Leyton Midland: a mini travel guide for locals

Explore the new Gravity Well Taproom, a new fishmongers, new artworks and all manner of interesting cafes, stores and openings

Gravity Well
The other day, when passing the new Gravity Well taproom, tucked in the arches underneath Leyton Midland Overground, it occurred to us that one little corner of E10 is definitely on the up – despite Covid and all its accompanying doom and gloom.

And we’re pleased about this because, even before its recent surge, we’ve enjoyed a mooch over to coffee supremos Perky Blenders and This is Host, when they have their occasional pop-ups.

John Dory
Opening soon: John Dory. Photo: SE

Head to the busy junction this weekend and there’s lots going on. You could do worse than start outside the station itself and admire the latest mosaic artwork roundel from Maud Milton, who’s busy adding some intricate craft to the signage of Overground stops on the Gospel Oak-to-Barking line (read her story here).

Each one is made with the support of hundreds of locals and packed with details of local relevance: history, place names, people and cultural events.

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Green East
Plant goals: Green East. Photo: SE

Now cross over to the opposite stretch, whose revamped parade is home to a couple of East London gems. Stylish houseplant store Green East has been open a while, its cute pots of elegant foliage seductively desirable (we hit it bigtime last Xmas for presents), especially if you have deep pockets. But if not, the interior is just so calming, too.

A couple of doors down is Turkish cafe Hanedan (which means ‘dynasty’), whose smiley chef-owner cooks in the window, and serves up utterly authentic flatbreads. Our spinach and feta was a (piping hot) snip at £3. Read more and see a #foodporn pic in our main feature on Hanedan here.

Now pop next door to Relax for a post-prandial espresso (or, indeed, something stronger, as it’s licensed). And, right at the northern end of the parade, a unit is currently being refurbished as John Dory, rumoured to be a new tapas-style seafood restaurant. Complete with stripy awning. Oh my.

Making flatbreads at Hanedan. Photo: SE

Back by the Overground station itself we’ve been known to enjoy the shish skewers with salad, hummus and flatbreads at the tiny window counter at under-the-arches Ottoman Kitchen.

And if you’re as pescatarian-leaning as us, you’ll thrill to discover the new fish shop on the block, just past Perky Blenders, a good alternative to Five Star in Leytonstone for those that live somewhere between the two. A&M Seafood’s counter glistens with everything from mussels to mullet, as well as fresh tuna, swordfish and a heck of a lot more. It’s a hell of a lot more inspiring than the nearest Sainsbury’s, for sure.

Abbott's Park
Underrated: Abbott’s Park this week. Photo: SE

Continue up into Abbott’s Park and you’ll observe  work-in-progress by the Making Places initiative to make Waltham Forest easier on the eye. As well as the forthcoming mural under the bridge by Leyton Midland their latest project is in one of Leyton’s more underrated green spaces. Currently fenced off, the newly landscaped area is now taking shape.

Designed by east London mob The Decorators, there’ll be mounds and hillocks and all manner of improved biodiversity, as well as bringing new life to the natural play area for kids.

A&M Seafood, Perky Blenders. Photo: SE

After all that? Why, you’ll need a pint, so hit shiny new taproom Gravity Well under the arches on Midland Road: it’s a cute new craft beer bar with both inside and outdoor tables as well as mezzanine seating, some of east London’s best IPAs – and oh-so-urban views.

A tip: it’s so small inside that it was already full by 6.30pm on a drizzly Wednesday – and there’s no booking, so get there early and take your chances.

To soak up the hard-hitting 6% ABV Galaxies Apart IPA – our fave, although weaker craft beers are available – you can now order in from Walthamstow’s acclaimed Spice Box (which, yep, we reviewed here).

From there?  Well, we’re pretty sure it’s a short, tipsy stroll back to wherever you lay your hat.

Know anywhere else good in and around Leyton Midland Overground? Let us know on Twitter/FB @leytonstoner and on Insta @londonbelongs, or email: info@leytonstoner.london

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