Exploring Walthamstow

I often approach places at the end of the underground lines with scepticism, whether rightly so or not they just seem like far away places, not helped by their names. Cockfosters always gets a chuckle (I know immature), Morden obviously sounds like Mordor, Amersham out in zone 9 doesn’t seem like it could still count as London at all. However, when it comes to the much loved Victoria Line, I’ve been more open to find out what’s in store.

Brixton has been a weekend destination for a while, attracting hungry Londoners from far and wide, the food scene there just keeps getting better. It’s also south of the river, so given that I live that way it doesn’t seem so foreign (and I’ve definitely found myself there accidentally after missing the interchange at Stockwell). At the other end of the line, Walthamstow is emerging as the place to watch with some intriguing places to discover. Just 20 minutes from central London, home to a pretty quaint village (for zone 3!), it’s no surprise that new restaurants and cafes are finding homes there.

It got added to the 2017 wishlist and towards the end of January it made for the perfect Saturday afternoon trip out.

We started at the village, but not having used my camera for a while I totally forgot to take any pictures (oops!). Let’s just say the small street that makes up the centre of Walthamstow Village is possibly what you might expect, there’s a village hall, boutique shops, independent cafes and restaurants, and a cobbled street to amble around.

We grabbed a couple of coffees at Froth and Rind and made our way over to God’s Own Junkyard.

I’ve written about the Christopher’s Bracey’s neon light collections before and have wanted to see his main collection for a while now. To be honest, other than seeing some friends up in Walthamstow, I wasn’t really aware of any other reason to go until recently.

As soon as I stepped in I realised I should have come sooner. A million lights to look at and a rainbow of colours was guaranteed to be right up my street.

 

Chris Bracey was an artist in his own right and created many neon artworks. His collection of neon signs and sculptures at God’s Own Junkyard is one of the biggest outside America. It includes vintage fair and carnival signs, show promos and original pieces made on site.

Although no doubt extortionately expensive, it’s fun to try and find one you’d actually put up in your own home. This one was amongst my favourites.

I reckon it’d look quite cool in my dream kitchen.

After I’d had my intake of bright lights we went in search of lunch. Of course, I had somewhere in mind that wasn’t exactly nearby but at least it gave us chance to see a bit more of the area.

I spotted Hillman’s Tearoom on Jaime’s blog a while ago and was won over by her description and photos.

Tucked down a small street that forms the Georgian Village (which has tons of potential), it could easily be missed. But the attention to detail that has gone into this little cafe makes it something of a vintage experience to put on your own London wishlist.

From the vintage decor…

 

To dainty old-fashioned tea cups.

They’ve thought through every lovely detail.

I had one of the fruit teas and it was full of flavour.

The toasted sandwich was simple but delicious. Who doesn’t love a toastie with a bit of crispy melted cheese?

I checked the time and realised we’d spent a good few hours exploring already, but there was one more place I wanted to squeeze in before we went back south. The William Morris Gallery.

I did GCSEs in Art and Textiles and William Morris was often a subject of study. It was great to go back in time and appreciate his designs as a grown up with more of an interest in interior design.

His intricate designs that covered walls from floor to ceiling back then would have guaranteed William Morris as the Pinterest sensation of his day.

But if you’re not into art or textiles the once family home of the Morris family is equally beautiful.

The garden out back, which forms part of Lloyd Park, would be the perfect place to enjoy a picnic too. I’m certainly tempted to go back this summer.

Have you explored Walthamstow? Is there anywhere else we should visit on our next trip to the end of the Victoria Line?

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4 Comments

  1. March 29, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    I love God’s Own Junkyard but am slightly concerned that you missed the ‘real’ Walthamstow Village just around the corner i.e. St Mary’s Church and its amazing graveyard , the Monoux Almshouses, the 15thC Ancient House and the former Vestry House (now a local history museum). Orford Road has only been ‘villagy’ i.e. trendy in the last ten years.

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      March 30, 2017 / 6:13 am

      I was sure we’d missed a big part of the village! Sadly we got there a bit late in the afternoon to explore thoroughly 🙁 Thank you for sharing, I’ll have to make it the focus of my next visit!

  2. April 15, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    Oooh goodness, after Joanna’s comment I see that I too definitely need to return – but I would be tempted to anyway after also having thoroughly enjoyed God’s Own and the WM Gallery. We had tea and scones in the gallery cafe and the scones were delectable 🙂

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      April 15, 2017 / 6:23 pm

      Agree, surely it’s just reason to get up a little earlier! Will definitely remember the scones, hopefully you can eat them out in the lovely garden during summer!