Anyone for some welcome positive news? Well, there are a surprising number of pretty darn exciting changes to the watering holes along E10’s sprawling main thoroughfare.
First up, a £250,000 refurbishment will give defunct Leyton High Road boozer Pepper’s Ghost a much needed reboot. The investment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and local resident Simon Welch (who co-runs two popular pubs in Upper Clapton – The Royal Sovereign and The Anchor & Hope) will transform it into, they say in their press release, “a top notch traditional local serving freshly prepared food with a brand new 70-seater rear garden”. Authentic Italian cuisine – using fresh pasta made from scratch at the pub – will be a speciality, apparently.
Marking its change of direction, the pub – which dates back to the 19th century – will revert to its much more convincing original name of The Prince of Wales (see main pic, above). It opens late March and, in case you’ve forgotten, currently looks like this:
Meanwhile, nearby landmark the William The Fourth – another boozer we don’t visit as often as we should – have launched their new kitchen under chef Santolo Catania: expect elevated pub standards such as fish and chips, sausages and mash and vegan burgers. There’s also a rib-eye for £16 which could well be the area’s best meaty bargain. Follow @williamthefourthpub
Walk back down towards Leyton Midland and you’ll find new plant-based pop-up Balarm running Fridays (5-9pm) and Saturdays (2-8pm) at the lovely Gravity Well Taproom. Vegan Sicilian comfort food, they’re calling it – which sounds highly intriguing – so expect arancini, poke, lasagna and tortilla sarnies – a nice antidote to the neighbouring (and highly carnivorous) Burnt Smokehouse. Follow @balarm_ldn, @gravitywellbrewing
More tasty scran on Leyton High Road – including delicious sounding lamprais – can be found at Sri Lankan pop-up Kamu at the Coach And Horses. Is it any good? We can’t say, but do let us know on social media – and we promise to visit soon (once we’ve recovered from our Tax bill). Better still, a new menu launches on 24th Feb with 20% off. Follow @kamu.ldn, @thecoachleyton
Finally, the much anticipated Leyton Engineer still doesn’t have a launch date in the building formerly known as the Leyton Technical. But things are, we hope, moving in the right direction: they’re just still waiting on the “formal planning sign-off,” they say. “But it’s taking much longer than we hoped.” Looks like it’ll be trading by summer, anyway. Follow @theleytonengineer