Hackney Wick is one of those areas you might never visit unless your were local. Nestled between Victoria Park and the Olympic park/ Westfield, Stratford, until recently (pre Olypmpics) it was full of small factories, artist studios and undiscovered (except by Hackney residents) makeshift bars and cafes. Running alongside the canal, on the edge of Hackeny marshes it’s a wonderful mix of rural and urban and one of my favourite areas in the borough.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and influx of new apartment buildings, doesn’t mean the area will loose it’s unique, underground appeal. The gentrification of the factories and warehouses has meant many of the original artists have moved out as the inevitable rise in property prices make it unaffordable.
Hackney WickED is an event dedicated to providing a platform for local artists to showcase their work alongside established and international names and is now in its seventh year. The three day festival of art exhibitions, open studios, site-specific art, performance art, pop-up events, music, film screenings, fashion, workshops, talks and tours runs from the 1st to the 3rd of August.
The four day event (from the 31st July- 3rd August) brings together the best street food, chefs, events, classes and food experiences in London and its a great opportunity to explore this overlooked area of London.
I’m particularly looking forward to Sip/Sniff with Odette Toilette, a wine vs scent experience. The masterclass in sensory perception includes three 100ml glasses of wine; (a fresh aromatic white, a deep ruby red, and a little surprise!) and 5 fragrance samples from cult and artisanal houses, culminating in the unlocking of your subconscious creativity. It takes place on the 31st at 6.30pm and 7.15 and you can book tickets here.