From chicken shops to quaint cafés, Walthamstow is often praised for its diverse selection of eateries. However with so much temptation, it is easy to get carried away and forget that everything is best enjoyed in moderation. We have compiled a list of ten reasons why Walthamstow is a weight watchers nightmare. Don’t forget to tweet us with your suggestions too.
Pastry chef extraordinaire, Gio Arcay has worked at places such as Michel Roux’s La Gavroche and has now opened his own cake shop in Walthamstow. His Marie Antoinette worthy cakes are deliciously tempting, especially when the bakery is situated in the gin palace, Mothers Ruin. Indulge in a slice of cake whilst you experiment with the flavoured gins on offer or alternatively, commission Gio to create an edible masterpiece next time you celebrate your birthday. With flavours like spiced carrot cake (pictured above) or raspberry and limoncello appearing on the menu, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Mark Newby, Fraser MacLellan and Phil Shepherd are three Walthamstow residents that have a turned their passion for fine cheese and craft ale into a business. After operating as a market stall within the borough over the past few months, an opportunity arose, allowing The East London Cheese Board to open a shop on Orford Road. Froth and Rind, as the shop is aptly named is open six days a week (Tues-Sun) offering everything from freshly ground coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches to pints of craft ale and a fridge bursting with cheeses of varying strengths. There really is something for everyone in this little shop and tasters are eagerly offered to those hesitant about trying the cheese. Why not ditch the weekend fry up and give into your melted cheese cravings?
Not all of us can afford to travel to Italy to discover authentic Italian food and that is why Walthamstow is lucky to have a slice of Italy on its doorstep. Peppe’s Pizza is a pizzeria on wheels, complete with a wood burning stove, that is situated outside Ye Olde Rose and Crown pub every Wednesday and Friday from 7.15pm. With over 28 years experience, Peppe is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Italian cuisine and word has it that his pizzas are the best in E17. Our favourite is the Bufalina which combines tomatoes, basil, rocket, mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella. It is cheesy heaven and goes perfectly with a pint from the Rose and Crown.
Hidden away in the Ravenswood Industrial Estate, the Wild Card Brewery is home to four different locally produced craft beers. The first beer to be produced was the Jack of Clubs (pictured above) which is a ruby ale and the success of this beer, lead the brewery team to produce a Porter, Blonde Beer and an IPA. The brewery is open to the public on Friday evenings and all day and night on a Saturday and Sunday. In the short time it has been open, the Wild Card Brewery has attracted a large following of craft beer enthusiasts, creating a community of like minded people in a space that was once left vacant. With occasional music nights and a forever changing stream of food trucks serving up tasty grub, it is difficult not to enjoy a night out here.
56 St James Street is an oasis of calm and creativity nestled away on the long stretch of St James Street. This independent café serves up freshly ground coffee and delicious home made food using fresh and where possible, locally produced ingredients. Breakfast is a popular meal here with locals waking up early just to grab a table, in order to enjoy a good old fashioned fry up with a modern twist. The 56 Beans and Chorizo is not to be missed, nor are the tempting cakes and pastries on offer, which are baked fresh every day. The interior is also something to behold with work from local artists decorating the walls and an extensive collection of National Geographic magazines stacked high, for customers to read. It is very easy to while away an entire day here.
Love them or hate them, there is no denying that hot, salty chips smothered in dipping sauce are one of the guiltiest of pleasures when it comes to food. Robin Fletcher has taken this concept one step further and has created Chips with Dips, a food truck selling nothing but hand cut chips and home made dipping sauces. For those eager to move away from the traditional soured cream and chive dip, Robin offers experimental blends such as peanut butter mayo, bacon and fig mayo and a coconut and lime mayo (called the Motherdip) amongst others. Great on their own, or served as a side, these chips are an addictive treat.
7) WALTHAMSTOW FARMERS MARKET
Every Sunday, the market place becomes a haven for foodies wanting to explore locally produced food. The farmers market brings together a range of vendors such as butchers, bakers, costermongers and even the occasional plant stall. Unlike their supermarket counterparts, the food here holds no pretence of being perfectly formed, instead the provenance of the food is valued higher than the aesthetics. Because of this the food here is fairly priced and customers can also build a relationship with the people harvesting their food and in turn, learn about the benefits of seasonal eating. Be sure to check out Aston’s Organic Bakery who produce some of the best rye bread around and The Giggly Pig whose sausage baps are the perfect early morning pick me up. Conveniently, shoppers can purchase all the essential ingredients for a good full English breakfast at the farmers market, making that greasy fry up an almost guilt free breakfast option.
Eat 17 has been the cause of our expanding waistlines ever since it landed on Orford Road. Their diverse menu and experimental cooking methods have made it a popular choice within Walthamstow’s network of foodies but there is one dish on the menu that really calls for some attention. The Eat 17 Cheeseburger. Served with all the trimmings including their award winning bacon jam, this is the cheeseburger of your dreams. All the meat used at Eat 17 comes from the East London Sausage company and the bread is baked fresh on site every morning ensuring the best quality ingredients for their food. The burger is a form of food magic, there is nothing else quite like it. Enjoy it with a beer or one of their carefully selected wines.
The William Morris Gallery, situated in front of Lloyd Park, is not only home to an excellent selection of William Morris themed artefacts but it also houses a beautiful tea room serving locally produced food. Cakes from local bakery Crumbs, are served alongside coffee from Nude Espresso (Hackney) and a selection of small plates of hot and cold food are also on offer for weary gallery goers. The afternoon tea, however, is something everyone living in Walthamstow should try and do at least once. The William Morris afternoon tea has all the trimmings one would expect from a traditional afternoon tea. Smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, are served alongside egg and cress sandwiches, whilst the plates above are loaded with scones and a selection of mini cakes and pastries. However it is the location itself which makes the tea so special. The light and airy room adds a modern dimension to this traditional pastime and the views across the park are to die for allowing you to imagine just how life would have been during Morris’ lifetime.
Not only do the Hornbeam Café produce delicious vegetarian, local and seasonal food, they also work hard to educate people on ethical matters concerning the community. Their ‘food with a conscience’ approach to dining means that all the plates served at this café are bursting with goodness and use seasonal ingredients. Because of this, their menu is forever changing with healthy dish after healthy dish being adapted to fit in with nature. Cakes and other confectionery served with a pot of tea or coffee, go down a treat amongst locals in search for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Hornbeam Café is a little slice of country living in inner city London.
Words and Featured Image: Grace Molan