The birthplace of William Morris and the current studio of artist Greyson Perry, Walthamstow has always been a hub of creative talent. Recently, news of its charms has spread and it is fast becoming the destination of choice for those in the know. The area is large and varied, boasting a celebrated art gallery, experimental restaurants, the longest market in Europe and a lot of live jazz. Spend the day here and you will soon be under its spell.
Restaurant serving ethically sourced ingredients, cooked by chefs that know what they are doing and are not afraid to take a risk. This daredevil behavior paid off when they invented ‘bacon jam’, their famous condiment made and served right here at the Walthamstow site. On the weekends a full breakfast menu is served and on Sunday afternoon a traditional English roast dinner is available. The food is delicious; the setting relaxed yet chic and the bacon jam is on sale for those who have become addicted. Featured in the Good Food Guide, Eat17 should be on everybody’s East London ‘to-do’ list!
Walthamstow Village is a small conservation area centred around Orford Road. A hive of activity, the village is composed of excellent restaurants and pubs, a 12th century church, a 15th century ‘tall house’ and a former police station Vestry House that is now a museum. Wonder around the area taking in the history as you go, the museum is free to enter and has a wonderful garden that is perfect for an al fresco coffee which can be bought from some of the lovely cafes nearby.
Walthamstow Market is the longest outdoor street market in Europe, which has been open for business since 1885. Vendors sell anything from household items to food and drink from around the world, as well as the traditional cockney dish of pie and mash. This lively bazaar is a lot of fun and full of characters, you will soon find yourself bartering with the locals and bagging a kitsch bargain or two.
The William Morris Gallery
The William Morris Gallery is a beautiful Georgian property set in the grounds of Lloyd Park. It houses both a permanent collection of the famous designer William Morris’ work (he lived there in the mid 1800’s) as well as a special exhibition gallery of temporary displays. The shows are of a high caliber yet diverse, exhibitions have included work from contemporary artists such as Jeremy Deller (the 2004 Turner Prize winner) as well as retrospectives of historical figures such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The gallery also has a charming tearoom serving fresh British dishes, alcoholic drinks and afternoon tea all sourced from local suppliers.
The Nags Head
The Nags Head is a traditional English pub set in the historic Walthamstow Village. It serves a large range of alcoholic beverages and even has a 2-pint carton of real ale available to take away for customers who want to continue the party long after the pub shuts. On a Sunday there is live jazz from 5 until 8pm provided by the resident band ‘The Stowaways’. There is a delightful walled beer garden and tempting pizza, risotto and pasta dishes are served courtesy of the Italian chefs.
Ye Olde Rose and Crown
Ye Olde Rose and Crown is a pub with a difference, it actually has its own theatre hiding upstairs. This award-winning establishment has an eclectic events program including stand up comedy, open mic nights, live music, DJ sets and full theatre productions. The drink menu is pretty impressive, as is the food – you can even enjoy your fresh pizza bought from Peppe’s stone oven outside in the comfort of the pub.