Table settings along bar
(Image credit: TBC)

Despite the relentless gentrification that’s sweeping through East London, there remains an underlying frisson of possibilities that, from the perspective of urban renewal and design, is rather thrilling. 

Especially when the mixed bag of run-down period architecture, narrow streets, residential and commercial spaces throws out something so pleasingly clean-lined as Acqua7.

Styled as a concept bar, retail space, diner and a vaguely defined ‘integrated creative platform’, the new space – designed by Italian architecture outfit Arkyna Design, and owner and Dalston native, Cyrus Cookson – makes the most of a narrow space. White dominates the colour palette in the walls and beamed ceiling whilst the brown stained floors, Irish oak counter and potted greens provide a gentle visual counterpoint. 

The menu is mod-European, which translates to coffee poured from Moka pots, cantaloupe and rosewater smoothies, avocado and bacon toast, salads, and charcuterie all chased down by cocktails. While waiting for orders to arrive, whet the appetite with a trawl through the retail nooks in the wall stocked with wines and coffee beans.

Black square bar stools along black bar

(Image credit: TBC)

Large fruit bowl next to bar

(Image credit: TBC)

Close up of long dining table

(Image credit: TBC)


7 Balls Pond Road


Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.