Village People - A day in the London village of Wanstead

London, Great Britain

10 places
Village People - A day in the London village of Wanstead

Harriet Wiseman

Want to discover a side to London that you won't find in the average guidebook? Just 30 minutes from Oxford Street on the central line, Wanstead is a hidden gem that feels like it is a world away. Oozing cool, it is calming and unique - you can see why Londoners have tried to keep it a secret for such a long time. With its historical forest, eccentric background, boutique shops, hearty pubs and culinary delights, Wanstead Village is full of the treasures that encapsulate London.

Belgian food, patisserie and drinks in East London. This friendly cafe has a beautiful al fresco dining area and delicious fresh coffee.

This historic forest is simply breath-taking, beautiful and full of activity. Attractions include the Victorian grotto, ornamental lakes, the Temple museum, golf courses, horse riding and the Tea Hut. Yearly festivals include poetry readings, outdoor theatrical plays and live music.

Sumo Fresh is a sushi restaurant and cocktail bar in Wanstead. Its expertly created dishes are artfully prepared and the cocktails are mouth-wateringly good. Open from 11am, it is the perfect place for a light lunch or an indulgent dinner.

Hire an old fashioned boat on Hollow Ponds and row around the lake. If it can inspire a song for Damon Albarn (lead singer of Blur) then it can certainly bring out the creativity in you. Perfect for a romantic date or a day out with family and friends. Boats cost £12 per hour and there is car-parking and refreshments on site. The boating lake is seasonally dependent so it is always advised to call ahead before going.

Wanstead high street is a mecca of shops. From boutiques to delicatessens, interiors to art, this is a great place to find interesting and unique gifts from independent retailers. If you want to fins something that no one else will have, then this is the place you need to look.

This french boulangerie serves beautiful hand-made cakes, savory treats and lovely hot beverages. The fresh croissants are a favourite with the locals and the hot chocolate is a favourite of mine! Authentic french atmosphere and cozy surroundings make this a great place to share a cake inside or people-watch with a coffee out the front.

This listed building used to house the old Conservative Club and has ties to Winston Churchill who was an MP in neighboring Woodford. It is now a restaurant, bar and cafe with a Michelin starred chef, the atmosphere is relaxed and the service impeccable.

This restaurant describes itself as a 'fine-diner' serving American diner-style food made from high quality ingredients and delivered in a relaxed yet upbeat setting. Long Horn has an extensive cocktail menu which is well worth sampling during your visit. If you are a fan of brunch then their weekend pancake-fueled affair is not to be missed!

The Duke is a lively pub with a penchant for live music, great food and oddly-named beer. It doesn't matter if you are popping in for a pint or sitting down to a lengthy meal, you are sure to have a great time in this friendly establishment.

Serving high quality, fresh food alongside an extensive drink selection, The Cuckfield is a pub well worth visiting. It has an over-21's policy, a welcoming atmosphere and an impressive interior. The beer garden is a joy to behold and can be used in all weather thanks to the giant umbrellas, twinkling lights and comfy seating.

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