Literary festival offers a different celebration

If commemorating the monarchy is not your thing, the third Stoke Newington Literary Festival celebrates the  proud radical tradition of an area of London that has been home to dissenters since the days of Mary Wollstonecraft and Daniel Defoe.

EastLondonLines will be covering this three day event with a live (though relaxed) blog of literary events hand-picked by our team.

This  festival begins tonight with a Gala evening  at Stoke Newington Town Hall with writers Robin  Ince and Josie Long, while  former lead singer of The Selector, Pauline Black, is at the Library.

Tomorrow, Saturday, in one of several family themed events, children can meet the ever-popular monster – the Gruffalo at the Town Hall.

Speakers, workshops, poets, theatre performances and storytellers fill the rest of the weekend. There are also various workshops including a chance to learn some tips from Grisly Tales author Bruno Vincent on how to write your own gruesome stories.

The School of Life will be holding talks with helpful advice for self-improvement, on topics such as how to find fulfilling work and how to talk about sex. There will also be discussions on topics such as Global Food vs Local Food, which will focus on the environmental and global effects of the food we buy.

Local writer John Dunthorne will read an interactive story where the audience will have the chance to decide what happens, as well as reading from his poetry. Photographer Dennis Morris will be speaking about his new book ‘Growing up Black’ which documents how it was for black person to grow up in 1970s Hackney.

Ticket prices for individual events vary. A full weekend pass is £40.

For more information


Meanwhile, elsewhere….

Friday, June 1:

God Save the Clam

Pop-up restauraunt Rock Lobsta has teamed up with the Pitt and Cue Co to create a seafood extravaganza over the entire weekend to celebrate the jubilee.

Fifty guests will receive a three-course dinner and sit together at one long table on a rooftop in Hackney’s London Fields.

There will also be DJs as well as a very unique ‘punk-styled clam bake’ and a banshee cocktail bar!

For more information visit:

Saturday June 2

Prince: Diamond and Pearls Jubilee Desert Club

For those who are not so fond of celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, but still want to enjoy the extended weekend, Niko B’s Cocoa Club is celebrating the birthday of another royal figure: Purple Rain singer Prince.

This dessert only supper club will host a decadent Prince-inspired four-course feast. The purple chamagne, spiked hot chocolates, and kiss in the purple rain cocktails being served ensure this will be a very fun night.

With each course guests can also enjoy an appropriately picked song from the Prince catalogue. This will be a night of the finest chocolate, alcohol and music and will a truly unique occasion.

Tickets are £26 and it starts at 7.30pm.

For more information



Sundayd June  3

Book Club Street Party

As part of the Jubilee Big Lunch, The Book Club will host a traditional cockney style street party for around 5,000 guests on Leonard Street, Shoreditch.

This party promises real ale and Brick Lane’s favourite dish – Chicken Tikka Masala.

Local music will come from the hackney Colliery Band, as well as DJs Amp and Deck. There will also be a game of musical bingo and special prizes for the best fancy dress

This is free event but guests must reserve places, it starts at midday and goes on until 2am.

For more information


Stoke Newington Tea Rooms Street Party

The Tea Rooms on Stoke Newington’s Church Street are hosting a very appropriate afternoon tea themed street party to celebrate the Jubilee.

As well as afternoon tea there will also be a barbecue available. There will also be games and competitions and live music.

For more information visit:

Wilton Way Street Party

This street party will celebrate the 60 years from 1952-2012 of the Queen’s reign with an extensive range of activities provided by the local community.

There will be acoustic music put on from The folk room as well as a disco at the Hackney Empire.

In the secret shrubbery on Wilton Way there will be community planting and a range of games to be played throughout the day.

Local vintage shop The Other Side of the Pillow will also be open to reveal a range of royal memorabilia throughout the years.

The Hackney Society will also be running a stall sharing their knowledge about the history of Hackney.

There will also be a raffle with some fantastic prizes donated by local Hackney businesses.

For more information



Tuesday June 5

Queen of Hoxton’s Jubilee Jamboree

The Queen of Hoxton’s roof top bar will host a royal knees-up to mark the Jubilee.

This is sure to be royally fun event with toffs and rahs fancy dress, lawn croquet and a double-barrel-name generator.  There also promises to be a rather intriguing game of roof top polo. Food will be served from Patty and Bun’s incredibly popular burgers.

For more information




By Oliver Shaw

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