Hackney City Farm

On Sunday 5th March A, my wife and I decided to have an adventure. As it was the last day before my wife went back to work, we made a concerted effort to do something special for the three of us. A has a growing interest in animals, particularly ducks, and my wife had read that it was one of the top things to do in Islington (despite being in Hackney) with small people.

We walked down Regents Canal, wonderfully frozen over as a result of the ‘Beast from the East’. On days like these, I’m glad not to live on a canal boat.

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We have walked west along Regents Canal many times towards Camden and Regents Park but never east into Hackney. It was such a lovely walk and had a far more industrial feel than in the other direction where the gentrification of Kings Cross and Camden has taken a lot of that edge out of the areas.

A was fantastic and slept for the entire walk, waking only briefly at the sound of a fire engine and then straight back to sleep. She is such a city girl; I am sure than when we move to the countryside the peace and quiet will keep her awake.

Just before we arrived at the farm, A woke up rather cheerfully (she is always in a better mood when she first wakes up if both mum and dad are there). Once we figured out how to get into the farm A was immediately captivated by all animals and in particular the ducks, these have become something of a favourite at home. Check out the quiff on this bad boy!

A also loved seeing the pigs and noticing their rather strong smell! We also saw goats, donkeys, sheep and chickens. And lots of other children (always something A enjoys). The whole feel of the place was very relaxed and welcoming, it was big enough to entertain A for nearly an hour looking at the animals but small enough that we didn’t have to trek far to see something interesting.

One invaluable piece of kit that we take on excursions is our Tula carrier. I will write a review about this later but suffice to say it has saved many a trip when the instant hug it provides has calmed A right down. Its also lovely and comfortable, even when I wear it!

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One of the best bits of the farm (for me at least) was the fantastic Frizzante! Now I like food, I have eaten a lot of food in my time. This was good food. Not just good for a cafe attached to a day out spot but good in its own right. We only popped in to see if they had a baby change (they did; it was lovely) and get a coffee and ended up having an early lunch! A was particularly impressed with mum’s gammon and lentil soup, my banana bread and the general atmosphere of the place.

It may have helped that, not infrequently, A caught the attention of passing restaurant goers, staff, and children who all wanted to come and make a fuss. A loves being the centre of attention and loves food so this was the perfect place for her.

There was also plenty of space for a few buggies, though by 12 it was almost full, and the service was quick and very friendly. The space generally was lovely with an education room, a pottery and a garden terrace for dining when its a bit warmer. The kitchen is open which I have discovered is something A loves. Watching people cook (at home or out and about) is one of her great joys.

We walked back home after lunch and after a little while A fell asleep. Walking through London is something that my wife and I used to do together a lot before having A so whenever we get the chance to have a good, long trip we always make the most of it.

Well that’s all for now. I am currently three days in to doing the stay at home dad thing with the Mrs back at work and will tell you all about how it’s been going soon.

If you are looking for other adventures this fantastic map would be a great place to look.

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