An insider's guide to Forest Gate

Seven of the best things to do in the neighbourhood, picked by a cool local

Photograph: Paul Lawrenson / Alamy Stock Photo
Photograph: Paul Lawrenson / Alamy Stock Photo

Joe Woodhouse is a chef, photographer, author and Forest Gate local. He tells us his favourite spots in the area – from zero-packaging stores to cafes, delis and a great farmers market.

1. Giovanna’s Deli & Wine

‘We go here to stock up on great cheeses and also really good Italian wine. My mum goes to buy pesto and pasta and things like that too. They also do pizzas.’ 58 Woodgrange Rd, E7 0QH.

2. Cups & Jars

‘We shop at this zero-packaging shop a lot. You just take along your containers and fill them up. We get everything for the household and bulk stuff there. They also have wines, beers, and jarred and tinned food. It’s also a coffee shop so you can have lunch in there too.’ 108 Woodgrange Rd, E7 0EW.

3. Ramble Cafe E7

‘We go to this café a lot throughout the week and at the weekends to get cakes. They do really good-quality food and they have really good coffee. It’s great for lunches.’ Arch 432, Avenue Rd, E7 0LB.

4. The Holly Tree

They did this pub up really nicely a couple of years ago, restored it in a really thoughtful way. They do good food and have a good selection of beers: three or four cask options, which is really nice, and cider on tap. They’ve got a miniature railway that goes round the garden so it’s great to go with kids too.’ 141 Dames Rd, E7 0DZ.

5. The Ciderhouse E7

‘I’ve been buying their cider for years and getting it delivered, so when they opened their London shop it was great. They have great cider and brandies, and they also do a cocktail club and film screenings. They have an Italian food truck outside so you can make an evening of it.’ Archway 435, Avenue Rd, E7 0JN.

6. Leytonstone Farmers’ Market

‘The market is technically in Leytonstone but it’s just over the border. There are veg guys, bakeries, meat guys, fruit farms, a couple of dairy offerings and ready-made food as well. The Dusty Knuckle Bakery is really good.’ Buxton School, Cann Hall Rd, E11 3NN.

7. Jubilee Pond

‘We go to the pond, through Wanstead Flats, to see the birds with our toddler. Also the flats are great for walking the dog.’ Lake House Rd, E7 0EA.

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