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An East London favourite, Broadway Market and London Fields have a village vibe during the week before becoming a centre point for socialising at the weekend, with its famous Saturday food market, park beers and BBQs combined with a bevy of craft breweries and pubs.
Here is why you should be lunching in London Fields and making a beeline for Broadway Market right now:
London Fields Park
Lazing about in London Fields with your friends with beers is a London right of passage – visit during a Saturday evening on a hot summer’s day and you’ll barely be able to see any grass left to sit on (although there is plenty being smoked)!
A fun, friendly hangout sprawling over 30 acres with tower blocks and residential buildings all around, this really is a little green gem amongst the hustle and hubris of the capital. Grab your bites from one of Broadway Market’s delis and a pint from one of the nearby craft breweries to create one of London’s most perfect picnics.
Broadway Market on Saturdays
Described as a ‘Victorian working street market’ (we’re not sure what this means but it sounds quite Eastenders), Broadway Market comes alive on a Saturday with sight, smells and sounds from over 50 different food stalls. Your tastebuds will be rewarded with an alfresco Aladdin’s cave of foodie fare from all over the world (there are lots of veggie and vegan / gluten free options available too).
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Broadway Market Shops
An East London enclave that has a real village feel, Broadway Market is a long straight terraced street that runs from London Fields park to Regents Canal, chock full of cafes, delis and general goodness like organic grocers, trattorias and coffee shops galore. Pretty much all of these stores are independently run and you won’t see any of the big high street chains here (yet).
London Fields Lido
Open all year round but primed for party time in the summer (watch for those queues out of the door, backing up into the park), this outdoor pool has a 50 metre length layout, a sun terrace and a small cafe. A London institution, this is one of the city’s most popular pool hangouts and a lot easier to get to than the likes of Ruislip lido.
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If you are heading to Broadway Market from the direction of Victoria Park, Bethnal Green or Shoreditch, the best way to arrive is via the Regent’s Canal walk. There is some wonderful street art on display along the towpath plus the occasional boat and barge pop-ups and retailers, such as beer boats and flower stalls. Just be on guard for the occasional speeding cyclist or sweaty jogger!
London Fields Pubs
Whilst drinking in the park is generally permitted (and incredibly popular), there are several nearby establishments that might want to wet your whistle at.
Pub on the Park
As the name suggests, this is literally a pub in the park with a big raised beer garden of sorts overlooking the grassy green London Fields, which also has an extensive food and BBQ menu – live music nights with DJs and the occasional game of boules or table tennis are also part of the mix.
An equally impressive alfresco space with stunning views over London can be found just across the road from the park at Netil 360, a low key rooftop bar, where you can see everyone from Hackney hipsters to city types hanging out. After getting a drink from the bar, grab a beanbag on the outdoor rooftop (you may have to pounce quickly as the bar is always very popular) and soak up the city views. We also list Netil 360 is as one our best views in London.
Forest Road Brewery
Located to the left of Netil Market, Forest Road Brewery is a London Fields brewery taproom with several of their own core range on tap, and an outdoor patio. They are also known for their inventive distribution techniques – from delivering pints to your doorstep during the covid19 crisis through to hiring out what can only be described as beer buddy type trailers (which come complete with kegs and beer glasses to use in the park itself).
Broadway Market Pubs
Broadway Market is home to several bars and restaurants but the most famous and popular with the locals are the Cat and Mutton, and a little further down the street away from London Fields, The Dove.
Cat and Mutton
The Cat & Mutton is a genuine East end boozer with a side garnish of gastropub, with a big booze range on tap and hearty British food available to order. Undergoing a major restoration several years ago to reinstate some of its historic features, the pub dates back to 1729.
A little bit of Belgium in London – the Leffe and Delirium signs on its exterior give you a nod that things are done a little differently in this Broadway Market bar. The beer selection here is peerless and they also are listed in CAMRA (real ales) so you know you are in for a good night – the menu consists of Sunday roast specials and also Thai delights midweek.
An artisan array of arts, crafts and food stalls tucked away in between London Fields and and Cambridge Heath Road, this is a charming courtyard type affair with around a dozen stalls (plus a few more pop-up ones on Saturdays). Top draws include Bao Bar, tasty Taiwanese fare and Oli Baba, supposed creator of London’s halloumi fries frenzy. Artist studios are dotted throughout and regularly available for hire.
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