Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Clissold House re-opens

So after about two years Clissold House in Clissold Park is now open again. The new cafe ("The House") is run by Company of Cooks (who also run Kenwood House cafe amongst others), and the house is run by GLL. First impressions are good: the new sloping grass at the front looks great, the cafe seems excellent, and the interior of the house is fairly amazing if you remember what it was like before. The spiral staircase in particular is spectacular. The cafe is open in line with park opening times, and the upstairs rooms and reception area can be booked (evenings too) for events. Overall this seems like an excellent start to 2012 for Clissold Park.

I've taken a few photos today which you can see in the slideshow below, or see the collection on Flickr here.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Friday, 22 April 2011

Clissold Wheels skatepark now open

After what seems like ages, but in reality is about two years, the new skatepark in Clissold Park is now open. It officially opened on Thursday 21st April at 2pm, although local skaters had been unofficially slipping through the fencing for the previous week or so to try it out.

Initial feedback from experienced skaters is that it's good. There are two bowls, one shallow and one deep, with plenty of interesting features to keep it challenging. There's some water seeping into the deep bowl from the surrounding grass mounds which have just been turfed and are being heavily watered to keep the turf alive.

Inevitably it's been rammed as word spreads, and people are travelling from all over London to try it out. There's a nice grass bank next to the bowls which make for a great viewing area and little shade from the sun.

I've been taking photos of the site for the past 9 months or so, which can you see in the slideshow below.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Good things in N16 during 2010

Here's ten good things that happened in Stoke Newington during 2010. What did I miss?

  • Work on Clissold Park not only started, but really got going in a major way. Looks like the nearly £9m it'll cost might actually be worth it. Photos here
  • The old Town Hall on Church Street finally re-opened. Not that I've been in much, but I will. And it looks great
  • Betty Layward primary school got a good new (acting) head teacher who both teachers and parents like. Phew
  • Homa. Classy eatery that could compete with many better known places
  • Mouse and De Lotz opened on Shacklewell Lane. Probably the best coffee around Stokey
  • Stoke Newington school refurb finished. Really quite impressive now
  • The Lion on Church Street eventually reopened. With bright lights. This time last year i was beginning to think it would never reopen
  • North East London Gymnastics Club took over the old Zoomaround building on Milton Grove and did a fantastic refurb to make it a superb gym and dance venue for children
  • Butterfield Osteopathy opened on Allen Road. Lovely space I hear
  • Albion Road, previously a cyclist death trap due to pot holes, finally got re-surfaced

My next blog post will be ten less than good things about N16. Your suggestions welcome.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Clissold Park update

Quick update on the Clissold Park project. Work is cracking on at a high speed, with workers on site 6 days a week and often until gone 7pm. This is the last week of the old playground, before it closes on November 1st, presumably to be demolished so the space can be incorporated into what looks like being the largest children's playground in N. London. It's pretty much the size of a football pitch. Rumours are flying about how far parents will come to visit. Some are even saying it will increase the demand for flats and houses nearby from parents of young children.

In the last week or so the beginnings of the new "Wheels" skatepark can be seen. The full map of the play area can be found here, but the section below is the detail of the skatepark.

And here's what it actually looks like today, Oct 28th:

Speaking to the construction crew I was told that it was due to be finished by Christmas, although the whole space won't be open to the public until March at least. For Hackney, this appears to be an exceptionally well run project. What could go wrong?

Sunday, 25 July 2010


I used to like the pizza place on the raised ground floor of what was called "Booths" on Church Street. But since the food inspectors found unsavoury things in the kitchen I've been banned from going. So it's a relief that something new, and hopefully good, has now opened up in it's place. Homa, just opened, is a cafe and deli, with a restuarant downstairs. Will report back once I've tried it out.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Clissold Park skatepark

With the restoration of Clissold Park we are promised a new skatepark, due in 2011. Having a son who is skateboard mad, and being an ex-skater myself many years ago, this is a subject of great interest in our house. The new park is going to be built on the eastern end of the grounds of the old redgra all-weather pitch, which as far as I can see was mainly used by dog owners as a dog toilet. Nice.

In recent weeks two interesting things have come to light. Firstly, Hackney Council have published an artist illustration of the new playground area. You can see it here.

Secondly, it seems that a company has been chosen to build it - Freestyle - according to an interview on the newly launched Clissold Skatepark site

I have started taking weekly photos of the space where the park will be built to track development and provide an archive of how it will be transformed. You can see the photos on Flickr, here.