East London Food & Culture

Clam Store London Leyton

October: new openings, happenings, thoughts and collabs

Black History Month is here. Plus pop-ups, dim sum, top coffee and more autumnal stuff

Black History Month in Waltham Forest

The borough has a dozen or so events to mark Black History Month, including Freedom walks led by Peter Ashan in Leyton and Leytonstone, and an exhibition to celebrate trailblazing Black women from Waltham Forest. Another highlight is Age UK’s Unheard Stories exhibition profiling the lives of 15 Black elders living in Waltham Forest to mark 75 years since Windrush. These are the stories of Black people who came to Britain in the 1960s and 1970s from the Caribbean and other countries of the former British empire. 23rd October to October 31st, free, Fellowship Square E17, more info on BHM here

Black history month
Unheard Stories, Black History Month. Photo: own

Clam, um, opens up

Loved (and miss) Francis Road staple Venner? Yep, us too. Well, the exciting news is that Clam opens tonight as part of Francis Road Lates (main pic, above). A new retail venture in Karina Banks’ store and studio from Venner co-founder Lucie Beeston, expect a mix of gifts, homewares, lifestyle and skincare, consciously curated to sit alongside Karina’s bespoke jewellery pieces and artworks. “Come and get Clammy with me,” says Lucie, no doubt with a cheeky grin. Follow @clam.store.london, @karinabankslondon, 157 Francs Road E10

Deya Yardarm
Deya at Yardarm: essential. Photo: Stephen Emms

Yardarm vs Deya

Uncharted Waters is the mysterious name Yardarm have given to their new collab with top UK brewery Deya (craft beer fans will know and love the classic Steady Rolling Man IPA). “For the recipe we went for a dialled-down take on one of our all time favourite DIPA’s, Sound Machine Groove”, says Yardarm’s Dan. “We hope you like drinking it as much as we loved making it (or rather, watching head brewer Gareth make it).” It launches Oct 16th, with a limited run of commemorative t-shirts, 10% of sales of which will be donated to the local food bank. Follow @yardarm_london

Hermanos brings E11 top coffee

We were pleased to see superior East London beans merchants Hermanos now have a cafe (with adjoining pocket park) at Fitness Hub East London on the High Road. This is the perfect spot on the lengthy high road to refuel – and the workout space is pretty cool too (read our guide to it here). “I was looking for a coffee brand that resonated with me and the gym,” says owner George. “Being Colombian I was particularly keen to have Colombian Coffee served. After exploring and visiting many different local and national roasters I came across Hermanos: it’s taken two-and-a-half years to make it happen – and now finally we’re serving East London’s finest.” Yay. 771 High Road E11, Follow @fitnesshub.eastlondon


Hermanos is at Fitness Hub. Photo: SE

Aquila really is so good

Sure, we’ve been a few times, but no previous visit has equalled the majesty of last Saturday night: melt-in-the-mouth prawn dumplings? Tick. Prawn and chive? Even better. Crab with black pepper dim sum? OMG. And seafood with XO sauce? Best ever. Add a healthy plate of broccoli stir fried with garlic (still too pricey, we think, at £9.80) for some greens. But overall, LOVE. The bill, including £6 corkage and £5 service, was £46.10. 10 Church Lane E11, Follow @aquila.london

Last weekend at Aquila. Photo: SE

Club Mexicana at Gravity Well

You’ll know by now that the East London vegan giants are teaming up with Leyton Midland’s very own Gravity Well taproom from this Saturday (1pm) and thereafter every Friday (5-9pm) and Saturday (1-8pm) to offer plant-based tacos and piled-high nachos – read more in our full interview with the Gravity owners and menu debrief here. Follow @gravitywellbrewing @clubmexicana

Tina We Salute You: home to Drag Race UK. Photo: SE

Drag Race UK at Tina’s. Plus drag at The Birds

Fan of the BBC’s smash-hit show? Head to LGBTQ+-friendly bar Tina We Salute You in East Village every Thursday at 8pm for the rest of the autumn, where, as well as live screenings, there’ll be guest appearances and more from East London’s drag royalty. Also hosting drag on Thursdays is The Birds (although without the Drag Race UK screenings) whose Queenie Karoake comes courtesy of excellently-named Christina Draguilera. Follow @tinawesaluteyoue20 and @thebirdsleytonstone

Lighthouse Gardens
Lighthouse Gardens. Photo: SE

Lighthouse Community Gardens

The immense architectural changes around Stratford are juxtaposed in this “meanwhile” community space sandwiched between The Gantry hotel and Westfield. It’s surprisingly relaxing, with ramshackle benches and seating, and an impressive crop of tomatoes. There’s even, rather surreally, a boat (pictured above). It’s open 9am -sundown, all year round.


…speaking of Stratford’s mega changes, don’t miss our separate feature this week – a peek inside the new London College Of Fashion’s five new galleries on East Bank. A highlight is the recreation of a Leytonstone living room. Read it here.

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