It's A Leytonstone Ting
Thursday 28th January 2016 | Sam
Leytonstone? Where have you heard that name before? If I was to say the immortal phrase “You ain’t no Muslim bruv”, I’m sure your memories will be jogged. However, the birthplace of Alfred Hitchcock, David Beckham and Damon Albarn has far more to offer than a mere phrase ruined by David Cameron!
Don’t google Leytonstone. The fourth result, ‘Leytonstone stabbing’, will only serve to fend potential visitors off, however, I’m here to try and remedy the situation:
Despite the massive McDonald’s drive-thru dominating the centre of the town, there are in fact some real culinary gems hidden away, here is a tiny selection:
Singburi: A real favourite among the locals, Singburi is an authentic Thai restaurant offering great value and even better original Thai food.
Star of India: An award-winning curry-house nestled in the looming shadow of the aforementioned McDonald's; incredible South Asian flavours and friendly service await within the very bland looking, out-dated building.
The Wild Goose Bakery: This modern bakery is the meeting point for many a Leytonstoner(?), serving up delicious cakes with freshly ground coffee as well as freshly baked artisan breads... gentrification has never tasted so good!
Leytonstone's stand-out pub is The Red Lion. It offers craft beers, guest ales, a DJ every Friday and Saturday, and an unexpectedly huge Beer Garden. Oh, and Damon Albarn has been known to play impromptu gigs here from time-to-time.
Don’t expect any wild club nights in Leytonstone. What it does have to offer though is the increasingly popular Luna Lounge which hosts various live events such as comedy gigs, small local bands, and the odd movie night.
When coming out of Leytonstone station, you will notice the various mosaics dedicated to local-boy turned Hollywood legend, Alfred Hitchcock adorning the walls. Step outside the station, and there are various other sights to see, including the boating lake, Hollow Ponds, in Epping Forest and The Stone Space, a place for modern art to be shared and critiqued.
If you're a fan of wit, you'll love this inscription written on a bench just outside St John's Church...
Leytonstone has a very community-focused vibe to it, multiple occasions throughout the year see the locals come together and celebrate on the streets. The most recent of which was a Star Wars themed event, celebrating the life of Stuart Freeborn, a resident of Leytonstone, and the creator of everyone’s favourite backwards-talking green thing, Yoda!