Living in Hackney: director Nadia Latif shares her tips for her diverse East End community

Since the beginning of the year, we have lived in our new home. It’s located in my favorite part of town, and is beautiful to walk around. We were blown away by Casa Fofo on Sandringham Road, as a black woman. It’s a fantastic eight- or nine-course set menu. It’s super boujie, and should have a Michelin Star. However, at GBP55 it’s still a very affordable price for a special night out. I also love Oren on Shacklewell Lane; it’s Mediterranean-influenced and vegetarian-friendly with a banging cocktail list. “If there is a better London restaurant than Mangal II, I haven’t found it” / Matt Writtle. I have yet to find a better London restaurant than Mangal II on Stoke Newington Road. I often get the cull-yaw. The hazelnut tart with the tahini cream is also a popular choice. Although the menu changes, you will usually find a variation of these items. London Fields is a thoroughfare, and it has a 5am vibe. Victoria Park is one the most beautiful and oldest parks in London. Skip London Fields and go to Victoria Park / Matt WrittleDuring lockdown I would cycle several laps around the park. It’s beautiful, but it serves a social function. You can see the entire Hackney community. The Castle Cinema on Brooksby’s Walk is the perfect place to get a culture fix. The bar is incredible and the programming is interesting, with both indie films and special events. It’s run by the most wonderful couple, and it just feels like a special place that is genuinely interested in bringing cinema into its community. Ash Charman and Dee Swift, the founders of The Castle Cinema/ Daniel LynchGrocery shoppingThe Turkish Food Centre at Ridley Road is the greatest grocer ever. The fresh food is delicious and you can find everything. Papo’s Bagels in Shacklewell Lane is breaking with the Brick Lane Bagels monopoly. The everything bagel is my favorite thing. The Wilton Way Deli also makes the best sandwiches. I am a fair-weather cyclist, but I also love to ride buses. Buses are very well-served in the area. I am writing a TV movie set on a nightbus, partly to show my love for London buses. One of the greatest pleasures in life is to sit on a bus and read while watching the world go by. Who doesn’t want to live underground? Hideous! Hideous! Latif’s commuter bus number 38 / Adrian LourieDream St. I don’t want it to be annoying, but I live on this bus. We were house hunting and kept seeing properties around Fassett Square. Then our house was up. We were like “Oh my God, this is unbelievable, we could live in Fassett Square.” It has a strong sense community, and everyone helps each other. HackneyRidley Road Market has something special and beautiful that you can only see. Because it is so self-reliant, it’s one the best things about London. It’s fascinating to see the street as a part of the history so many immigrant groups have lived on. From the Jews to AfroCaribbean communities to Turkish communities, you can see the traces of every wave of immigration like rings on a tree. Ridley Road Market / Matt WrittleWe need to take care, there are so many moves to develop it, and I think it’s worth it. The chain shops and restaurants that are moving into the area are a huge bummer. You have to protect independent businesses. Every time I pass it, I wonder “Why?” “.In three wordsIn the words of Tina Turner: Simply the best.Marys Seacole, directed by Nadia Latif, is running at the Donmar Warehouse until June 4; donmarwarehouse.comSchools in HackneyPrimary schools including Morningside, Queensbridge, Orchard and London Fields are all rated outstanding by Ofsted. What it costsBuying in HackneyAverage home: GBP1,163,966 Average flat is GBP549 459 Renting in HackneyAverage home: GBP3,424 Average flat: GBP2,103