East London Food & Culture

Out Of The Woods

Out Of The Woods cafe opens in Upper Leytonstone

Finally, a place to grab a decent coffee or brunch near Hollow Ponds

In the broad, leafy streets of Upper Leytonstone, after two decades lying empty, a stylish new cafe has landed in a former butcher’s.

Called Out Of The Woods, it’s somewhere – at last – to grab a coffee after a blustery circuit or two of Hollow Ponds (read the history of those lakes here).

Out Of The Woods E11
Stylish: Out Of The Woods E11. Photos Stephen Emms
The interior, conceived by local multi-disciplinary design Leytonstone studio Horse, manages to combine a familiar Francis Road-style aesthetic with “unearthed original tiling from its days as a butcher,” says the studio’s creative partner Sarah Pigeon, as well as striking typography and fresh illustrations.

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Deli products line one wall (hello, Torres), a mirror along the other to reflect the light.

Out Of The Woods E11.  Photos Stephen Emms
Out Of The Woods E11. Photos Stephen Emms
There’s a pretty comprehensive list of brunch options, from omelettes and smashed avo on toast to the “Belly Full” for big breakfasters, plus a plant-based fry, and skillets of menemen and halloumi hash (prices are around £7-13).

Yesterday, my shakshuka was a pleasing pile of tender peppers, onions and spicy tomato sauce crowned with two soft-yolked fried eggs and sourdough. There are also salads and sarnies, while smooth espresso comes from respected East London bean merchants AllPress.

Out Of The Woods E11.  Photos Stephen Emms
Shakshuka. Out Of The Woods E11. Photos Stephen Emms
“We’re very excited about the entire project,” says owner Sibel Gumus, with a smile. “We hope it will be an opportunity for the local community to gather together. The premises was vacant for around 15-20 years and was previously a butcher and sandwich bar: we’ve fully transformed what was a derelict shop.”

While open daytime only initially (9-5pm), the plan is for the cafe eventually to serve in the evenings, too. Into the woods, it is then.

Donate just £2 to Leytonstoner

Feature updated June 6th. Follow @outofthewoods_colworth, open daily at 83 Colworth Road, E11

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