Nik Southern founded Grace & Thorn in 2011 to “help people in the city live a greener life,” inspired by the fiddle leaf fig tree in her grandparents’ living room. What started as a tiny floral studio on Kingsland Road has attracted a cult following and resulted in Southern’s first book, titled How Not To Kill Your Plants.
Describe your ideal day off in Hackney.
I would start with coffee at La Bouche on Broadway Market and then walk along the canal with my dogs to Victoria Park for brunch at the Pavilion Café. I would walk back and have dinner at my absolute favourite restaurant, La Campania on Ezra Street – and I would finish with wine at Sager and Wilde.
What is your favourite bar or restaurant?
Campania, a southern Italian restaurant set in the most beautiful building – the Old Jones Dairy – their lamb ragu is to die for.
What is your favourite shop?
69b Boutique on Broadway Market specialises in sustainable clothes, I always spend far too much money in there, but have come out with some wonderful pieces!
What was your most memorable night out in Hackney?
I always have a laugh in Clutch. They do the most amazing fried chicken and cocktails based on female hip-hop artists. Last time I was there with the Grace & Thorn team, we ended up dancing on the tables.
What is your favourite open space in Hackney?
Victoria Park. I have been going there since a child and I absolutely love it. There is always so much going on, I love people watching… and dog watching.
Where would you take visitors to show them the best of Hackney?
There are so many places to choose from in Hackney, but I’d have to take to them to my very favourites: Broadway Market for coffee, Victoria Park for a stroll and then pop into my shop, Grace & Thorn to pick up some plants before heading to Campania for dinner. They’re all must-sees!