Walthamstow market has more than 450 stalls of fresh fruit and veg, mobile phone paraphernalia, bootleg DVDs, a rather grim shopping centre called The Mall, an equally imposing but conveniently located Sainsbury’s and, best of all, London’s oldest surviving pie-and-mash business, L Manze. The newly opened Orford Saloon (No 32, 020 8503 6542) is also worth a mention for its tapas.
Smoke-filled ‘proper pubs’ are the order of the day on Orford Road. The Village (No 31, 020 85214398) is pleasant enough, offering real ales like Adnams, Greene King IPA, Directors, Old Hooky and solid pub grub like chicken casseroles and roast dinner. However, the Nag’s Head (No 9, 020 8520 9709) is easily the most picturesque pub in the village, with its country house feel, live jazz band on a Sunday and atmosphere of genteel bonhomie. For more raucous entertainment the Nag’s Head’s sister pub, the Castle (15 Grosvenor Rise East, 020 8520 1175), features the same exuberant guv’nor and a shambolic but enthusiastic live band murdering Stevie Wonder songs on a Friday night.
Housing in the village is perhaps some of the best value to be found in London if you’re not too fussed about having a fashionable address. At the top end of the scale we’re talking five-bedroom Victorian terraces for £400,000-£500,000. The prettiest example available on the market is a five-bedroom double-fronted end terrace, with basement, two bathrooms, original Victorian features, garage and three reception rooms on Folkstone Road for £499,995. The best starter flat on the market is a two-bedroom flat on Grosvenor Park Road with fully fitted kitchen, two double bedrooms and a 100-foot shared garden going for £200,000. Brilliant for first-time buyers willing to share a mortgage.
Estate agentsCentral Estate Agents 179 Hoe St, E17 (0845 231 7576/www.central-estates.co.uk). Bairstow Eves 171-173 Hoe St, E17 (020 8520 8966/www.bairstoweves.co.uk). Churchill lettings 141 Hoe St, E17 (020 8503 6060/www.churchill-lettings.co.uk). Your Move Sterling & Co 232 Hoe St, E17 (020 8520 3077/ www.your-move.co.uk). Haart Ltd 143-145 Hoe St, E17 (020 8539 1194/www.haart.co.uk).
TransportWalthamstow is in Zone 3, with excellent tube links to King’s Cross and Oxford Circus on the Victoria Line. Numerous buses are available into the City and central London from Walthamstow Central bus station. Liverpool Street station is also just 15 minutes away by rail.