Brat chef Tomos Parry on why Walthamstow feels like home


live with my wife and two children in an end-of-terrace Warner house, a few minutes from Lloyd Park. We used to live in a one-bedroom flat in London Fields.

It doesn’t feel like it’s changed dramatically as a community. There’s still a lot of older locals in the pubs. The way everybody looks after each other reminds me of growing up in rural Wales.

To me Walthamstow is what London’s all about — that blend of old-school traditional and modern, progressive ideas.

Best eating and drinking

Orford’s Fish & Chips on Orford Road is probably one of the best in east London. Etles Uyghur Restaurant on Hoe Street does this amazing cold noodle dish, or there’s an excellent whole chicken to share.

Beaten by a Whisker is a fantastic bakery on Old Brewery Way, Dudley’s on Wood Street has delicious small plates and Forest Wines is the best natural wine bar.

Eat your heart out: Orford Road in Walthamstow village is home to delis — and good fish and chips

/ Daniel Lynch

On a Friday or Saturday we’ll go to Tonkotsu on Hoe Street, who put so much care into these kids’ bento boxes. It’s such a treat for them, and I love that they’re being exposed to noodles, edamame, miso soup. I also love Sodo Pizza on Hatherley Mews.

The area around Walthamstow Central station is undergoing a huge makeover, and a new Crate food hall is about to open. It’ll be amazing… the offer of food and drink will change massively.

Pub-wise, Orford House on Orford Road is a very relaxed private members’ club — the kind where older people play boules. I’ll go to Big Penny Social on Priestly Way to watch the rugby, as the huge screens are the closest thing to being in the stadium.

Where I work out

I go running and use the public outdoor gym in Lloyd Park, and my wife can’t speak more highly of Move Strong London, which is a female-led personal training business based on Sutherland Road.

We spend most Saturdays with the kids at Yonder on Hooker’s Road, which is a climbing centre that has a really good café with responsibly sourced food.

Yonder climbing centre on Hooker’s Road has a superlative cafe

/ Daniel Lynch

For a culture fix

We’ve been to a few gigs at Waltham Forest Town Hall, which is a spectacular Art Deco building with fountains.

The William Morris Gallery in the middle of Lloyd Park is beautiful. It also has a great café called Deeney’s, with really good produce and coffee. You can sit on the terrace and look over the park.

Deco delight: Waltham Forest Town Hall is a thirties gem that also hosts concerts

/ Daniel Lynch

Soho Theatre are opening a branch here next year, which is really exciting for Walthamstow.

To commune with nature

We’re lucky to be near Lloyd Park, which is one of the best in London. The grounds are so well kept. There’s a skate park and a market on Saturdays which is really exceptional — like Broadway Market, but half the size. Hollow Ponds on Whipps Cross Road is a lovely boating lake.

Epping Forest is only a 12-minute drive. In the middle of the forest is Oyster Shack & Seafood Bar, which might be my favourite place ever. There’s a great atmosphere on the weekend, with people from Essex, locals and hipster types.

“Exceptional”: Lloyd Park’s bustling Saturday market

/ Daniel Lynch

Grocery shopping

Walthamstow Market is on every day and it’s always bustling, which I like.

We’ll tend to do a Lidl and Waitrose blend — we have a particularly good Lidl — supplemented with lots of lovely bits from the Polish, Turkish and Asian supermarkets. You could get all of your groceries from the independents on Walthamstow High Street, just going from shop to shop.

I meet friends at the back of Best Foods Supermarket for amazing mutton rolls. It’s become a bit of a cult place — if you know, you know.

A few younger people have set up organic stores, so we’ll go there for different types of kimchi and natural wine.

Getting around

Walthamstow is really well connected. You can shoot down to Oxford Circus on the Victoria line or there’s the Overground which goes to all the east London-y bits like Clapton and Hackney Downs. It’s great for me because London Fields station is right by Brat at Climpson’s Arch.

I might cycle when the weather’s nice, but I do enjoy having that time to do a little bit of work on the train.

Dream street

All the streets overlooking Lloyd Park are absolutely beautiful, but Winns Terrace, in particular, has some amazing houses.

Dream street: Winns Terrace overlooks Lloyd Park

/ Daniel Lynch

Something you only see in Walthamstow

Walthamstow Stadium, the dog track, is like something from a film. It’s not in operation anymore but it’s a reminder of the traditions of old-school London.

What’s the catch

Getting into central London can be an absolute nightmare if the Tube isn’t running. If you work late hours like me — chef hours, or whatever — it can be tricky.

Walthamstow ‘s old dog track is a ‘a reminder of the traditions of old-school London’

/ Daniel Lynch

In three words…

A rich tapestry.

Tomos Parry’s new restaurant Mountain opens in Soho on 11 July.


Near Lloyd Park, the Winns Primary School, Hillyfield Primary Academy and Greenleaf Primary School are all rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Walthamstow Academy is also good, while Walthamstow School for Girls is an outstanding secondary towards the village.

What it costs

Buying in Walthamstow

Average flat price: £401,110

Average house price: £699,170

Renting in Walthamstow

Average flat rent, pcm: £1,800

Average house rent, pcm: £2,320

Source: Hamptons & Land Registry

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