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Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

The ‘Beyond the Big Smoke’ series finally continues and we’re heading east this time. It’s where I look further afield than Central London for places to eat, drink and hang out. Explore further and you’ll find there is more to London than the places you see on the Monopoly board.  

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village
Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village


This time I take you to Walthamstow – now seen by many as a haven at the end of the Victoria Line.

Sandwiched between Epping Forest and the Lea Valley some parts of Walthamstow resemble a leafy wonderland. The number of hipster joints popping up dovetails with a steady influx of people ousted from the pricier nearby neighbourhoods of Dalston and Stoke Newington.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village
Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

About a ten minute walk from the tube station you’ll find yourself in the much sought after Walthamstow village. At every turn you’re spoilt with Elizabethan architecture, pubs, artisan produce, restaurants, interior shops and the poshest Spar on the planet (it has its own pizzeria inside). Trust me, Waitrose would be seriously jealous.

Places to eat in Walthamstow

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

Eat 17 is a smart modern restaurant and makes some of its own produce on site like the bread and award-winning bacon jam. Before my grand tour began we started on the right note with a delicious brunch. The veggie breakfast came with halloumi, avocado, slow cooked onions, fried eggs, potato hash, roast tomato, chestnut mushrooms and house beans.

It’s also famous for its buttermilk fried chicken which comes on a waffle along with egg, bacon, avocado and hot sauce. There are also the creamiest scrambled eggs with organic smoked salmon and chives on sourdough bread. All the meat comes from the East London Sausage Company just across the road and wherever possible fruit and veg is sourced from local allotments.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

Froth & Rind is a café painted in the perfect shade of blue serving the sexy combo of erm cheese and craft beers. They sell a huge selection of cheese from the upmarket cheesemonger East London Cheese Board. The sweet treats on offer and coffee are a must try too apparently. Having already eaten, I was gutted to have missed out on the meanest cheese toasties in town. Next time!

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

If on the other hand you’re on the hunt for a little bit of Spain in Walthamstow look no further than Orford Saloon. A popular, cosy little Spanish tapas bar serving up authentic dishes all day long.

Places to drink

About a 10 minute stroll away behind the village, is the Ravenswood Industrial Estate. A place that’s been on my radar for so long. Yes! An industrial estate. Believe it or not it’s the coolest place to drink in the area. It looks exactly as it sounds a grey tarmaced area filled with big warehouse like structures, not pretty, but full of joy if you look beyond the exterior.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

The Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace had my name written all over it. This no-frills gin joint based within the Mother’s Ruin distillery (once a WW1 munitions factory), serves the most delicious cocktails.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

Also their award-winning fruit liqueurs and cocktail bitters are made from locally grown and foraged ingredients. We supped on a rhubarb and ginger, raspberry and pineapple cocktail and the signature damson gin.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

Right opposite is an artisan micro brewery and bar called The Wild Card. It produces 4,000 litres of craft beers a week and supplies and sells kegs and bottled beer up and down the country. At the weekends brewery closes and opens its bar to the public. There are food pop ups available on site too, to help soak up all the alcoholic refreshments – so fear not.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

Boozy delights aside you can also head to the Las Vegas of London – God’s Own Junkyard.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

This neon paradise within a massive warehouse is bursting at the seams with new and salvaged retro neon signage, glittering disco balls, religious iconography and film props. Even when nature calls  you have to step into a tardis to relieve yourself.

Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village

You can sit and admire the collection from The Rolling Stones café inside, where we treated ourselves to a cuppa from bone china teacups and a rather large slice of chocolate cake.

It’s only open on a weekend, but I urge you all to go and be dazzled by the place.

Things to see in Walthamstow

Outside the Vestry House Museum

The Vestry House Museum can be found in an eighteenth century workhouse built in 1730. It showcases a history of Waltham Forest. You know me and museums, I couldn’t resist a peek.

The small collection includes various artefacts from the Victorian era to the 20th Century. My favourite part is the award-winning garden it’s a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

The green gardens of Vestry House Museum

The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and free to enter.

Side of Walthamstow’s Ancient House

Walthamstow’s Ancient House is reputedly London’s oldest dwelling. I’m talking older than William Shakespeare. Originally built in the reign of Henry VI, they certainly picked the right name for it.

Front of Walthamstow’s Ancient House
Sima walking down the street in alongside Walthamstow’s Ancient House

Now it’s a privately rented property. Imagine staying in a building full of so much history. I wish walls could talk.

I loved wandering around this quaint little pocket of London. I couldn’t stop snapping the beautiful cottages and colourful terraces on my walkabout. Plus there’s enough to keep your tastebuds tingling on your visit. Next time you fancy stepping away from Central London make a date with the eden of the east and check out Walthamstow village, you won’t be disappointed.


My first post in the series was on Wimbledon village, which you can read here.


Pin photograph of Eat 17 with text 'Beyond the Big Smoke: things to do in Walthamstow Village'


  • MakeUp Fun 29th August 2017 at 4:22 pm

    It looks like a very pretty place, a typical british corner. I have been to London but I wish I could have had the possibility to discover smaller places as well!

  • Lily 29th August 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Your post makes me miss London! The London I fell in love with was exactly like Walthamstow Village! It’s surprising to find quiet corners like this one in London, one of the busiest, more energetic places in the entire world. Perks of being an adventurer I guess ;D

  • Jill Conyers 29th August 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Looks like a lovely village to visit. London is on my travel bucket list so hopefully I will get to visit in person.

  • binny 30th August 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I am loving these series!! Walthamstow is where one of my friends used to live!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 4th September 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Binny! I’m enjoying writing them x

  • Elena 31st August 2017 at 10:53 am

    I have been exploring London for a whole year but I never come across Walthamstow, gosh there are still so many places that I have to visit.

  • OhMySkin 31st August 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I know its bad but whenever i think of Walthamstow I instantly get images of white puffer jackets and bad french crops in a house of love hahahaha! Your post has certainly helped to dispel that imagery from my mind, looks lovely there. Not been over that way in years so really should pay it a visit soon.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 4th September 2017 at 2:12 pm

      HAHA! Me too funnily enough! Some childhood memories can never be wiped. Apart from that it really is worth a visit.

  • Jazmin Williams 3rd September 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Wow, I love the photos – Walthamstow looks lovely. I love how pretty Mother’s Ruin is – I’d love to go there.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 4th September 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks so much Jazmin. Great cocktails at Mother’s Ruin.

  • Eppie 8th September 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve heard of God’s Own Junkyard but didn’t know there was all this to see too!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 12th September 2017 at 10:04 am

      Eppie well worth a weekend jaunt!

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More


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