Guide to living in
Regularly hailed as ‘the coolest place to live in Britain’, Dalston is one of the jewels of North East London. A haven for students and arty types, the area is also home to some brilliant properties.
Kingsland High Street is the spine of Dalston, incorporating a barrage of independent coffee shops and bars with a select mix of high street regulars. Ridley Road Market, in situ since the 1880’s, is a kaleidoscope of culture and history with a warm infectious atmosphere. It is common knowledge that the market along with Fassett Square was the inspiration for London’s most famous fictional location – Walford. Although some may baulk at this Eastenders link, it is indicative of the charm of the area and there are a lot less arguments and raised voices to be found in Dalston.
“Classic 18th and 19th Century terraces dominate the area and many large Victorian and Georgian properties have been split into flats – perfect for the media types and young professionals who love the area”
At the weekend, Dalston is a cornucopia of style with a varied and celebrated nightlife. From local jazz to independent theatre, unlike many areas of the capital, there is a wealth of options to choose from rather than just bars and clubs, but there are plenty of them too! Although the recent gentrification of the area has led to an increase in property prices, there is some great value for people to get their hands on in Dalston. Classic 18th and 19th Century terraces dominate the area and many large Victorian and Georgian properties have been split into flats – perfect for the media types and young professionals who love the area. On the other hand, in Queensbridge Quarter and Dalston Square, there are large amounts of new build flats and apartments many of which have been constructed as affordable housing. Dalston remains unflinchingly popular with London’s in-crowd but with a drastic improvement of the local schools, many young families are drawn to the area. It seems that Dalston is in fact an appealing prospect to anyone looking to settle in East London.
The Prince George is a Dalston institution. A pub with heaps of identity, it has successfully housed both the local and new trendy crowds to create an exciting buzz. Like sitting in a French dining room, A Little Of What You Fancy, is the archetypal shabby-chic restaurant serving quality lunches and dinners.
An amazing example of regeneration in the area is the new Dalston Culture House, which was reopened in 2005. Home to the celebrated Vortex Jazz Club, the Culture House also has space devoted to art exhibitions and a popular restaurant and café.
Surprisingly, only four miles from Charing Cross, Dalston has excellent links on the Overground from Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction which was reopened in 2010.