Hoe Street Central is Waltham Forest Council’s pop-up shop just opposite the controversial former cinema building. And after a pit stop there on Saturday, we hope its current occupants, Bestowed Kitchen, are here to stay: after a two-week trial run in March, the good news is they’re now booked each weekend until Saturday 23rd May.
“As Walthamstow residents,” says Jeremy, one half of the owner-couple, “we felt there was a desire for more quality food businesses in the area, which prompted us to launch head first into this fantastic community last year. Since then we have loved being part of the burgeoning food and drink scene here. E17 is an area which very much encourages, supports and thrives on local businesses, and we are proud to be part of it.”
The space is furnished with upcycled furniture from local designer Claire Loescher: we really lusted after her stylish stool (and a couple of the chairs). Meanwhile local illustrators Linda Hughes and Andrew Baker are exhibiting their art. Everything is available to buy and collect at the end of the pop-up.
Walk through the low-key entrance and gawp at a counter piled high with fresh and gourmet salads (quite posh things like pearl barley, balsamic red onions, roasted pumpkin or hazelnuts, lemon whipped feta with parsley), plus mains like harissa chicken. And then there are the sweet-tooth delights: a salted caramel and pear cake nearly grabbed us, for example. Until we saw you-know-what.
But while the coffee, a no-choice filter only from acclaimed roastery and restaurant Caravan, was certainly good enough, but not especially memorable, the brownie – an afterthought, ordered just afterwards – was next-level excellence.
Gooey, dark, chocolatey, moreish and with a pleasant hint of Earl Grey – yes, the citrus flavour really adds something – this was one to return for. We might even go so far as to say it was one of the best we’ve ever had. Cripes.
Dog-owners will be pleased that the place is canine-friendly too, as long as your pooch can sit quietly under the table. Like our Jack Russell did. Ahem.