Chestnut cutlets and coldiflower.

We have to remember that the Hornbeam Café in E17 is a community space and not a restaurant like say, La Delice, a mile or so along the road towards The Bell (refurbished). Last night it became a restaurant serving a seaonal supper. The enterprise was managed by Organiclea and The Hornbeam Café who were out to promote organic products from Hawkwood Allotments up in Chingford and the bread made by community-minded local bakers. I do believe they were preaching to the choir.

The Hornbeam Café is well known in the Bakers Arms area as the hippy recycling centre, a place out of sync with the curry and chicken shops, Iceland and Tesco. It’s dead easy to find even for Dial-A- Ride and buses stop almost outside its purple door. Easy to find but not always open. It’s a part-time eaterie. It’s a part-time art gallery, music venue and club space. Nothing wrong with it at all. For its businesses it is in a great location with a pavement in Bakers Avenue for on- street marketing, be it veg or bicycles and a long back yard for storing  Forest Recycling Project preloved goods and for Organiclea volunteers to pack up  organic veggie boxes for distribution by bike to paying customers.

The dinner was very good and the proportions generous. The wait for the main course was unacceptable really but was accepted. Stepping into the Hornbeam is like going home so no-one wants to make miserable noises about the cold chestnut cutlets or the cold cauliflower. The staff,  always nice, deserve better. I’d come in out of the cold and was warmed by the candle-light and cheered up by the colourful RAGWORKS textiles on the wonky walls.

The three course meal cost me  £14.00 in real money. And then it was time for The XFactor Finals. Ah, sweet life.

the history of Walthamstow

Thursday evenings at Ye Olde Rose and Crown in Hoe Street E17 is a cheap workshop given by Radical History Group with Neil Houghton presenting all about what went down in E17. It is fantastic because us 50 + group of interested residents and locals have to be hands on . On Thursday we researched census returns and learnt to smash all our assumptions and to reference and record. Love it. What a history! Next week is all about the poor.

It’s not as you imagine in any which way. Neil surprises us always and we are a good bunch of people not diverse culturally (by looking) but diverse in our reasons for attending. David Boote from Walthamstow (free) Walks comes too and what with Roger Huddle there we get to know what’s coming up and what we can join.

The pub is great. Every Thursday there’s a vintage dress sale. I just like to touch; it’s like going through my mum’s sparse wardrobe in the fifties.The dresses are reasonably priced (forty quid and lowering weekly) and some are even bigger than size nothing!

Opposite the Ye Olde Rose and Crown is La Delice a favourite eaterie for many Dalstonion look alikes . Yeah I said it. It is clean and busy. Mind you I waited ten minutes for a hot chocolate. The food is great looking but I hate to open my purse sometimes and time was against me on that occasion.