East London Food & Culture

7 local indie stores to support this Xmas

The best shops in Leyton and Leytonstone for books, plants, artworks, wine and interiors


Francis Road’s pocket-sized cultural behemoth punches way above its weight. If its existence ever grew threatened – perish the thought – this literary oasis should be handed a grant by our very own Borough Of Culture. In the meantime, seasonal book-shopping starts and ends here (yep, there’s the handy cafe bit too). And don’t forget the whole street’s Late Night Shopping events on 12th and 19th December. 159 Francis Road E10, more info here


A relatively recent discovery for us – well OK, last summer – this is a shining beacon on the lower bit of Leytonstone High Road towards Maryland. A family-run interiors store, all dangling pendants, feel-appeal earthenware crockery, vintage glassware and enviable soft furnishings – that Berber rug in the window is especially lovely – there’s also a Scandi-bright backroom cafe for Workshop coffee, brunch and pastries. 297 Leytonstone High Road E11, more info here

Lighting up E10: Phlox. Photo: LBTM


As you can see in our main image, the three-weekend yuletide collab with Homework Store is a wonderful array of trees, wreaths, men’s and womenswear – and rather tangible smart stationery that we enjoyed fondling the other night at the boozy launch. It’s basically Thoughtful Gift Central. Open all day every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 22nd December. 658 Leyton High Road E10, more info here

Jo & Kesi

Laura Lea Designs sadly closed this autumn but all is not lost in central E11. This Bushwood baby is tiny enough to make you feel like you’re doing your Xmas shopping, bespoke-style, while close enough to the mighty Northstar to sink a reward-pint after. Feast on unique work by local artists, crafty east London peeps and more. 26a Browning Road E11, more info here



Personally, we’re obsessed with the posh rosemary and geranium handwash, but we’ve also got our eye on the fetching framed Waltham Forest maps (and about a million other things) too. Always busy and always supportive of indie local east London makers, this is one store to give your hard-earned to. It’s also open nearly all week (Mondays excepted). 200 Francis Road E10, more info here

Beautiful interior: Gray. Photo: LBTM

Edie Rose

If you’ve not been down Francis for a while the surprise here is the team has moved to a much bigger unit next door (formerly a Polish deli) and there’s now way more room for the colourful array of seasonal blooms, house plants and more. So go forth: deck the halls with gay abandon. 228 Francis Road E10, more info here

Theatre of Wine

While we’re somewhat hooked on Yardarm’s selection, the other side of the tracks boasts two equally potent options for the oenophile in your life. Newbie Overground arch-dwellers To Be Consumed are well worth a rummage (stay for a drink or snack too) while nearby Theatre of Wine is the daddy for serious connoisseurs in search of a vintage to impress. Or, for that matter, us. 556 Leytonstone High Road E11, more info here

Main image: Homework at Host

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