London is a huge city, with an abundance of different areas, attractions and things to discover. If you live on one side of London, you rarely take the hike across town to check out another area and, if you don’t know where you’re going, it can be a little intimidating to plan a trip around a new area – with no idea what you can expect.
But maybe it’s time that changed! I’m going to take you around the Victoria Park area of East London and how you can easily while away a day in activities, food and drink here!
Our day starts with The Pavillion in the smaller, left-hand side of the park. Run by a quirky group of hipsters, the food can be a little pricey (for brunch) but their bacon pancake stack and eggs benedict are the best I’ve ever had. Their meat is from ‘Ginger Pig’ – a well-known Yorkshire Butchers – and they’re generous with portions. The best bit about your visit here is that you can enjoy your breakfast whilst watching locals on paddle boats on the park lake drifting, with panic, into the fountain (always more entertaining when you are dry, warm and tucking into a breakfast feast!)
Need to walk off that feast? Wander through the park and join the Regents Canal path. It’s about a half an hour walk, past plenty of colourful, well-decorated canal boats until you reach Broadway Market. On a Saturday, the high street, which is straight off the canal path, is full of stalls of fruit and veg, fresh bread, chocolates and hot food for lunch. Further up, the stalls turn a little vintage, so don’t fill all your bags with warm truffles and freshly baked focaccia just yet!
After a wander around Broadway Market, follow the main road route back towards Victoria Park Village. On your right, you’ll pass a pub called The Hemmingway. The pub is lovely, with a large stack of board games and interestingly decorated loos (no comment, go and check it out for yourself). If you’re feeling hungry again by this time, The Hemmingway serve a great roast. If not, their cocktails are definitely worth a try too!
Fancy something a little different to do in the afternoon? Head back through the park and towards Mile End. On your right, you’ll pass Bow Wharf – a complex with flats, a gym, a few shops and a distillery. The East End Liquor Company resides here. You can drop in just for a drink or you can join a distillery tour and tasting. At around £50 it is a little pricey and requires pre-planning but it is a great tour. Lasting around two hours, you’ll learn more chemistry that you ever learnt at school, learn about the day-to-day running of the site and try plenty of Gin – both those made here and more!
Dinner time! Victoria Park Village offers a variety of eateries. If you fancy keeping it traditional then try fish and chips at Fish House – a posher version of your local chippie, where you can eat in and they even offer a decent house wine! If you fancy something a little more hot, try Machete. It’s both reasonably priced and does some insane cocktails – mine was, literally, on fire! Or try The Lauriston for the best, most cheesy stone-baked pizzas (if you’re feeling too tired to move from the park, they’ll send out their delivery man with the pizzas to find you!)
The perfect way to finish your trip to Victoria Park is a couple of drinks in People’s Park Tavern. This lazy, buzzing beer garden is massive and stretches out into the park. There’s ping pong tables, there’s a fire pit and there’s heated outdoor booths so if it’s unfortunate enough to be rainy, cold or dark, People’s Park Tavern will make sure you don’t have to end your fun early.
Why not venture over to East London and check out this chilled out area. It may be a little further to go, but with so many activities here to fill your day, I promise you’ll be full, drunk and leave with fond memories. Hopefully, all three!