Forest Gate: 3 local highlights

With Giovanna’s wine bar opening in E7, we also revisit Tracks and the Forest Tavern

Tracks

As we said last week, we are especially partial to a stroll over the Flats at this time of year, skirting Jubilee Lake and continuing up to where the playing fields adjoin Capel Road. It’s then a short hop down Cranmer Road to the stretch of railway arches that’s home to Tromso (read more about it here) and Tracks. If you’re hungover, it’s the latter that – at least in our minds – nails it. Their sandwiches might not be cheap – £12 for the Reuben – but they’re huge enough to share, or mix up with another main if there’s two of you. Packed with salt beef, oozing cheese and the crunch of gherkins, it’s a cracker (see main pic); we also devoured moreish buttermilk chicken tenders and smoked paprika chips. Top craft beer too, of course. Follow @TracksE7, Tracks, railway arches, Cranmer Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0JN

Nice facade: Giovanna’s. Photo: SE

Giovanna’s

This new deli and wine bar seems to underline Forest Gate’s uplift due to the Crossrail extension – although who knows when that’s now opening? Anyway, the stylish two-floor corner store is a lovely new addition to the area, although it was rather busy on a Friday afternoon, despite social distancing being followed. It’s obviously an instant magnet to some of the area’s most vocal toddlers, allowing parents to sip wine while the ankle-biters yelp to their heart’s content; downstairs is especially geared up to kiddies. Upstairs, meanwhile, we nursed a blood-red Campari Spritz, while ogling what wines we might order on a subsequent visit. Follow @giosgaff, 58 Woodgrange Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0QH

Forest Gate Tavern. Photo: SE

Forest Tavern

This is an atmospheric pub with classic interior, a cavernous series of rooms and decent garden for you to catch up with mates a la Rule Of Six. The best thing we’ve eaten here in recent memory is a Sunday lunch that was not only well-priced but full of flavour, the lemon-infused roast chicken butter-soft and the hearty pile of veg not, in any way, defeating us. Afterwards, take a nice post-prandial stroll to either the Holly Tree or Winchelsea Road, which deserves its own separate feature (although we have covered many of its impressive outlets previously, such as Wanstead Tap and Arch Rivals). 173 Forest Lane E7

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