Being a newbie to Walthamstow, I’m finding by following the E17 Art Trail it’s becoming more familiar. However, no matter how much you think you know your own back yard, a walking tour will always provide you with a new nugget of information or alert you to an alleyway you never saw before. That certainly seemed to be the case for my fellow walking tour-ees. As locals, they also exclaimed they had never ventured down different pathways to discover new things about their neighbourhood.
I joined one of Joanna’s walking tours as it had a foodie (and drink) theme. Setting off from the busy one mile walk Walthamstow market, we learned that it used to be open until late into the night and only World War II stopped this. Therefore, without WW2, you might have been buying your broad beans at well past bed time.
Joanna, a fully trained tour guide, faithfully led us through the streets of Walthamstow, expertly merging snippets about Walthamstow’s colourful history with E17 Art Trail references. She not only pointed out the history behind The Chequers and its links to Meux’s brewery, but also the fair going on inside that day (blog post on it here: http://e17arttrail.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/local-talent-at-chequers-art-fair.html)
We were led through the market, alongside pubs with a past and down streets where residents had made their own blue plaques with the history of their homes. We were guided to St Barnabas Church, a venue this year hosting several exhibits actively curated by Father Steven Saxby (http://www.saintbarnabaswalthamstow.co.uk/). I took the opportunity to get immersed, joining others in wearing Kirsten Schmidt’s popular feathered jacket. Here’s a post with more people enjoying the artwork: http://e17arttrail.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/local-artists-try-out-kirsten-schmidts.html.
|St Barnabas inspired artwork|
As we entered the Village, we were led through Penny Fielding’s shop, past all of Aura Rosa’s scrumptious looking cakes; as lunchtime approached and our tummies yearned, and into the tucked away treasure of Walthamstow Wine (http://www.walthamstowwine.co.uk/).
Here we were treated to a pre-lunch triple tipple of white, rose and red wines. They have plans to source British wine and meanwhile they stock Wild Cards Brewery beer (http://www.wildcardbrewery.co.uk/), and local beef jerky from Billy Franks (www.billyfranks.co.uk).
Interest amongst the party rose when we learned Walthamstow Wine deliver orders to your doorstep in E17.
Emerging into the sunshine once more, we were taken up through the village passing places I was advised I must visit later: Eat 17 (http://eat17.co.uk/), Wood Street Coffee (http://www.woodstcoffee.co.uk/) and the 2010 UK best Spar to name a few!
We also passed through the Breaking Bard exhibition en route and spied Silvana’s great works making her house definitely stand out!
|The home of Cocomero supper club|
|Laughing stock, Oxo... geddit?|
Ending our tour in the Vestry area which was basking in the summer sunshine, we split ways: some to discover Wild Card Brewery and some to turn back to Beulah Road Market. I spotted an ice cream van in the local school fete. Feeling all summery, I dashed off to get a refreshing ice lolly prior to launching myself back into the foodie hub of Walthamstow Village… more on that to come!
Joanna runs a series of walks around London through her website: http://westminsterwalking.blogspot.co.uk/