If you’re visiting the festival this weekend and need refreshment, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Stoke Newington is rightly famous for the variety of cuisines available up and down Church Street and the High Street.
Our particular favourite, and not just because they’re a festival sponsor, is Homa. It opened its doors last year, and we were among the first to peep inside. We’ve been going back ever since, either sampling their delicious breakfasts and brunches, or having some of the best coffee in Stoke Newington at various LitFest meetings. There’s a lovely terrace outside perfect for browsing your festival programme and people-watching.
Other festival supporters are the ever-lovely Jolly Butchers (great craft beer), Rose & Crown (right opposite the Town Hall) and White Hart (one of our venues and the best beer garden in North London, in our opinion), providing a huge range of snacks and meals, from cheese & meat sharing platters to fine burgerage.
The Fox Reformed are special friends of the festival. Last year we unveiled a bust of Edgar Allen Poe on the building (at 176 Stoke Newington Church St) to commemorate the time he spent at an academy on the site. It’s a lovely wine bar / restaurant serving just about the best steak & chips in the area, as well as having a great wine and beer list.
Other personal favourites are Itto (near junction of Northwold Road, serving cheap & tasty pan-Asian), Numera Bos Cirrik 19, a little further down the road, serving huge portions of excellent Turkish food including the irresistible pomegranate onion thing, The Auld Shillaleagh, a tiny slice of Irish bar on Church Street, Le Petit Coin, a wee cafe opposite the Town Hall serving excellent paninis, sandwiches and home-made Turkish delicacies, The Spence, our fabulous local bakery and cafe which has been keeping us alive with fine coffee and San Pellegrino fruit drinks and last but not least, Rasa, one of the best Keralan restaurants in London. There’s one each side of the street, both pink; one veggie and one not but we can never remember which one’s which. You can work it out.
Finally, our own LitFest bars are a perfect way of contributing to a good cause. Redemption Brewing, based in Tottenham, has been a supporter since the very start and this year has again brewed a special LitFest beer – called Beersley Street in tribute to Johnny Clarke – which will be available for a bonkers £2.50 per pint in the Town Hall and Abney Hall bars. We’re also serving wine, Aspall’s cider, Budvar and a selection of softs.
And if you’ve been very good, you might as well treat yourself to a delicious and utterly refreshing cocktail, specially concocted for the festival by another lovely sponsor, Hendrick’s Gin.