A 30.000 pies por viajeros para viajeros

Hipstermania in London

In effect, whatever’s hipster today becomes a trend tomorrow. Or at least that’s how it’s been so far. This alternative craze is spreading so fast is risks going mainstream, becoming a mass, commercial phenomenon. But, for as long as it endures, they’re still calling the shots. In London districts such as Hackney you can see larger communities of long-bearded – but well-groomed – men wearing lumberjack plaid jackets and vintage hairstyles than in other districts in the city. Here are some of their currently favourite haunts. Be warned – some of them feature new forms of leisure!

F. Cooke / Peters & Co. Gin Palace

At no. 9 Broadway Market in Hackney we find a bar that seems to have emerged from days long gone. During the day, F. Cooke serve pies, eel and delicatessen galore, many dishes based on recipes over a century old. By night, the locale concept transforms completely. In fact, its name changes to Peters & Co. Gin Palace, as it turns into a veritable gin palace, like those that existed in London in Victorian times. You can savour this marvellous elixir by choosing from over twenty brands on their list.

Nights of Drink and Draw – On the Cutting Edge

Londoners are well aware that the best way to be a good hipster is to be an aesthetics and leisure innovator. A trend that has become popular lately involves combining drink and drawing. These are the so-called Drink and Drawspots, where you paint or draw in the company of other art enthusiasts, artists or just amateurs eager to have some fun. The fad hails from the arty Brooklyn district where people meet at specific local nightspots to have a drink while they scribble away.

These gatherings are usually chaired by an art teacher, who decides on the various poses (about 6) adopted by a model. After a 45-minute session of drawing and painting, there is a break to have a drink and chat with the other participants. This is the ideal moment to socialise. Then follows another painting session. At the end, the teacher critiques the artworks with the whole class. The session typically lasts about 3 hours and costs £18, which includes a drink. The places where you can drink and draw are:

Doodle-le-do, led by Natalia Talkowska, holds regular gatherings in London, Dublin, Poland and Holland. People come to meet, chat, draw, eat sandwiches and drink. Ditto Press, however, offers classes soused in home-brewed beer. Their bent is illustration and printing, which is hosted in their studio on Benyon Road, N1. Drink, Shop, Do, for its part, is a bar, pastry shop and craft workshop at King’s Cross where afternoon tea is set against craftwork classes. Doodle Bar, in Battersea, and The Book Club, in Shoreditch, both stage drawing events on their premises. Lastly, The Idler Academy offers art classes while savouring gin-tonics based on Hendricks.

Netil Market

For over four years it has opened on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on premises at nearby Westgate Street. It comprises a cluster of craft shops, bric-a-brac and barbershops and, of course, food stalls. Clearly the perfect spot for pro hipsters. The market belongs to Netil House, a creative community based on Westgate Street. The terrace cafe affords panoramic views of the whole city. The atmosphere becomes vibrant from spring onwards.

One faction of hipsters are advocating rural life in the heart of the city. No wonder, then, that you can find pastry shops offering homemade cakes. Yeast Bakery, also in the market, provides Breton butter-bakes made in a wood-fired oven. At Brawn (open Tuesday to Saturday) you can taste an endless array of organic wines, while at Jones Diary you can buy all kinds of homemade cheeses, and Lee’s Seafood specialises in fried fish.

At nightfall, where better to go than Mare Street. There, Cock Tavern has become all the rage. This pub specialises in home-brewed beer and was last year named Beard Friendly Pub of the Year, a title awarded by the Beard Liberation Front, a group which campaigns in support of beards. You can also sip a coffee while your bicycle gets a looking over at Look Mum No Hands! Now for a secret which only a few people know about – the supper clubs, a number of restaurants half-concealed inside other establishments. Also in this area is Printers & Stationers, housed in a warehouse area at the back of a would-be print shop on Ezra Street.

We shall tell no more – no point in revealing all the secrets at once. So, hurry before these fabulous spots go out of fashion or get overrun. Check out our prices here!

Text by Isabel y Luis Comunicación

Image by Printers & Stationers, Ben Brannan, Thomas Wootton