We love our local mums! Each month we feature a London mother who shares her favourite places in her community. This month we talked to Emma Paton, a Stoke Newington mum of two young children. We asked Emma what she loves about her ’hood.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Emma, mama to Finn (3 years) and Violet (10 months). I run a kids’ fashion and lifestyle blog called Finlay Fox and also host a series of mama meets in collaboration with Olive Loves Alfie East in E20, Stratford. I recently left my job in fashion buying to spend more time with my family, work flexibly and grow my blog. I love red wine, am an Instagram addict, my favourite shop is Whistles, my weakness is crisps and I also love leopard print! I am pretty run off my feet at the moment and in a constant state of exhaustion, battling through with cups of coffee! I believe in honest parenting and like to share the good and bad of motherhood on my blog and Instagram.
Which area do you live in and what do you love about it?
I live in Stoke Newington, N16, London. It’s nappy valley around here so lots of young families but I also love that Dalston and Shoreditch are around the corner so also lots of young trendies too. I’m just south of Church Street so am super lucky to have small independent shops right on my doorstep (such as Hub, Olive Loves Alfie and Prep) and am able to shop local—greengrocers (Stoke Newington Green), butchers (Meat N16) and Wholefoods on my doorstep, yippee! There is a growing array of restaurants including The Good Egg (not child friendly but amazing brunch), Esters (neighbourhood coffee house), Foxlow and Rasa (vegetarian Indian, you can’t miss the pink exterior!). I love that it’s constantly changing and that I can pick up original presents on my doorstep and support independent stores.
Where’s your favourite neighbourhood place to hang out as a family?
We love Clissold Park as it’s only a few minutes away and they have goats, deer, parrots and chickens you can visit with the kids as well as a lovely café (The House at Clissold Park), which is in a beautiful Grade II listed mansion. In summer we can hang out on the lawn with a picnic. Our lives revolve around eating so if we aren’t there then Foxlow and Burger Bear are popular with the kids.
Where’s your favourite place to escape in your area for a little ‘me’ time?
Shine for a massage! Otherwise I would jump on a bus and head into Shoreditch to go to Goodhood and House of Hackney and maybe even Ace Hotel for a drink or dinner—they do amazing cocktails in the Hoi Polloi restaurant there.
What local activities do you and your family take part in?
I do baby swimming at Clissold Leisure Centre every Tuesday morning (highly recommend it); we are also regulars at the One O’clock Club in Clissold Park, which is great for babies and toddlers, especially on a cold or rainy day. On a Saturday, soft play at Clissold Leisure Centre is perfect as both kids can be happy and entertained. We are keen to get my son to start kickboxing at The Martial Arts Place as we’ve heard really good things about it and it’s supposed to be great practice for confidence, concentration and self discipline! Also the local library on Church Street is a regular favourite—they do storytelling and my son loves books.
Is there a hidden gem in your area you’d like to share?
I think Woodberry Wetlands, ten minutes’ walk down the road from us, is a real hidden gem. Perfect for a walk, playground, fresh air—and Lizzy’s at the Coal House is the best café, yummy food for kids and adults. The location is stunning; you wouldn’t believe you were in Hackney still!
Also our mama meets over at Olive Loves Aflie East in Stratford are a real gem—we are planning next years so watch this space!