When I say I live in Walthamstow, people often ask if I mean as in the band E17 or where the dog track was once or how I cope with living in Zone 3. For me it’s the quirks of Walthamstow that stand out. Like being able to buy a mountain of bananas in the market for £1. Or going for a walk in the Marshes or cycling to the forest and feeling a million miles from the centre of town. Or how you know someone’s from Walthamstow because they stand at the end of the tube platform to get into the carriage at the front of the train. And even though I’ve lived here for ages, I’m always finding more restaurants, shops, or places to go and people to meet. These are just some of the things I like to do in the area - if you have suggestions for other places to add, do let me know.

Going Out: The Pub Quizzes of Walthamstow

I’m a big fan of pub quizzes -my favourite is the McGuffins monthly tv and film quiz at the Rose and Crown on the first Saturday of the month. I also enjoy the Village Pub Quiz on Tuesdays (Orford Road) and the Coppermill Pub quiz on Coppermill Lane on Sunday evenings. I’ve been told the Castle Pub Quiz is also good so if anyone wants to put together a team I’d be happy to compete!

Going Out: Eating in Walthamstow

In the last few years Walthamstow has excelled itself in creating places for good food. This is my long list of suggested places- if you have any suggestions for inclusion or comments please feel free to add!

  • Tapas is best found at the Windmill which is at the St James Street end of the High Street
  • You can often find me having coffee in either Daisys on Hoe Street, L’Hirondelle which is further along Hoe Street (and croissant if you get there early enough before the crowds) or the Walthamstow Deli on Orford Road which does fantastic brioches
  • Bonners on Pretoria Avenue for proper fish and chips or Mariannas on Forest Road (near the crossroads with Fulbourne Road)
  • Brads coffee bar on St Mary’s road (just by Strettons the estate agents) does great coffee and cheese and marmite toasted sandwiches.
  • Mondragones on Orford Road does a great Pizza and homemade tiramisu
  • Priya on Hoe Street next to the Goose - great South Asian and Sri Lankan food.
  • Dhaka Tandoori on Hoe Street, Bengali Spice at St James street, Forest Tandoori in Wood Street and the St James Street in St James St for a curry.
  • The Village Kitchen for a nice atmosphere and trendy food.
  • The Desert Rose at the Bakers Arms for cake or the new William Morris Gallery cafe for cake, wonderful art and impressing the in-laws.
  • The Cafeteria on Forest road (fulbourne road end) or Cookies and Cream (near the town hall) on Forest Road are both great for a nice lunch and coffee.
  • La Parisienne on Palmerston Road for fresh french bread baguettes.
  • Jimmys on Markhouse Road for Thai food or a greasy spoon fry-up.
  • Eat17 on Orford Road is fantastic for modern food and a mean sticky toffee pudding. They also are the creators of the now world famous Bacon Jam (although as a vegetarian I can’t attest to its qualities, I’m told its great!) which is sold out of the
  • The Halloumi kebabs at Istanbul on Hoe Street (just along from the EMD) are a staple for many local residents. They also do meat kebabs which I’m told are great too!
  • Urfa, the Turkish Anatolian Restaurant, opposite St James St station also does great Meze as well as meat dishes!
  • Arts and Crusts on Victoria Road is where all the cool kids go for artisan bread, arts and general lovely foods.
  • Jesses Cafe on the High Street (half way along at the St James St end) does nice panninis - especially the cheese, tomato and herb one!
  • Tabaq is apparently the place to go for fried chicken on Hoe St at the bell corner.
Going Out: Drinking in Walthamstow 
Walthamstow’s pubs are undergoing a renaissance at present with several being refurbished and attracting a lot of positive reviews as a result.
  • The Nag’s Head on Orford Road has many cats, a range of beers and a nice pub garden.
  • The Bell at the corner of Hoe Street and Forest Road has recently been refurbished and is now a gastropub complete with jazz and is getting great reviews from local residents for atmosphere and food.
  • The Queens Arms has also been refurbished and has both the football and karaoke nights.
  • The Goose on Hoe Street opposite Walthamstow Central has also been refurbished and has poker nights, football and theme evenings.
  • The Flowerpot pub on Wood Street has great live music.
  • The  Rose and Crown on Hoe Street is our Theatre Pub which is fast gaining regional recognition as well as home to the McGuffins quiz night.
  • The William 4th in Bakers Arms does great thai food.

Going Out: Places for Children to Play

Many of our local parks and greenspaces have recently undergone improvement works and have local friends groups who organise activities in them for local residents. If you’re looking for places to take children to play or simply somewhere nice to have lunch why not visit these places:

  • Stoneydown Park on Longfield Road which has facilities for both young and older children as well as an active friends group.
  • Lea Bridge Library Gardens behind Lea Bridge Road which has an active friends group that organises fun days and community events there.
  • Thomas Gamuel Park off Boundary Road is a large open park good for football games.
  • Wingfield Park on Grosvenor Road has a great adventure playground for young children.
  • Vestry Park on East Avenue underwent redevelopment thanks to its friends group and now has facilities for young children and a specialised ball court for older children.
  • Higham Hill Recreation Ground on Sutton Road has basketball facilities and a new friends group starting up that has recently organised bulb planting.
  • Lloyd Park on Forest Road is one of the borough’s “premier parks” and has an active Friends Group who oversaw its redevelopment. It now houses both the William Morris Gallery  and the Changing Room Gallery.
  • Aveling Park behind Lloyd Park is a large open space which has a children’s playground, skate park and is great for games such as frisbee and football.

Local History: Walthamstow on Film

Walthamstow was the site of much of the early development of the British film industry and still today has many local filmmakers who are passionate about the area and whose work captures the community spirit, local celebrities and stories of E17. Dominic Stinton’s film “Walthamstow Market: A Portrait” was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and captures the camaraderie and affection many people have for this local landmark. You can see a short except of the film on his website here. Claudia Firth’s film “A Cinema Near You” tells the story of the EMD cinema and includes an interview with the legendary Ernie Mills, the former front of house manager for the building. You can watch it on the McGuffin’s website here.

Local History: Walthamstow, birthplace of British Cars and Aviation

Walthamstow can lay claim to be the birthplace of British aviation and the first British built car. In fact, the Lea Valley Corridor has been the site of over one hundred industrial firsts with half of these being in transportation. In 1909 Edwin Alliot Verdon Roe became the first Briton to fly an all British build plan on the Walthamstow Marshes, and there are plans afoot for a celebration of this in 2009. The Pump House is a local museum run by volunteers dedicated to celebrating our local engineering talent and Walthamstow’s place in industrial history. The museum, based at Low Hall Lane, are currently looking for volunteers to help with their work and the centenary celebrations. Find out more by calling Lindsay on 07930 662252.

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