Make the Most of East London’s Village Feel in Victoria Park
Victoria Park Village offers a little slice of foodie heaven in the heart of London's East End.
Nowadays, faced with homogenised high-street stores and an army of lacklustre staff, it can be easy to forget the real value of specialist service.
In Victoria Park Village this is no longer the case. A little pocket of foodie heaven in Hackney, a leafy street is littered with independent shops selling quality produce. Bottle Apostle is one of these, small and perfectly formed it is a boutique for the wine-lover.
In a relatively rare offering for a shop of this size, we are taught how to use tasting machines. These house 18 or so bottles of wine for which we are charged a few pence for a tipple and allowed us free rein the sample at our leisure.
This was a far cry from the stereotype of a stuffy, formulaic wine-tasting and we were taken through staff favourites and recommended wines according to our own preferences. After one hour we emerged, rosy-cheeked with a bottle of delicious port tucked under arm and head brimming with new knowledge.
Just a few minutes away is The Hemingway, a quirky, richly lit gastropub with mismatched tables, where colonial maps and taxidermy adorn the walls. Offering meaty, gastro staples—pies, burgers and fish and chips—the menu indicated a level of quality and care which set the Hemingway’s food apart from your average pub.
The main event was a lobster burger. Here, chunks of fresh white meat were delicately fried to make a light pattie and the result was utterly delicious. Its beef counterpart was heralded by my dining companion as the best he’d ever eaten.
There is no pomp and ceremony at The Hemingway, it is warm and delicious and will welcome you in with big strong arms. Luckily, its food is hearty enough to soak up any remnants of an hour spent in the company of Bottle Apostle’s lovely staff and will take you a million miles away from the high-street.
Nicole went on a Tuesday evening and had this tip to share: “This is great for an evening, but Victoria Park is also a great place to kick back at the weekend, check out the gorgeous boutique shops, and then head to The Hemingway for a cracking Sunday lunch.”