Stoke Newington ‘institution’ to open on Fortess Road

You wait for ages and a dozen come at once. Where’s the latest bakery then?

Soon you’ll be able to lounge about outside Spence NW5. Photo: Stephen Emms
Just moments after Somewhere Over Knowhere opened down the road, with their attractively low-key, contemporary approach to a bakery and cafe, it seems another is imminent a few minutes’ walk north.

Yup, quicker than you can say “Frentishtowners”, Spence Bakery will, from March, be chucking buns deep in its shiny new oven right next to revamped boutique Soho Hip (nice bottle-green frontage, by the way!)

Following butcher Meat, it’s the second highly regarded operation from Stoke Newington’s Church Street to make the N16-NW5 hop in the last few months. Oh, and after an enthusiastic mention in our Free Weekend guide to the area last year, who better to ask than contributor Nikki Verdon for her thoughts on what dough-eyed readers can expect?

“Spence is an institution,” she says, with a sigh. “Not just a bakery or a place to grab a coffee, but the heart of the area. It’s the place for local gossip, to catch your breath after the school run, or clear your head before work.”


Inside Spence. Photo: Spence Bakery

Sure enough, but what carbs should we be loading up on? “The freshly baked seeded bloomer, a hearty sourdough loaf, the tempting arrays of croissants and pastries. At lunchtime try a steaming hot bowl of homemade soup served with oven-fresh crispy roll. In fact,” she says, “it’s impossible to walk past without popping in to pick up a bagful of goodies and some bacon from Meat.”

Owner Katherine Lockwood, whose website says she leads a team of “bakers and baristas”, would no doubt agree. “It seems the breadcrumb trail has led back to us,” she says, grinning. “Provided everything goes smoothly, we’ll soon be neighbours with Meat NW5 and Jonathan Norris.”

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Spence will be open at the end of March at 146a Fortess Road NW5.

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  • Tony

    I fear that Somewhere Over Knowhere’s approach might be a little too low-key at the moment. I went in at 10.30 on Saturday and they didn’t have any bread to sell me.
    Nice ambience in there though so will try again.

    • pascal

      I had the same problem. Apparently their oven was broken and the spare would take a few days to arrive

  • Sharon Reuben

    Well I had a delish croissant stuffed with cheese and ham yesterday morning – very naughty breakfast but yummm! it’ feels like SOK are only just getting settled, but hopefully they’ll be with us for a long time so these early niggles will be long forgotten 🙂

  • Doris L.

    Great, I won’t have to go to Little’s Bakery anymore!