From Wanstead Park’s tea hut to Wanstead High Street’s haircut, Nick Park explains why he loves Wanstead, having ‘discovered’ this ‘stylish surprise’ less than 10 years ago
My adoration for Wanstead was born in the summer of 2012 when I met my partner. I bow my head shamefully that, before then, I had not heard of this gem. There is a famous saying that typifies my view on Wanstead, stating: “The interesting thing about London is that there are always stylish surprises around every corner.”
There are plenty of lovely green spaces where we can cherish precious moments, like Christchurch Green, where families can relax and enjoy picnics, watching the children play. There is Wanstead Park, with its lakes and woodland scenery, and you can marvel at the wildlife that flock there, creating their habitats – with birds in chorus. An ice cream at the Wanstead Park tea hut is a must in the summer, or a hot cup of tea in a mug to warm the hands during winter. Wanstead Flats should not be forgotten, where the football teams commence battle or we can take part in a Parkrun, giving us a wonderful chance to meet fellow runners.
During my affiliation with Wanstead, it is not unnoticed that there is an excellent community spirit. Events during the year signify this where they bring us together, like the fireworks display, which is a grand spectacle. Or the carol singing in atmospheric surroundings over Christmas; a happy vibe is in evidence and everyone is always willing to help others.
My fiancé and I now live near Epping, sadly, although we did derive from Queenswood Gardens and adored sampling the historical and modern architecture as we made our way to Wanstead High Street. This speaks for all of Wanstead, indicating why it is a popular place to buy property.
As for the glory of Wanstead High Street, I have not been to another that has given me greater satisfaction, nestled in a place where there is a huge cultural diversity. There are more than a few cafés spread along and in the vicinity of the High Street, which are all a must-see, especially with the vast selection of cakes on display; it is a difficult choice. It’s also the same for restaurants and takeaways, housing food from different parts of the world. And then there are seven public houses in all, which I love, having their own characteristics and an east London feel to them. Included is a vibrant ambience all year round.
The barber shops should get a mention, providing a splendid service with banter ablaze in all. I use Wanstead Hairdressers where you will find Paul and Ian orchestrating what I have highlighted here.
I could go on and on and am positive I have missed things out which others might add themselves. This is the beauty of the area and the reason why I love Wanstead.
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