Saturday, August 17, 2013

Walthamstow Village

Just 17 minutes to the City by train and 21 minutes to the West End on the Victoria line, Walthamstow is the latest in a long line of London suburbs to experience the “Up and Coming” effect.

Walthamstow is located in zone 3 in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Its prime location and excellent transport links have recently spurred an influx of folks from all over North and East London in search of more affordable London living. So, what is Walthamstow like and why are so many people choosing to make it their home?

In short its a pretty fantastic little town. However, many of Walthamstow's greatest assets have been one of London’s best kept secrets for years. This has kept property prices comparatively low and rents affordable. However, the secret is now out!

For those of you less familiar with this leafy enclave of NE London we take a look at the top 10 reasons why Walthamstow has become the latest cool hood to hang your hat. Number  one - Walthamstow Village.

Walthamstow Village

Located on and around Orford Road, Walthamstow Village has been steadily rising in the cool stakes for several years. 15 years ago it was little more than an estate agent invention designed to add a few grand to the conservation area's house prices. Today the Village is bursting at the seams with kitsch cafes, award winning contemporary restaurants, traditional pubs, an independent pop up cinema and not to mention the UK's best convenience store (no really, the Village Stores won first place at the 2012 Convenience Retail Awards).  But, its not just what's there, as much as the overall look and feel of the area, with a 15th Century 'Ancient House', the imposing Church and Cemetery of St Mary's, the Grade II listed Vestry House Museum and more tree lined streets filled with elegant Victorian terraced houses than you can shake a stick at, the Village really feels like an actual rural Village. Plus, at as much as 30% cheaper to rent or buy than say, Stoke Newington, its not hard to see why Walthamstow Village is such an attractive proposition.

Ancient House on the corner of Orford Rd and Church Lane
How to get there?

Turn right out of Walthamstow tube station, cross Hoe Street and take St Mary Road, turn right on East Avenue until you reach Orford Road and you’re there!

Google map of Walthamstow Village.

More on what’s there. Just some of the highlights!

Stylish, contemporary dining with an adjoining bar. Tremendous food and friendly atmosphere. Whether you want to relax in the bar, pop in for a light lunch or enjoy a relaxing dinner date in the restaurant, Eat 17 helps put the awesome in awesomestow. Don't visit the Village without stopping by. If you're thinking of dropping in for dinner, reservations are recommended.

The team behind Eat 17 also attained recent national press for their Bacon Jam innovation. Now available at a Waitrose near you. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Also awesome!

Fantastic little Tapas bar with an excellent selection of Spanish wines and beers to boot. Intimate bar area incorporated for those that just want a glass of something and a conservatory at the rear. Stylish interior and fantastic friendly service.

Smashing selection of fine ales with plenty of outside seating at the front and rear of the pub. Often serving up live Jazz on a Sunday afternoon. Great place to start or end your evening. Check out their website for the latest events.

Relaxing environment and mouth watering menu. The Village Kitchen doesn’t really fit a particular genre of cuisine and the menu changes with the seasons, which keeps things fresh and interesting. Daily specials and the Sunday roast is definitely worth booking ahead for.

Trattoria La Ruga 

Menu changes daily with a wonderful variety to suit all tastes. Recent menu items have included 'chargrilled whole seabream', 'ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce' and 'joint of lamb braised in onion and red wine'. So good!

It should be enough just to say that this local shop won UK convenience store of the year, but the only way to know why is to go check it out. Order a pizza while you're shopping and pick it up when you leave...nice. Operated by the folks at Eat 17 Bar and Restaurant. You may pop in for milk and bread, but we guarantee you'll come out with a whole lot more.

Walthamstow’s independent pop up cinema is based here in the Village, but puts on events all over Waltham Forest. SFL hosts a range of cinematic events for all ages, often including food and drink along with the movies. Check out their website for all the latest details.

What else?

The Queens Head - traditional pub, live music most weekends

The Village - hearty pub menu, pleasant beer garden.

East London Sausage Company - famous for their East London sausages plus free range meats of all varieties.

The Village Bakery - fresh baked breads, sandwiches, sweet treats and coffee.

Walthamstow Osteopathy and Health Centre - self described we think.

Petals in Bloom - the Village florist.

Penny Fielding Gallery and Interiors - a central part of the E17 Art Trail, with a lovely gallery and shop full of art, crafts and vintage wares. See Art is everywhere in E17 for more!

The village vibe that this part of Walthamstow has created is just one of the many reasons why the Stow is up and coming. To be honest, Walthamstow Village doesn't really have any further to come up to. If you're thinking about checking out Walthamstow, don't miss the Village. 

Well, that's number one taken care of. Next week we turn to number two in the top 10 list of reasons why Walthamstow is awesomestow when we take a walk down Wood Street.

A complete Walthamstow area guide.


  1. I love Walthamstow, especially Lloyd Park and the William Morris Gallery. The Village is great and so too is Wood Street. Its a hard question to answer - what is Walthamstow like? Good job so far!

  2. Thanks. We're doing it as a 10 part series just because you can't sum up all of what Walthamstow is like in one go.

  3. I couldn't believe it when I first went into the village shop---it's a wee bit different to what I'm used to and that's coming from Cambridge which has been gentrified already for about a thousand years! Wonderful place. Looking forward to seeing your future articles!

  4. Many thanks for the mention. Orford Road looked very different 15 years ago when I moved here. Liked Walthamstow then and still like it now.

    1. I agree Nick, the Village is transformed from 15 yrs ago, but as you say it was still pretty lovely back then too. Thanks for the comment :-)