Friday, 9 September 2011

Weekday market walk #1

The weekday walks are back - and this autumn we are planning our walks around markets.

Walthamstow market
Walthamstow Market - the longest in Europe

Today, at the end of what felt like a long week settling our nearly-twelve year olds into their new secondary schools, we walked to our most local market for a potter around.   It is just about half an hour walk from my house to the end of Walthamstow Market and we set off at a brisk pace, chatting away about everything and nothing - setting the world to rights with every step.

Walthamstow Market runs down the middle of a long street of shops, so as well as all the market stalls there are shops to explore too.  The whole market is gloriously eclectic - if you have a mind to, you can buy: 
  • fruit and veg
  • toys
  • phones
  • prayer mats
  • matches and lighters
  • goat meat
  • saucepans
  • carpets
  • herbs
  • CDs
  • knicker elastic
  • jellied eels
  • chocolate
  • books
  • cake tins
I love it.  I have been visiting some stalls and shops for years, and others come and go with each season.

End of season strawberries
The last of the summer's strawberries

Trimmings and lace stall
Stall selling knicker elastic

Pop in cafe
Market caff

Gill at the fruit & veg stall
Gill buys fruit

Headscarf mannequins
Headscarf mannequins

After a good prowl around, and having acquired bags full of fabric, ribbon and fruit without really meaning to, we needed a nice sit down and a cup of tea.  One of Walthamstow Market's best-loved destinations is L. Manze - a proper, old-fashioned, East End pie and mash shop selling jellied eels, pie, mash and liquor, and good strong cups of tea.  You can find out more about East End pie and mash shops here.

Walking into Manze's is like stepping back in time - the tiles, lighting, benches and sawdust-strewn floor are all from another era - and very calming to an addled, modern mind.

Beautiful, classic - proper East End Pie Shop
L Manze - an East London institution

Mirrors and lights at L. Manze
Beautiful lights and tiles in the pie shop

Coat stand and aspidistra in the pie & mash shop
Coat stand and an aspidistra in a brass pot

Inside the pie & mash shop
Booths at Manze's

Beautiful tiles at L. Manze
Beautiful, old tiles at Manze's

But the best thing?  Piling your bags up next to you on one of their benches and settling down to a little china plate with one of their pies, and a cup of good, strong tea on the side.  Just what a tired shopper needs.
Pie and a cuppa - bliss
Pie and tea at Manze's


  1. Hooray for the return of weekday walks! Great idea for a new theme.

  2. Whereas if you went to our local market you'd most likely end up in Starbucks.

    I'm being unfair - there are older cafes there but they're mostly of the Ye Olde Tea Shoppe variety. The market looks pretty similar, though ours is a lot smaller!

  3. I used to live a few minutes away! I so miss the UK!

  4. Sounds like a great day out. By the way, congratulations to you both on your marriage, may you have a long and blissful life together, and you looked amazing in your dress!

  5. Do you have a list of markets to visit? I haven't been to Walthamstow market for years. I used to work near Leather Lane market many years ago and there were some nice Italian deli's around there. I noticed an absence of green liquor with your pies!

  6. what an amazing place! have never seen anything like it. So glad you went for pies and not jellied eels.

  7. I am putting that pie and mash shop on my list of places to visit when I finally come [back] to London.

    Speaking of which, I need to ask all my favourite London bloggers if they have been to this place, because I think I need a report ...


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