This guide is lovingly written by the area’s popular long-running online title Leytonstoner.
Leyton Midland has been an intriguing corner of E10 for a few years now. Home to pioneering local coffee gurus Perky Blenders’ flagship café, their small batch, speciality-grade roasts have picked up all manner of awards. Next door is the ever-evolving space This is Host, whose weekend pop-ups showcase everything from Berber rugs to up-and-coming East London designers.
There’s a prised local taproom here, too. Directly opposite is the home of Leyton’s craft beer purveyors Gravity Well, tucked in the arches underneath the Overground: with inside and outdoor tables as well as mezzanine seating, it produces some of east London’s best IPAs – try the 6% ABV Galaxies Apart. While you’re there, stop for a moment at the station itself, home to a striking mosaic artwork roundel from artist Maud Milton, which name-checks local history, place names, people and cultural events. Too urban for you? A few minutes’ walk away is idyllic Brooks City Farm: based in Jack Cornwell Park, this unexpected rural corner has been running for over twenty years and houses sheep, donkeys, ponies, goats, rabbits and hens. There are also farm-based activities and events, as well as learning activities for the wider community.
Back opposite the station itself is a recently revamped parade. Brand new in 2022 is Bamboo Mat, an elegant new restaurant specialising in Peruvian-Japanese small plates, from ceviche to sushi and tempura; a couple of doors down is Turkish cafe Hanedan whose chef-owner makes authentic flatbreads in the store’s window (tip: try the spinach and feta one). Just south beyond the parade on the corner of Hainault Road is Greek restaurant Bread & Oregano, a hit with the area’s young mums and versatile in its offer of brunch, coffee and gyros.
And if you’re as pescatarian-leaning as us, you’ll thrill to discover the fish shop on the block: just past Perky Blenders, A&M Seafood’s counter glistens with everything from mussels to mullet, as well as fresh tuna, swordfish and a heck of a lot more.
Need to stretch your legs further? Continue north to spacious Abbott’s Park, which opened back in 1934 and plays host to an uber-busy kids’ playground, outdoor gym, grassy lawns to walk a pooch on, as well as shaded picnic benches. A new landscaped area has been designed by east London collective The Decorators, its mounds and hillocks improving the park’s biodiversity. Continue further north still, beyond the park, and you’ll reach the William The Fourth pub, home to a good range of beers, tasty burgers, as well as artist Karl Bielik’s Terrace Gallery.