I've been on maternity leave since the start of March, which has given me the unexpected luxury of time to explore much more of my beloved E17 than I normally get to see during my previously busy evenings and weekends. After my first couple of weeks off work I found that I was having lunch in the same few places over and over again, and it was time to try and discover some more local gems. Thanks to the power of our fabulous twitter community, it just took one quick message and 15 minutes later I was armed with a long list of personal recommendations.
First on my list was Arts and Crusts, on the corner of Victoria Road and Woodend Road. This lovely little cafe is tucked away from the main road on a residential street, making it a peaceful haven just a few minutes walk from the chaotic noise of Wood Street and Forest Road.
Inside the cafe you will invariably find Andrew, the owner and officially 'the nicest man in Walthamstow'. He goes out of his way to remember the names of all his customers, and I have spent many a happy lunchtime chatting to the other customers who Andrew has introduced me to. There is such a genuine warmth and friendliness about this place which keeps me coming back every week. As far as the food and drink goes, I've tried quite a few of the sandwiches and paninis on the menu, which have all been delicious! I'm not a coffee drinker myself, but I have it on good authority that the coffees on offer here are also excellent. The cafe also has a regularly changing display of local artworks, most of which are for sale if anything catches your eye!
You can find Arts and Crusts at 19 Victoria Road. Follow them on twitter @ArtsandCrusts for all the latest news.