East Ham is a haven for new families; good primary schools, an abundance of parks and relatively low house prices (for London) are all good reasons for newbie parents to make the journey further east and become E6 explorers. This and the fact that East Ham has an utterly amazing kiddie friendly community of parents, volunteers and council led schemes that provide a wonderful local support network. Yep, East Ham is a winner when it comes to small people; from council led Children’s Centres and NCT meet ups, to a 250 strong What’sApp group of mums chatting parenting, babies, boobs and the state of the UK. All that, topped off with a few solid family friendly cafes means East Ham has everything you need to bring a new tiny human into the world.
Lucky us and lucky you, dear readers… A few weeks back, as part of our ‘Local Talent’ series, we grabbed a coffee with local legend, head chef at Bow’s Vinarius (on Roman Road) and creator of East Ham’s own Bread Club, Sophie Downer-Hill.
While she held the EastBlam baby (see him yawning in the pic above!), we talked some serious sourdough, community baking and what it was like to work for the Queen (yep, Sophie has brushed pastry and trimmed crusts for our very own HRH). We grilled her hard on plans for the future and whether an East Ham bakery was on the cards any time soon. Scroll down for the full interview – Errr, wait, make a cuppa first and if you are in Bread Club (first rule of bread club, is um… um…) grab a slice of Sophie’s super sourdough toast while you are at it!
It’s heeeeere! Finally after much anticipation and social media buzz, there is a new PUB in East Ham!
The arrival of East Ham gastropub The Red Lion (the artist formally known as The Hammers) will not be news to many of you. It is probably THE most talked about opening of 2018 (and 2017 for that matter). Twitter and Facebook were a buzz with excitement before the grand opening and any of you who follow the Manor Park E12 & East Ham E6 Facebook page, read the East Edge mag or follow the lovely folks at Greatfield Residents Association will have been all over this like a rash. For those of you who don’t, a) why the heck not? Get yourself hooked up to the E6 grapevine STAT (follow the links above!) and b) don’t worry, we’re gonna tell you all about it…
Another Coffee shop, I hear you say? It’s Upton Park’s turn to get a new and awesome coffee house, making this a fabulous February for all Far Easties. This month started with the long-awaited opening of the Red Lion pub on High Street South, then the Evening Standard bigged up East Ham in their property section and now comes the The Erstwhile Parrot Coffee House. The official opening day is Saturday 24 February, but East Blam were allowed in to snoop around and get you the scoop. #undercoverjournalismyeah
East Ham coffee shops are apparently like buses: you wait around for ages and then three come along at once!
It’s true, our little corner of East Ham South has gone from no coffee shops to THREE in a few short months. We have Parkside Cafe now serving a mean Latte ( the addition of plants means we have upgraded it from ‘cafe’ to ‘coffee shop’), we have the Larder in Central Park and now the newest: D&D Patisserie.
Ninja challenge: Check.
Soft play: Check.
Post industrial 90’s interior in an old Art Deco theatre: Check.
Banging tunes: Check.
Glow in the dark socks: Check.
Great cafe: Check.
You may have guessed but we are talking about newly opened Flip Out, E6. Yep, finally that beautiful old theatre on the barking road has been turned into something, um, useful (if by useful you mean chaotic crazy fun with a side of FUN).
First there was the good enough to eat instagram feed – all brightly coloured yummy looking choccie’s covered in sparkles and rose petals and pretty things and hashtagged as #eastham. We used the heart eyed emoji to respond (Natch). Then there was the surprise encounter at the last Greatfield Market with a stall selling beautifully crafted chocolates. All these clues point to one thing… ARTISAN CHOCOLATE MADE IN EAST HAM!
That’s right, E6 now has its very own artisan chocolatier selling online and at local markets…. East Blam caught up with Cocoa Bocoa to talk East Ham hang outs (The Grill, on High Street North gets a thumbs up), Sustainable cocoa, the best chocolate to have with your coffee and flavour combinations that have been quite literally dreamt up. We also got taste a few of their favourite flavours too. Market research, we assure you, dear readers… we only do it for the story #properjournalists.
The detox done and we made it to payday… That makes it officially time for a celebratory takeaway! We tried Squires Restaurant, on Barking Road back in December, and now the predictably abstemious January is done, it seems like the perfect time to tell you all about it!
Squires is a West African restaurant in East Ham South. The website says ‘West African home-style food with a Nigerian influence’ so you can find all the usual Nigerian favourites on the menu (the Pepper soup was a winner) and it makes a refreshing change from the sea of South Indian eating options in East Ham and Upton Park. They have restaurants in East Ham, Canning Town, Dagenham and Grays, Essex.
2017 is upon us, and at EastBlam HQ we are feeling reflective.
2016 was a tough year – it brought us Brexit, Trump, the death of Bowie, excruciating budget cuts (especially for Newhamites) and the Hammers moved to Stratford. It’s easy to slide into the new year with the weight of the last one still on your shoulders so before we clean house, we had a little stop and think about the good bits of E6 we have discovered (or discovered us) this year.
Yep that’s right, it’s time we had a Team America style montage (ok, less montage, more list but the sentiment is the same!) before we set some motivational Pinterest style New Year’s resolutions to take us into 2017. Lets go…
Ok, so back to breakfasts, after a short hiatus! The full english breakfast, to be precise. With a proper Brew.
In the words of Andy Williams ‘It’s the holiday season so Whoop-de-doo’ and even if Christmas isn’t your bag (whew, it’s over now so you can reee-laaa-xxxx) tis still the season to get merry and new years eve festivities are looming on the horizon. But when all is said and done, resolutions are set and the night before is over, what are you left with in the cold stark light of New Years Day? Most likely, a hangover. So you will need the ultimate hangover cure – a classic Full English breakfast served up with a full fat builders tea.
Aaaaaand, we happen to know a very good spot for this kind of thing. Taa-daaa: Parkside Cafe, on High Street South.