We’ve been wandering around Walthamstow again. There’s still a lot to discover in this corner of the world, and it’s getting ever more toddler-friendly as more hipster parents move in from Stoke Newington. Yes, you can now buy overpriced organic veg on Chingford Road. I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good thing.
But it does mean that when a new cafe opens, a smart owner will embrace the childsome culture. I heard about Indulgence, on Hoe St, from the Walthamstow Parents Facebook group, with dozens of people praising the friendliness and the cake. So when Eva and I found ourselves on Hoe St, in desperate need of cake, it seemed like a logical place to go. We were killing a bit of time and I’d planned to take her to the children’s section of the library for some books and a runaround, but she’d inconveniently fallen asleep the moment we got there. So I went for a walk, to the WAM office and she woke up, extremely grumpy. Hence needing the cake.
It really was lovely. There was nothing that was too much effort for the ladies working there. They brought out a tray of freshly baked muffins for StroppyPants to choose from, and offered to warm one up for her. It’s bright, friendly and the tea selection is good. They have an outdoor space, which I think will be lovely in summer, and they do have loos, even though it’s not immediately obvious where they are. The only negative is that they don’t take card at the moment, but there is a free cash machine in the shop opposite, so it’s not too much effort. A few doors down, there’s also a super-cute-looking kids’ clothes store called “Kaboom” – it seems to share a unit with a Chinese medicine shop, so it’s not immediately obvious where it is. Just kinda go round the corner into Greenleaf Rd and you’ll see it. I didn’t go in, in case I spent money I didn’t have, but there were some lovely t-shirts in the window.
That was Wednesday. Yesterday saw us hanging around Wood St for a couple of hours. Yes – me, Nathan and our one child Eva. Very civilised. We wandered through the Indoor Market, with Eva admiring a yellow vintage dress, and were only slightly put off by two gentlemen arguing over whether to have the door open or closed. Then we went in search of a park I’d heard much about but never been to – the Pirate Ship of Bisterne Avenue.
Not that I remembered it was Bisterne Avenue. Or in fact where it was at all. I first led everyone past Tumble in the Jungle to a likely-looking patch of green on Google Maps but that turned out to be a cricket pitch. Next, we walked back towards Forest Rd but that put us on the wrong side of a railway line. A bit of googling led us back to Wood Street station and up Fyfield Rd till we found the mythical park. And it did indeed have a pirate ship in:
It’s all been freshly refurbished, and as well as the pirate ship there were ping pong tables and a play tunnel:
And a zipwire! Sadly our one child was too little to go on it on her own, and holding her on is back-breaking work for a mother. There was also a random hammock:
It was a great little park but we were cold, so it was time for a coffee at Lot 107, another WP-recommended cafe. Again, it was very friendly, warm and serves good coffee. I wish I could report back on the cake but two of the three cakes were eaten by Eva, leaving me and Nathan half a shortbread each. Hardly seems fair, does it? Still, the shortbread was nice.
Lot 107 do an afternoon tea on a Thursday, with kids’ activities so I may take Roo one day (ah yes, I do have more than one child…I’d forgotten). And on that note, we needed to leave the cafe to pick Reuben up from his friend’s party at Tumble in the Jungle. I can’t say I can really report on Tumble, given I only dropped him off and picked him up again…think I’ll save that for another day. There will be more Walthamstow adventures.
And for the rest of you who don’t live in East 17? Don’t worry – there are more exotic trips planned. Starting with Highbury next week. Who knows – we may even venture to West London one day…