 2016

Forest Gate has got to be one of East London’s most creative neighbourhoods – so it was great to receive an email about this year’s Arts Trail.

The event is a brilliant showcase of local talent, for both established and emerging artists across various creative disciplines. The Forest Gate Arts Trail (FGAT) aims to raise the profile of the Arts around E7, inspiring creativity and engagement across the community.

As part of this year’s FGAT expect to see exhibitions, performances, open houses and workshops.  A selection of the best artists are below, and there’s still chance to get in touch and get involved – see the latest on the Forest Gate Arts Trail website here.

(c) Kelly Drake
(c) Kelly Drake
(c) Elhaam Sahebdin
(c) Elhaam Sahebdin
(c) Aaron Jacob Jones
(c) Aaron Jacob Jones
(c) Leigh Harris
(c) Leigh Harris

And a map of this year’s trail is below. We LOVE Forest Gate – really looking forward to this!