Although I love living where I do and wrote a blog post a while ago saying it was the best place to live in London - mainly because of the nearness of the Forest and good transport links into town - I sometimes feel the high street is a bit of a disappointment. It is, however, probably like many other high streets in London. It's full of hairdressers (at least 6), coffee shops (at least 4), expensive restaurants (quite a few at the station end) and clothes shops for TOWIE type people (ie tight fitting, short etc).

I'm always bemoaning the fact - to myself really - that there's always so much more happening in Walthamstow 4.5 miles down the road. There is a good market, good pubs, restaurants with more choice, music, theatre and more. 

However they don't have this (I live opposite the church with the green spire in the middle of the picture).

or this

Although I haven't been for a while (hopefully I will soon!) I would also miss my Nordic walking.

However Chingford's high street is still a bit of a let down.

So when I came out of my flat on Sunday on the way to a family lunch I was completely surprised to come across a Farmer's Market on the broad pavement of Station Road only two minutes' walk from where I live.

I found out from one of the stallholders that this was the third month that Essex Farmers Market had visited Chingford and would continue to do so on the second Sunday of every month. I have now marked the dates in my diary and will return; I still can't figure out how I didn't notice it in previous months as would have practically walked past it on the way to the station.

There was an amazing variety of stalls - flowers and plants, fish from Lowestoft, pies (it was National Pie Week), olive oils, jams and marmalades, sausages, cakes, burgers and this was all in a very short stretch of road probably less than 200 yards long. Wish I'd taken a photo now! Station Road was the busiest I've seen it since the Chingford Village Festival last June. It was fantastic to see so many people shopping here and also spending money in the local shops too.

On Saturday there was another local event going on that I also didn't know about. Forest Arts & Crafts were selling their wares in the hall opposite my flat. Even though I can see the hall from my lounge window it completely passed me by. Tidying up yesterday I discovered a flyer that had come through the door. Reading their post just now I regret missing it.

However there is one event that I am booked to go to - the Waltham Forest Women in Business Network are meeting in one of the aforementioned coffee shops on Wednesday morning. I've been to one before and as a result of that am hopefully going to be involved in something this summer in Walthamstow which I'm looking forward to. More details soon ...

So the moral of this story is don't forget what's on your doorstep!

The author of this blog (Joanna Moncrieff) is a qualified City of Westminster Tour Guide who specialises in food and drink themed walks in the West End. 
Details of all her walks are listed here.
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