Review: Eat 17, Walthamstow, east London

Like I mentioned in my Walthamstow post, we sampled brunch at Eat 17 last weekend. Eat 17 had been on my radar for a while but we just never got round to ticking it off the list. We have been venturing towards central London for brunch recently but after battling the crowds every day on the tube for work, I want to leave that all behind at the weekend. So east London it was. Somewhere we could drive and not have someone else's sweaty armpit in our faces.

Being the greedy little piggies that we are, we wanted to try everything on the menu. But, in the end we settled for three to share. I know, we showed so much restraint didn't we? One of the surprise favourites was the Walthamstow rarebit on toast. We only plumped for this because we didn't want any more eggs but what a great spontaneous decision it was. With oodles of gooey, melted cheese, dollops of Worcester sauce and a slightly spicy mustard after taste, the delicious dish hit the spot.

Next up was the Lincolnshire sausage sandwich with their own onion jam. Served in a sweet brioche roll, the chunky sausages were on top of a generous layer of onion jam - not too dissimilar to a chutney. The sausages were flavoursome and cooked with perfection. Offering a perfect crunch!

Finally it was time for the homemade baked beans with chorizo and a poached egg on top. I'm not really a fan of baked beans if I'm perfectly honest but being the dutiful girlfriend I am, I let this one through because my boyfriend is. But boy this completely threw a curveball into the mix. Full of butterbeans and kidney beans in a sweet tomato sauce, it was a revelation. The chorizo helped to add a much needed kick to the dish - such a good combination.

After hearing so much about Eat 17, it was so lovely to see that it lived up to the hype. It has a solid brunch menu - traditional favourites with their own little twist. The portions are great value for money and just the right size. I think the bill came to around £35 which isn't too bad at all for three meals, a coffee and a diet coke. The atmosphere is lovely, the staff are very attentive and it's in a wonderful location. Definitely put it on your list if you're ever in Walthamstow or even plan a trip east especially. You won't be disappointed!


Exploring London: Walthamstow, east London

If you had spoken to me five years ago about planning a trip to Walthamstow I probably would have laughed in your face. I only really set foot in that part of the East End because we wanted to use the Victoria line and parked at Blackhorse Road station. It was a little too gritty and didn't have a good reputation. At all. But around a year ago it started creeping on my radar. Word on the grapevine was this part of east London was on the up. Delis, cool restaurants and markets were popping up but it was still managing to keep it's community feel. It didn't feel too hipster yet and hadn't had it's soul ripped out like Shoreditch. God bless that place - it's just not quite the same any more. On a side note, I had a realisation that I had been going out in Shoreditch for the past 10 years. Excuse while I sob into my anti-aging cream. But anyway. Last weekend we decided to jump the bullet and organised a day trip. Being on a 25 minute drive we decided we didn't have much to lose - we could always jump back in the car and pick up some Macdonalds on the way home.

One of the places I was keen to try out was Eat 17 located in Walthamstow Village. I'd read that this restaurant was the place that kinda kickstarted the whole revolution. So naturally it needed to be tried out. We got there about 11am to try their brunch menu. What a brunch menu that was. I've got a whole separate post ready for that. But take my word when I say that alone is worth heading east for.

After sharing three breakfasts we needed to walk the food baby off. So we opted to explore the village. I'm still scratching my head that this is part of Walthamstow. It felt a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Quaint chocolate box cottages lined the streets. Delicious food markets were taking place in church halls. People were milling around eating their breakfasts outside on the cobbled streets. Such a lovely place to wander and enjoy the sunshine. Just a stones throw away from the village was God's Own Junkyard. A collection of neon signs, vintage film props and salvage displays scattered around a old warehouse on an industrial estate. We could have spent hours slowly wandering around, reading every single sign. Next time I'm trying some cake in the cafe!

After a mooch around Vestry House Museum and spotting Toby Jones filming in the gardens, we decided to seek out the William Morris Gallery and have a walk around Lloyd Park. Opened way back in 1900, the park was gorgeous. Filled with tennis courts, a cafe and pretty lush foliage, it was a lovely place to have a wander and soak up the sunshine. I can imagine it's even nicer during the summer months with a picnic. Although we did see the police talking to a couple who had been mugged, it seems we were still in east London - despite the greenery.

Dedicated to the life of designer William Morris, the gallery is full of fascinating information and impressive prints. I never really knew too much about William Morris and had no idea of his socialist ideals. Offering free entry, his old house is a great place to will away an few hours of an afternoon.

Finally we wandered back to Wood Street where we had parked the car for a mooch around the indoor antique market. This quaint, charming market is such a gem. Vintage clothing, old vinyl and handmade gifts offer something for everyone. My boyfriend for one would have spent the whole day shifting through the vinyl if it was payday!

Now that Walthamstow is quite rightly on my radar I'll definitely be back. There's a handful of restaurants that I have on my list and a picnic in Lloyd Park is calling my name. It just goes to show you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Or by it's shady past!


Review: Pachamama, Marylebone, central London

A few weeks ago I met up with Lauren and Hannah for a much-deserved catch up. Pachamana had 50% off their new spring menu all weekend so it would have been rude to not take advantage. God bless Hannah for finding out that information. It was my first time trying Peruvian food so I'm not sure how it compares to other restaurants in the city. But I do know that it was absolutely delicious.

After ordering a very strong cocktail, we sat down to study the menu and prepared ourselves for a feast. First we decided to order a sweet potato waffle topped with Peruvian fried chicken, sweet yacon and slightly spicy aji sauce. The tender fried chicken had a lovely crunch and moreish taste. The waffle was a little dry and could have done with a bit more sauce but overall it was an enjoyable dish.

We all shared a trio of different ceviche including sea bass and samphire, salmon tiradito, beetroot and avocado and sea bream, grapes and fennel.  The sea bass ceviche was incredible. So fresh and so flavoursome - it was a shame to have to share it!

The juicy burger consisted of a Galician beef patty, pork belly chicharron, aji rocoto ketchup, aji amarillo mustard and salsa criollo between a week toasty bun. Generous with the fillings, the burger really hit the spot. The aubergine covered in pecans siting in smoked yogurt was great. A little overpriced at £7 but the smoked yogurt was a great partner to the soft aubergine.

Pachamana was a great introduction to Peruvian food. The dishes were flavoursome and inventive. I tried new food I would never have paired together. The price point was a little high so I think it's one for a for a special occasion or when you don't mind splashing the cash. I definitely recommend visiting for brunch and trying those delicious but potent cocktails!


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