Search the Site

Written by Savi, 14 Comments

Here’s the thing about London (or any big city for that matter!) – cool areas have a short shelf life. No sooner has an area been designated trendy that write-ups in newspapers and magazines start popping up about it. A steady trickle of curious locals on weekends follows. Then they start coming on weekdays too. Soon word gets around and tourists interested in alternative things start frequenting the area. Before you know it, there are offbeat tours being offered in the area and soon enough it becomes mainstream. This seems to happen to every area we like in London – Camden used to be fun, then it got commercialised (and HOW!), Brick Lane & Shoreditch used to be fun till they got popular, Dalston used to be our little secret but it’s fast becoming crowded on weekends.


With this mainstream status come the QUEUES – outside every pub, restaurant, and café. Now I don’t know about you but I hate waiting for food – I’ve stood in the legendary queue for The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields one too many times to know that waiting for blueberry pancakes doesn’t make them any sweeter.


So what are two hipster bunnies supposed to do – is it too much to ask for an area that that has the easygoing charm of the country-side coupled with the edginess that makes London special? A café that has street art, blue skies, canals, good food, and amazing coffee going for it?


Ok I can’t maintain the suspense any longer! Guys you need to get yourselves to Hackney Wick and plonk yourself on a table at The Counter Café pronto. Hackney Wick is on the outskirts of London’s East End and we can’t say enough good things about it. It has everything we love – pop-up art galleries in warehouses, amazing street art, unpolished cafés, and grungy music venues.


Hackney Wick Street Art
Canal views, street art, grungy music – Hackney Wick has everything going for it


The area is right opposite the Olympic Park
The area is right opposite the Olympic Park


Counter Cafe Hackney wick
The Counter Café is our favourite breakfast haunt in London right now


The café faces a peaceful canal - yay!
The café faces a peaceful canal – yay!


The Counter Café is our favourite breakfast (err let’s say brunch – most weekends we’re still buried under our duvets at breakfast time) haunt these days. There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s housed in an old building, squashed between artists’ studios and a bike repairing shop. Inside the building old-school chairs, framed black and white photographs, wooden stairs, and edgy paintings firmly establish a laid-back ambience. Its disheveled vibe is right up our street!


Sunbeams filter through the glass windows of the café. They force visitors to walk through the second door onto the open-air deck suspended over the canal. Mmmm – the crisp air, the water of the canal – this is where you need to score a table. The menu is standard brunch fare – home-made granola with greek yogurt, pies, eggs, croissants, and cakes. If you like poached eggs, you have to try their Turkish Eggs – they’re all kinds of delicious. Their coffee is Vid approved (if you read Bruised Passports regularly, you know how big a deal coffee is in Vid’s world 😉 ). It’s roasted in house  – Vid’s an espresso drinker but I love their flat whites and lattes.


Counter cafe hackney wick
The Counter Cafe has amazing coffee – it comes with Vid’s stamp of approval 😉


hackney wich the counter cafe breakfast
Vid always opts for the avocado, bacon, and egg sandwich – nom!


hackney wick counter cafe breakfast
Turkish eggs at The Counter Café



Lazy weekends also call for laid-back outfits. Or if you’re anything like us, life in general, calls for laid-back outfits (without any exception!) 🙂 On this particular Sunday, I wore a long cardigan with a chunky scarf. The floral blouse is one I’ve been wearing quite often this autumn and the black scalloped shorts are a wardrobe staple. Vid wore cropped chinos and his favourite suede loafers. They’re navy blue and go with everything. His olive green jumper is a light knit that’s perfect for this weather. That might explain why the jumper has been ‘stolen’ from him and is firmly in my possession – muhahaha


Outfit Details :-


Vid Wears

Jumper – c/o Get The Label

Loafers – c/o Lacoste via Get The Label

Trousers – Topman


Savi wears

Floral blouse – c/o OASAP

Maxi cardigan – c/0 Chicnova

Studded Bag – c/o Chicnova (Love it! 🙂 )

Blanket scarf – H&M

Shorts and boots – New Look


OASAP Floral blouse maxi cardigan
Laid-back outfits for lazy weekends 🙂


Hackney wick fashion
Vid’s all about these loafers these days


Hackney Wick fashion
Boats, canals, and blue skies – it might not seem like London but it is!


Hackney wick fashion
There’s loads of street art in the vicinity


Hackney wick fashion
Our weekends involve a lot of food – sigh!


hackney wick fashion canal
There’s nothing quite like a sunny day in London





  • The Counter Café is a 5 minute walk from Hackney Wick overground station and 15 minute walk from the Stratford DLR Station
  • Breakfast for 2 at The Counter Café costs approx. £20
  • We also love the Crate Brewery which is in the vicinity
  • If you enjoy alternative and underground art, then you need to hit Vyner Street. Our friend Hakon recommended it to us and we love it (thanks Hakon, if you’re reading 🙂 )
  • Don’t forget to walk by the canals – you’ll discover some great street art!


What is your favourite thing to do in London on weekends? 


Oi you…..

Before you leave, don’t forget to read about our favourite Offbeat Things To Do In London 🙂

Visiting London? We have everything you need to plan your trip to London, including what to pack (and what not to pack ;-) ) in our Guide to London

14 thoughts on “Offbeat London – Put Hackney Wick on your itinerary

  1. The street art in that area is very interesting, no matter how many times I’ve been to London, I’ve never been to this particular area, it’s on my list now for my next visit 🙂

  2. Honestly would never have known all this about London if it hadn’t been for you guys !!The pictures are so vibrant! Totally opposite of what London is in my head..

    1. Hey Rashmi – glad you enjoyed reading the post. Yep, Hackney Wick is probably one of the most alternative areas in London. We love it 🙂

  3. Looks like it’s permanently closed (2016)? It’s a shame – that breakfast sandwich looks amazing!! Do you have any recommendations for other great brunch spots in London? I’ll be there next month 🙂

    1. Yess such a shame – it was one of our favourites here 🙂

      You can always go to Nude Coffee Roasters and/or TAP for great coffee and brunch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *