After the success of my first 'Lost In' post last month, I suddenly felt a strong pang of guilt. There I was talking about places to walk to from my home, when I hadn't even let you guys know of the glorious places right on my own doorstep. I've long been a lover of Leyton and I'll forever advocate the creative businesses popping up around the area - especially the ones that involve delicious food!
Situated just a stones throw away from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Leyton has easy access to the likes of East village, Hackney Wick and Walthamstow, making it the perfect place to rent on a slightly cheaper budget. It's a busy beehive of people who've lived in the area all their lives, young families and of course more recently and abundance of creatives who've been pushed out of the likes of Peckham and Hackney.
As with the rest of London, I adore the multitude of cultures. When you walk along the high street, there are shops from literally every part of the world and I can guarantee you'll find any strange ingredient you're on the hunt for within five minutes. Not to mention the fact that during Spring, there's even a food market on every Saturday in one of my favourite relaxing spots, Coronation Gardens. Yes, we're into food culture here in the East.
The high road stretches down forever, leading you up to Walthamstow, with some pretty lovely architectural sites and some even more wonderful local shops down some of the back streets such as Francis Road. I'd mention every single spot if I could, but for now, here are a few that stole my heart from the get go and will ensure Leyton never leaves my radar. All photography by my amazing pal Natasha Nuttall of Graphique Fantastique.
Grab a Flat White at Deeney's
Deeney's is the ultimate coffee destination with its laid back atmosphere, local artist adorned walls and knitted cacti centrepieces. Not the mention the Allpress roasted coffee which goes down a treat with the perfect pastel de natas or a truly scrumptious slice of avocado bread. A favourite for freelancers and the local mums of the area, it's a great place to relax and soak in the communal Leyton vibe. My favourite place to chill in here, has to be the window seat. I'm an observant person and watching the characters of Leyton walk by is sometimes the perfect source of inspiration during a busy work day. And if you're super hungry? The Lady Macbeth toastie here is absolutely divine. It's a vegetarian haggis concoction and I've not met a person who doesn't like it.
Seek colour EVERYWHERE
Call it the Notting Hill of the East, if you so wish, for Leyton brings strong colour game in pastel hues and patterned garage doors. It's a carnival of colour and somewhat surprising to say the least. I've of course managed to scope out some of the perfect backdrop walls on my adventures from Oliver Road's yellow house through to the East Village underpass with its crazy psychedelic patterns. Hit me up if you ever need a colourful tour that stretches further than the main lanes of Leyton.
Chow Down with We Serve Humans at The Leyton Star.
I've never found a burger as good as the Mac the Ripper by We Serve Humans and I don't think I ever will. As a vegetarian it's hard to satisfy that fast food craving but this, this just hits the nail on the head. Frickles, truffle chips and beer sauce make the perfect side dishes and topped off with the amazing hospitality of the Leyton Star staff, every visit is truly a treat. I wouldn't be a design blogger if I didn't mention the cosy yet whimsical interior, with wallpaper by Timorous Beasties adorning the walls and finishing touches by Hackney-based artist Lady Ray. Not to mention the sky-high gold palm tress glimmering in the wonderfully decked out garden.
If you're a local to any of the Electric Star pubs, you'll know that you can grab a special discount card, offering you special discounts and free things at any one of their locations - it's a bloomin' bargain!
Get wavy at the Northcote
While Leyton has an abundance of lovely pubs, the Northcote is my true local (read: it's thirty seconds from my door) and it will always be a special little place where I've also made some rather special friends. With a rotating roster of food from the likes of MUGA pizza, Grove Green Gourmet and Taco Dave, every night at the Nortcote is different and you could be dancing away to vinyl or singing along to drag queens - yes, it's a rather brilliant place. Come Summer, the brightly coloured tables and benches are the perfect spot for a gin and tonic and of course, the above mural by Wood Street Walls is certainly worth a look at, just watch out for the vintage bathtub...
Other places to note:
While I could certainly go on for considerably longer, I won't. Explore the area for yourself and discover other hidden gems. For your reference there are some other wonderful places to go down below. Let me know what you think!
The Leyton Technical // Great pop-up pub turned permanent, with a great menu and regular DJ nights
Marmelo Kitchen // Incredible food from this teeny little restaurant. Your meal is likely to consist of what's fresh and in the fridge!
Yardarm // A local green grocers with a difference. Wine and cheese boards are available in the back while you can fill up your own wine bottle for pretty cheap.
Pepper's Ghost // Another great pub a little further into Leyton with craft beer, good food and a monthly film night.