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Meet Sonya Barber, author of 'East London: an Opinionated Guide' by Hoxton Mini Press, former Co-Editor of the City Life section of Time Out London News & Events Editor and general woman about town.

Sonya Barber

We all know that east London blossoms in the summer when you can dine alfresco, spend sunny afternoons in pub gardens, potter through weekend markets and meander along the canal with an iced coffee. But true locals know that winter is when it really comes into its own. Comfort food, pub fires, crisp park walks and steamy café windows. East London is full of beautiful wintery spots to explore, and cosy nooks to defrost in after. Here are five of my favourite winter warmers.

1. Wilton’s Music Hall

The crumbling grandeur of this old music hall feels especially inviting when it’s chilly outside. Book for a play or storytelling night, or just pop into the atmospheric Mahogany bar for a mulled wine.

Image: awceramics.co.uk

2. Dalston Curve Garden

Put on a big coat and spend a surprisingly cosy evening in Dalston’s secret oasis. This December, the garden will be hosting their Festival of Light with lanterns, choirs and film screenings, as well as homemade pizza, warm drinks and blankets.

3. Libreria

If you’re feeling more like hibernating indoors, before you get too comfy, make sure you swing by this wonderful little bookshop just off Brick Lane to stock up on beautiful books. 

4. The Marksman

Wintery Sundays are made for roasts and red wine (after a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market, of course). Book a leather banquette, stock up on Sunday supplements and settle in for the afternoon.

Image: hg2.com

5. E Pellicci

Nothing cures the winter blues like apple crumble and custard, and there’s nowhere better to get it than this buzzing Bethnal Green institution. Nab a seat at a shared table, order plenty of carbs alongside a strong builder’s tea, listen to the bantering locals and you’re guaranteed to have your cockles warmed.

Image: thefryuppolice.co.uk

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