Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

My embarrassing Higham Hill post

In Drink, Places on April 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

I bet that subject line got your attention.

So I’ve lived in Higham Hill for 13 years yet haven’t really explored my local area much. Walked up Higham Hill road a couple of times and a bit of Blackhorse Lane. I think the problem is I’ve rarely had the time. I used to work in Surbiton, then a West End job working crazy hours, then my current job in Chiswick. The 3 years I was out of work in the recession contained crippling depression. Spending weekends at my partner’s near the high street means I’m not much in my home area.

But today I got home and got the vacuuming done and thought “Fuck staying in on a sunny afternoon. Fuck being that guy.” So I went out for a walk. Time for a nice, cold beer. Time to try some local pubs.



Just a 10 minute walk up the hill from my flat is the Warrant Officer. Lots of scaffolding on the outside didn’t stop it being open on a Sunday afternoon and it was pleasantly quiet. The sound system was playing various Americana  from Country to blues to a ‘Lighter Shade of Pale’. Speaking of pale I chose a pint of 13 Guns yank IPA. They had a couple of ale taps on but I was in the mood for something cold. £4 tells me I’m not in the pub at the West Midlands council estate I grew up in (seriously I get change from a twenty when I buy 6 pints at Xmas). I settled into a corner armchair to let life go by.

I’d rank the Warrant Officer under ‘nice estate pub’. It seems to have a bunch of middle aged and retired men making up the clientèle in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It’s got a couple of TVs (not on, fortunately), pool table, free wifi. Apart from the mix of old chairs the décor revolves around military insignia and a case full what I think are replica flintlocks.


Look, in the middle, a case full of guns!

Eschewing the wifi I sat, made a few notes for this post and enjoyed the music. I think I’ll be back for a quiet pint again sometime.

Fortified with a beer I decided to go look for  Higham Hill Park, which was just 2 minutes away. It was a bit smaller than I expected (Lloyd park has spoiled me, and is nearly as close) but has good facilities which were being well used; tennis courts, basketball courts, playground and playing field.


So many of the trees are in blossom. Since there were loads of kids in the park I deliberately tried to avoid photographs with people in them.

I found myself a patch of grass to write some notes. And then stretched out for 20 minutes. It was warm with a cooling breeze and I found myself occasionally chuckling at how I never make time to make time for myself. I watched planes overhead leave contrails and pigeons flirt with each other.


So, more beer. On a previous walk I’d noticed another pub and decided to try the Prince of Wales on St Andrews Road.


Prince of Wales’ unassuming exterior.

No interior shot of this one. I didn’t want to draw attention to the fact I wasn’t the only bloke in the pub watching the football. This is your classic estate pub; choice of Guinness, John Smiths or Fosters (I went for lager on a warm day). Judging by the missing paint it’s not seen a decorator this century. Two of the three TVs in this smallish bar were showing the game. There’s a pool table and a one arm bandit if Sky Sports doesn’t get you excited. Looking out back there seems to be a beer garden.

While I may not be kind the ‘stow needs a mix of pubs to serve all of its residents. As we don’t have a ‘spoons it is pubs like this and the Lord Palmerston which serve the ‘basic’ end of the local beer trade.

While I doubt I’ll return to the last venue I hope to spend some time chilling in my local park. Certainly, I’ll drop into the Warrant Officer of an evening for a pint.

And next time I get chance for a walk I’ll try and venture a bit further North into my neighbourhood.


Menagierie Makes

In Places on May 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm
Shop front

Shop front

Well the other week we noticed from a distance that number 70 Hoe Street had a lick of new paint. Well according to Walthamstow Diary it is now a gift shop. So when we went to Indulgence for lunch today we had a little walk down.

In the abscence of the great Penny Fielding shop and Lavender Village on Palmerston we’ve had a lack of gift shops in the Stow. As you can see by the window Menagerie Makes is predominently animal themed goods, although I was very tempted by the ‘I <heart> Waltahmstow’ mugs and Oyster holders.

Along with animal sock puppet kits there are many creature themed offerings. Some small but cool furniture too; I was rather taken with a side table decorated with stamps.

I’m glad to see Hoe Street getting some more love. That stretch bookended by the High Street and the Bell pub has been a bit neglected with just the Rose and Crown and Delice from the old days (I don’t count Daisy’s; used to be nice). But with Indugence and the coming Aurora Rose shop this key road is getting pretty cool. Sadly we saw a shop there last week advertised as £12,000 PA rent, 3 months in advance plus 3 months deposit. I hope greedy landlords don’t choke the regeneration here. The stow outside of the Village deserves development too.

Restaurant review: Eat 17

In food, Places on June 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

So last weekend my partner’s parents took us to Eat17 for her birthday.  We used to go when it was more of a nice cafe and I miss the savoury waffles they did.

The decor is nice, modern and trendy. We were a bit disheartened by the novelty toilet sign though. It stood out amongst the quality of the rest of the restaurant. I was surprised they operate a time-slot system. We had the early one, 18:00 to 20:30. They seemed to have all their tables full on a Saturday night. I wonder how well this system does on a weeknight.

I had:

Candy beetroot salad with goats cheese croquettes – I was initially very disappointed at the two small croquettes but found more goats cheese in the salad. It was very nice.

Toulouse sausages with puy lentil salsa – I had this with a side of dauphinoise potatoes (or really a block of them). It was lovely, all the flavours worked well together.

chocolate brownie & hazelnut ice cream – a simple choice but it was clear both elements were very high quality.

Everybody else really enjoyed their food too.

I was also very pleased that they stock Meantime beers. They have the IPA on tab but I went for a bottle of the wheat beer. It was very nice and I hope to be in the village soon to have the chance to try the IPA in the bar.

Overall it’s a very nice place. It’s not a venue you could afford to go to in the same way the Windmill or Anwar is. This is a bit more of an ‘event’ eaterie. But it is very much worth it.

Café De Morgon

In Places on July 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm

This place opened up a few of years ago under the name ‘Euphoria’. It specialises in doing a range of fruit smoothies. These are really nice, and the perfect choice for a hot day. They also do filled bagels which make for a  light lunch. I’m not a coffee drinker but they are very proud of their own custom blends and I’ve been told they are very good.

They recently had a rebrand and shop facelift so it’s looking nice!

cafe de morgon

The new sign and name

cafe de morgon

It's a nice place to go on a sunny day.

R.V. Amey

In Places on July 9, 2010 at 7:33 am

There are lots of architectural curiosities in Walthamstow village. If you’ve never been there I really suggest you go for a pleasant stroll on a sunny day. When there for the Open Garden’s I saw this old building, which now seems to be used as a home. It’s on Beulah Road.

R.V. Amey sign on village building

R.V. Amey sign on village building

R.V. Amey sign on village building

R.V. Amey from across road

Forest Road Hindu Temple

In Places on June 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I’ve been meaning to talk about this one for a while. This Hindu temple appeared a couple of years ago on Forest Road, near the junction of Higham Hill road. I just love how incongruous it looks in this East London street.

Forest Road Temple

From across the road.

Forest Road Temple

Detail of the doorway

Forest Road Temple

The large double doows

Forest Road Temple

Oblique angle shot.