Happy New Year! To celebrate, Roo and I decided to visit a brand new cafe. Well, he didn’t decide. He only agreed to go for a bike ride…but I had a secret agenda in mind.
The first iteon the agenda was ditching Eva, who would only slow us down and complain. That was easy enough - we told her she could come with us if she got dressed straight away and, given she’s been conditioned to spend entire days in her onesie over Christmas, this was a No Deal situation.
Next item was a bit of fresh air and exercise. Roo has finally mastered his bike and now is keen to wobble around Chingford whenever the opportunity arises. We’ve been cycling and scooting to swimming after school on a Tuesday -a mile to the Feel Good Centre – and although we perservered into December, the cosmic charts told me that 3:35 on the 19th December was going to be too dark to cycle along a riverside path with no dividing fence and often not much of a dividing bank.
So he’s a bit out of practice and needs to be back up to speed by Tuesday. Hence a little bit of Saturday morning biking along the Ching. And some tree climbing and saying hello to Highams Park’s most famous dog.
But yes, I had a secret agenda. For I knew that there was a lovely new cafe in the development on the site of the old stadium. The stadium frontage has been kept, with the neon restored, and you can see the original scoreboard from the cafe. Any Britpop fan worth their salt will know why this is an exciting thing but I’ll give you a clue – it’s not about your Vorsprung Durch Technik.
The cafe itself is verging on hipster, with rough wooden tables and chalkboards. Something about it being in a huge new corporate development makes me think it’s not *authentically* hipster but hey, I’m not authentically hipster either. They do soya milk anyway, which is all I look for in a coffee shop. And take cards. I had a very passable flat white and Reuben had apple juice and a cookie. He approved.
There’s a little play area at the front, for the under 5s, and an exercise park just across the road. I’m not sure whether these are for general public use or just for the people who live on the development – we’ve been stung that way before – but the exercise park was unlocked so we stopped off there briefly. There was a little play area just off the cycle path too.
So, a nice little addition to the previously caffeine-lite Crooked Billet area. We’d definitely go on a Saturday again and if the kids’ swimming lessons ever move time, we’d probably stop off there mid cycle ride. I worry it’s not going to get the footfall it needs to trade, so pop along if you’re local. Did I mention they had cheesecake? If I didn’t, they did. Yum.