5 Things We Did This Week

From good eggs to secret spots and tasty takeouts, our bitesize new column returns with a bunch of local tips

OMG. Photo: SE

1. We drooled over some oeufs
It’s already over two months since the last 5 Things column and my goodness, hasn’t everything changed. Last time it was all about a packed Sunday lunch service at Marmelo. I know, right? Centuries ago. But thankfully the popular Francis Road spot reopened a week or so back for groceries, wine, fruit & veg, BBQ boxes and bread. Besides excellent Gassac rosé and a well-stocked meat fridge, these cracking eggs (which cost £2.60) are a class buy: with a two-star Taste Award, St Ewe are probably the yellowest damn yolks we’ve ever had the good fortune to prick with a fork. Brunch #realness.

Unexpectedly lovely. Photo: SE

2. We explored the Woodland Walk
Like most people, we must have tramped every green space in the area a hundred times since lockdown, from regular faves like stunning Wanstead Park (see main pic, above), to lesser populated corners, not to mention the diverse, thrilling scenery of the Flats, with their maps and myriad trails. We’re also quite partial to a stomp around Leyton’s Jubilee Park – its central tree-lined avenue is especially magnificent – but the more secret Woodland Walk, on its western tip, is a recent discovery. A plaque explains that its past is “chequered” due to its location on the edge of the historic railway sidings, but right now it’s alive with wildflowers and deeply verdant bushes and trees. Tranquil.

3. We pondered an E11 name-change
Mediterranean grocer TFC had a kind of functionality to it as a store, all piled high and no-frills. Its new moniker (see the logo and exterior pic here) is rather different, and perhaps more ambitious: The Continental Food Exchange. Now occupying the whole of Panther House, it’s unutterably vast, although still not without queues, of course.

Onlookers and crowds line the Lea’s banks. Photo: SE

4. We gawped at Leyton’s Riviera
The banks of the River Lea, on the edge of Leyton Marsh have – as eagle-eyed dog walkers will know – clear signs forbidding swimming, with a list of possible diseases on offer should you risk plopping yourself in. And yet this seemingly never deters water-loving hedonists from lining the banks on a warm day and risking a heady bout of Leptospirosis (and perhaps Covid-19 too, considering how socially un-distanced it was on Tuesday). For contrast see Hollow Pond yesterday on our Instagram feed (@londonbelongs), with its genteel rowing boats and calm picnickers.

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Just landed at The Birds. Photo: Instagram

5. We compiled our Delivery Wish List
Finally, we’re super excited by the new foodie (delivery/collection only obvs) arrivals springing up via Instagram. We’ve been ogling the #burgerporn at the Leytonstone Tavern, the reinstated pizzas at The Garden at The Northcote and seafood delivery maestros London Shell Co, who cover all postcodes within the M25 (see our review on sister title Gasholder here). But the two at the top of our local list are Clapton’s Thai joint, Krapow, currently operating a pop-up kitchen at The Birds, and Friday-only Vietnamese streetfood dons Hanoi Kitchen, who’ve previously run stalls at Kerb King’s Cross and Broadway Market, and are now based near Leyton Midland Overground. Follow @krapowLDN and @hanoikitchen for more info.

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