5 Things We Did This Week

From top coffee to local craft beer, cheap vegan food to a packed Sunday lunch, our bitesize new column

We do get around a bit in the neighbourhood, both working and living in the area. And yet we don’t often have enough time to write up everything in slavish detail. So here’s an occasional – perhaps weekly – round-up of ideas, should you need a just a whiff of inspo this weekend. You’re welcome.

Sunday lunch at Marmelo
Firstly, we hadn’t eaten at Francis Road’s most illustrious cafe for at least six months – and so, last weekend, decided a roast was on the cards. With nearby Yardarm closed for their appearance on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, we only just managed to bag the last couple of seats at the counter overlooking the open kitchen. And boy, were the chefs busy – but our brisket was melt-in-the-mouth, the greens buttery and the roasties crisp-yet-fluffy. Full marks. 169 Francis Rd, E10

View from the counter: Marmelo Kitchen. Photo: Stephen Emms

Local IPA at Filly Brook
A little too eager, we stumbled in just after midday (see main pic, above) to an almost empty white room at E11’s hotly tipped new opening. Happily its sunny sharing tables soon filled up with a typical east London crowd of beer-sipping young parents, broadsheet-wielding hipsters and curious locals. Full marks here, too, for a vinyl-only turntable sound system that managed to be crisply audible but not in-yer-face. Top choons as well. To drink? Just beers, soft drinks and wines at the mo (coffee will follow soon, apparently) but try the excellent Leyton brewery Gravity Well on tap. 392 Grove Green Rd E11

Bargains at The Birds
If you haven’t swung by Leytonstone’s most eclectically furnished dive bar on a Thursday evening, we say: why not? Every week there’s always a very decent craft beer – such as Five Points’ Jupa – on at just £3 a pint. And plant-based bargain hunters will also thrill at being able to wangle 50% off vegan items on the menu Mon-Wed. Woop. 692 High Rd Leytonstone E11

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Make haste for baked goods. Photo: SE

Daily bread from Dolce
This understated newish bakery is worth supporting if you live remotely near Leytonstone High Road (or anywhere else in the area, for that matter). A tasty loaf of quality sourdough costs £3 and they bake everything in the kitchen behind the slender-roomed cafe: you can even peer in through the glass to watch, if you don’t believe it. Smooth espresso, impressive patisserie and friendly staff, too. 735 High Road Leytonstone E11

Long black at Strange Brew
Although we prefer to pore over our laptops at Deeney’s or Perky Blenders during the working week, Francis Road’s Strange Brew is our number one destination for coffee and device-free human interaction at weekends. Oh, and *those* salted caramel brownies – and everything else on the too-tempting counter, for that matter – are divine. But you know that already, right? Right. 179 Francis Rd, E10

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What did you get up to this week? Email info@leytonstoner.london
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