The London Borough of Newham
This week we explored the London Borough of Newham – one of the UK’s largest Borough’s! Known for being a ‘hipster’ area, it is also home to one of the highest ethnic minority and youth populations. Nearly all of Newham lies within the historic county of Essex and was established in 1965. It is an amalgamation of North Woolwich, a small part of Barking, and the county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham. It includes such areas and historic villages as Silvertown, North Woolwich, Custom House, Canning Town, Beckton, Plaistow, West Ham, East Ham, Upton Park, Stratford, Manor Park, and Forest Gate (in part).
Throwback to a decade ago and London was getting ready for the Olympic games. As part of the process, Westfield Stratford was built and has become one of London’s most popular shopping destinations. Featuring high-street shops to diamond stores, Westfield is also home to a multi-cuisine food hall and Vue Cinema. With 250 shops plus 70 places to dine, it’s the largest shopping mall in Europe! As well as the first in the UK to be granted a large casino license for its top floor Asper’s Casino. Recent additions include a pop-up instalment for Netflix’s season 3 of ‘Sex Education’ and the opening of a new ‘Sofa Club ’ store.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Newham
While you might be induced to go shopping at Stratford Westfield, you only need to walk about 5 minutes to discover the Olympic Park behind it. A perfect place to go for a long walk, here you’ll find food stalls along the way, from waffles to falafels and fresh juices. You’ll also be able to spot the ArcelorMittal Orbit behind the giant aquatics center. Or set your eyes on the 2012 Olympic stadium. For slightly warmer days, you can enjoy the wooden deck chairs outside, and ride along the river. The park is also home to a number of wildflowers, installed as part of the Olympic games.
Number 8 Forest Gate
A small gem located just by Forest gate station for almost a decade now, in here you’ll find everything from a ‘10p button to a diamond ring.’ Owned by Jeffrey and Alexandra Levy, a stumble into the shop and you can purchase homemade candles, paintings, jewellery, records, and other items made by local traders in the area. Not sure what to buy your mother-in-law for Christmas? Chances are you’ll find something truly special hidden in here.
Sasha’s Sea Moss in Forest Gate, Newham
Another local shop in Forest Gate, Sasha’s Sea Moss has just opened. They sell a variety of no-waste goods, from organic fruits, plant milk, handcrafted jewellery, and sea moss! A form of algae found in the oceans of the Caribbean, sea moss has been lauded as a superfood that helps with a variety of health benefits. From promoting hair growth, managing blood sugar levels and boosting your overall immunity. After experiencing the benefits herself, Sasha created her own line of edible moss. Ingredients include wildcrafted gold and purple sea moss from St Lucia. You can find out more via her instagram page, or pay a visit to the store to pick up your very own jar.
Located in East Ham and a favourite among the South Asian community for its vegetarian-only menu, Saravanaa Bhavan is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. ‘Dosas’ are their specialty, Indian-style crepes traditionally served alongside an assortment of chutneys. Here you can try any flavour dosa from only £4 from their extensive menu, as well as more traditional curries and freshly made juices. Looking for something spicy? Their chilli paneer won’t disappoint.
Green Street – Newham
In need of traditional Indian wedding attire or some freshly fried samosas? Green street is home to an endless array of Asian stores. A walk down here and you’ll pass shopowners featuring their latest traditional Indian suits and saris. You’ll also find sweetshops, jewellery stores as well as being home to Queen’s Market. A very busy street in the evenings, there is also a smaller yet prominent Afro-Caribbean community culture, reflected in several food stores.
The Who Shop
If you’re a fan of Doctor Who, chances are you’ve paid a visit to this staple store. Featuring models of the dalek, Paddington, and the police box itself, this store is home to various merchandise: from magazines, Doctor Who Mr Men books, and hand-drawn portraits of the doctors themselves. In true tardis style too, there’s more to the shop than meets the eye. While the tardis in the corner may look like one of many props, it’s actually the entrance into a museum. You can step into this screen-used TARDIS and encounter over 120 different props, costumes and artefacts from the world of Doctor Who, dating back to 1964. Rumour has it that many of the actors themselves have paid a visit here. Let us know if you bump into any doctors!
Want to discover other cool spots to visit? Stay tuned for next week’s post!
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