Marketing and Planning Manager
Walthamstow feels like it’s been “up and coming” for well over a decade now and has a combination of proud local flavour and independent shops and bars. The food and drink scene is pretty impressive and has been growing in the last few years with the opening of the Wildcard and Pillars breweries on the Ravenswood Industrial estate, just around the corner from Walthamstow village.
Best pub in Walthamstow is a difficult question to answer – there’s quite a diverse range, from the upmarket and child friendly Queen’s Arms in the village, to the beer garden and independent spirit of the Nag’s head, just around the corner. My preference at the moment would be Ye Olde Rose and Crown on Hoe Street It’s a proper community pub with an upstairs theatre which often features top comedy performers.
Foodwise, Walthamstow has become a real hotspot, with local, independent restaurants serving everything from Great Caribbean food (Rhythm Kitchen) to regional Chinese cuisine (Etles Uyghur). La Ruga and Eat 17 in the village are both long established favourites, but our pick is over on Wood Street – Teras serves up delicious Turkish cuisine with exceptional customer service – I always go for the rolled lamb beyti.
Shopping in Walthamstow is also an interesting one – there’s the wonderful quirkiness of Wood Street market, with it’s odd range of record stores, antiques and toy shops, while for the food minded, the Spar in the village is famous for its upmarket foodie offerings. For a true local hero, though, Gigi’s dressing room is the place to go. Gigi’s store champions great vintage clothing for everyone, and is a proper local gem.
Walthamstow’s got some really nice options when it comes to green spaces – Epping Forest, in particular the Hollow Pond, is a short walk away, and has some lovely space for a picnic or to hire a rowing boat. There’s also the recently opened Wetlands on the other side of Walthamstow – there are 10 reservoirs across a 211 hectare site where you can spot birds of prey, herons and a variety of other wildlife. The visitor centre and café make it a very family friendly destination.
If you’re exploring Walthamstow for the first time – there are a couple of go to options for sightseeing, Lloyd Park and the William Morris gallery are definitely worth a visit. The gallery is situated in his family home and provides an insight into the life, work and influence of the writer, activist and designer. The other option I’d recommend, especially if it’s a nice day, is checking out the installations from Wood Street Walls. They’ve added some colour to the sides of buildings all around Walthamstow – you can download a map or sign up for a walking tour of their sites.
Key local heroes include the artist Grayson Perry and the boy band East 17, whose first studio album was the Mercury Prize nominated “Walthamstow”.
To find restaurants that are participating in the Governments Eat Out to Help Out scheme in your area, enter your postcode on this website – https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/eat-out-to-help-out/find-a-restaurant/