Pride of place: Hackney, London

Every neighbourhood has a local hero, someone who embodies the character of the place. They’re the entrepreneurs, artists and catalysts for a community of like-minded people. We tracked some of them down and got them to tell us what they love about their neighbourhood.

Ben Mackinnon set up e5 Bakehouse in 2011. Today, it’s a thriving bakery serving many of London’s top restaurants, with a much-loved café and a programme of baking classes.

Describe your business in one sentence.
It’s an artisan bakery and coffee shop located under a spruced-up railway arch beneath London Fields station in east London.

What’s so unique about the neighbourhood?
It’s a very special area with a community that’s open-hearted and open-minded. And while it is changing – there are perhaps more young families these days than artists – it’s still hugely creative and diverse, with lots of studios and workshops on our doorstep.

What are your top tips for a visitor to the area?
Swim in the Lido at London Fields. Have a drink and listen to music at Off Broadway. Walk along the Regents Canal to Victoria Park. Go for Thai food at Som Saa near Spitalfields Market. Check out the stalls on Broadway Market on a Saturday.

You can see our collection of Hackney homes here.