Hello Forest Gate Northers,
It seems a long time since I saw many of you, and I hope that you are all keeping well, and safe, and adapting to this lockdown life. I know some of you have been unwell, and some of you will have lost loved ones, or be worrying about loved ones, and worrying about the future, and I wanted to send you all my best wishes and prayers, for what it’s worth, and say how much I hope things improve for you and all of us.
I have been meaning for a while to write a blog post to pull together in one place the different ways we can help to support our local businesses through the lockdown. Our local small businesses are the energy that enlivens our high street, and contribute so much more than a retail offer to our community. This list will almost certainly be out of date as soon as I write it, so if there is a business or a facility that I have missed, please do let me know and I will try to keep it updated.
This also obviously comes with a huge caveat which is that things are really, really tough financially for many people. If you are fortunate enough to still have your regular income, then please do what you can to keep money going into our local businesses, who are really grateful for your support. If you don’t, then please don’t feel guilty. Do what you need to, take care of yourself, and if you’re able to share information about some of the businesses and websites to see whether your friends and family can help then that’s great and is another really valuable way of helping.
My criteria for inclusion in this list are, I’ll admit, a little vague. Businesses in, or in close proximity to Forest Gate North. Independents, or small. Operating in a slightly different way during lockdown. For example, some businesses have adapted or are adapting very quickly to online orders, and the way that you order might currently be a bit ‘clunky’: you need to phone up, or look online, and where I can I have explained this below.
A chain shop on the high street, that is still open, is not exactly breaking news as you will see it when you walk past, so I’ve generally not included those with open shop fronts. But I’m applying these rules rather flexibly. And further submissions are very welcome!
Take good care of yourselves.
361 Winchelsea Road
Arch Rivals describes itself as ‘former bar that everyone called a restaurant. Now a bodega and takeaway spot’ which captures them pretty well, really. Amazingly delicious food and drinks (including cocktails. Get a Marmalade Old-fashioned, and thank me later) to take away and now some groceries too. Order via their website.
172 Forest Ln, Forest Gate, London E7 9BB
020 3674 6043
This Forest Gate favourite needs no introduction to readers of this blog. If you haven’t already tried their fantastic curries then you are really missing out. The good news is you can address this right away as you can still order a takeaway from them, with really good and clear hygiene and social distancing standards. Aroma’s are also continuing their good work of being right at the heart of our community by regularly making up batches of food that volunteers distribute to people who need it, so by buying food from here, you are supporting their charitable efforts as well.
Burgess and Hall
353 Winchelsea Rd, London E7 0AQ
Normally a tucked away and lovely wine bar. Now offering contactless home delivery from their selection of expertly chosen wine. From their website:
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Wine delivery <your name> <your postcode>”
Tell us what you’d like to order: TYPE (red, white, rose, orange, fizz) STYLE (classic/traditional? wild/funky? light? heavy?) PRICE (estimated average per bottle or a total price). Our minimum order is 6 bottles, but that automatically qualifies you for 10% off, and if you order 12 bottles or more you get 15% off. And don’t forget to give us your full address & telephone number.
CHDuk or Contemporary Home Design Ltd
120 Woodgrange Road
This shop is right next to Wanstead Park station. As well as German and Italian kitchens, they supply and fit wardrobes and flooring.
They are currently offering a 30% discount to Forest Gate residents only for a limited period, and are only open by appointment.
email@example.com to book
Cups and Jars
108 Woodgrange Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0EW
020 8519 9325
Still open to physical shoppers, and with impeccable social distancing arrangements in place, Cups and Jars are keeping going through lockdown, offering a range of grocery products. They have been consistently well-stocked with such lockdown rarities as eggs and bread flour, and are even doing takeaway coffees as well for that welcome taste of normality. They allow only one customer into their shop at a time, so watch out for the queue and join the back if there is one.
If you are isolating, you can email them or call them to order food from them and they will deliver locally. They are also working on a website for online orders, and offer boxes of ‘essentials’ as well as fruit and veg boxes.
These guys are new to me, but someone recommended them via twitter and they also got in touch themselves so I am including them as a nod to their entrepreneurship as well as their fan base! Based in East Ham, they offer free delivery to East London.
55 Leytonstone Road, E15 1JA
020 3409 7722
Maryland’s newest eatery is Kotch pizza, whom I can personally vouch for having selflessly tried their pizzas a couple of weeks ago. They are open for collection and delivery only and do really good, home made, pizza-oven-blackened pizza. They’ll deliver to E15, E7, E20, and E13, with a minimum order of £20.
745, 747 Barking Rd, East Ham, London E13 9ER
020 8552 9993
Not physically in Forest Gate North, but emotionally a part of every ward in Newham! Besides which the inestimable Vivian, the proprietor, is a Forest Gate resident. Support a local bookshop in this challenging time by ringing up or emailing to order a book. Pay by phone and your book will be delivered to your house. Not sure what book to buy? Anything Vivian doesn’t know about books and publishing is not worth knowing – ring up with some titles you have enjoyed, or an idea of what you would like, and ask for some recommendations.
Number 8 Forest Gate
8 Sebert Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0NQ
There are 2 ways you can support number 8, our local emporium offering everything from jewellery repairs, antiques, homewares, local craft goods and more. You can shop at their Etsy shop (recently featured in Vogue!) and peruse their range of beautiful hand-made silver jewellery, including their Magpie Collection which supports beloved local charity the Magpie Project. Or you can support them here by signing up to make a monthly donation whilst they are closed in return for a range of different rewards:
Every single pledge helps.
Pretty Decent Beer Company
338 Sheridan Rd, London E7 9EF
This local gem will do free delivery to North and East London of a range of beers including their famous Milk Stout. Shop using their website above; deliveries are Tuesdays and Fridays, and your order will arrive in the next available delivery slot.
The Rotisserie Company
This one is new to me but was recommended on twitter. I was about to sadly remark that since I’m pescatarian they are likely to remain not familiar, until I checked their website and saw that they not only sell rotisserie chicken, but also stuffing, sauces, roast potatoes, salad and even an Aubergine Parmigiana. Order online and they will deliver.
The old Slate Yard
Tucked away at the end of Sebert Road, under the railway, is this amazing local business which in less troubled times is a combined builders yard, and small garden centre / florist. Now they are doing home deliveries locally, and have been much relied upon by people tending their gardens, or growing vegetables, and wanting plants and compost delivered to their door. They are also still selling flowers, either for spirit lifting purposes, or memorial flowers if you need them. Call them up to discuss your order and pay by phone.
The Space East
Arch 439 Cranmer Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0LB
The Space East is a yoga and pilates studio in one of the Cranmer Road railway arches. They are closed currently, but offering some virtual classes that can help soothe your troubled mind and stretch out and balance your locked-down body. Contact them for info.
Tasty African Restaurant
51a Leytonstone Rd, London E15 1JA
020 8522 4705
Order African food, including jollof rice and doughnuts from this lovely, tiny eatery in Maryland, open for takeaway and delivery. They pride themselves on high quality, affordable and authentic African cuisine.
Railway Arches, 437 Cranmer Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0JN
Tracks is an almost unfeasibly trendy bar in a railway arch, full of the beautiful people of Forest Gate and beyond, and in healthier times, serving up a range of drinks, brunch, and vinyl. They are closed now, but also have a way to support them via Patreon, which you can find here:
Arch 432 Avenue Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0LB
Tromso is currently open Wednesday to Friday for picking-up online orders only. You need to add a (free) collection time into your basket when you order as they are very responsibly limiting the number of people who physically come to the arch to maintain social distancing. You can order sandwiches – but only if you’re quick enough – and cake as well as some groceries, bread, and their famous cinnamon buns online, and collect them from the arch.
The Wanstead Tap
352 Winchelsea Rd, London E7 0AQ
Another business that is socially and emotionally part of Forest Gate, if technically physically located just inside Waltham Forest. The Wanstead Tap is a fabulous bar and event space which hosts a range of frankly astonishingly high profile speakers and performers. During lockdown they are offering craft beer, organic wine, gin and snacks on their dedicated website: www.taptakeaway.co.uk
6-8 Woodford Rd, Forest Gate, London E7 0HA
020 8519 0323
Open 9am – 4pm but only one customer at a time, and access via their Horace Road entrance. Webster’s is a local DIY and building supplies shop, which basically sells everything practical you could ever need.
The Wild Goose Bakery
370-371 Station Rd, London E7 0AB
020 8616 4700
As I write this, the Wild Goose Bakery in Forest Gate is closed to home orders, but you can buy a care package online from them, to support work they are doing with a local food bank. It is so moving to see hard pressed local businesses still giving up their time, and money to support people who are struggling. Bravo Wild Goose.
Another way of helping local businesses, and local charities too – especially if money is short at the moment which it is for many people – is by donating your skills.
#HelpNewham (the arrangements set up by the Council to support vulnerable people by providing food, collecting prescriptions, or even providing a befriending service) is now looking for people with skills & experience in IT, accountancy, bookkeeping, bid writing & fundraising & communications. We would like you to volunteer your services to charities & small businesses in Newham & help them recover from
To volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3770 4444
Coming soon – a post about different sources of support for residents.