It’s been busy recently with new shops opening down at the Bakers Arms end of Hoe Street. The vegan Hornbeam cafe has just re-opened, and in contrast there’s a new Brazilian butchers with enticing products including tropical frozen fruit pulp, tons of steak and some scary-looking offal.
Another new addition is the lovely new veggie/vegan cafe Bodega 50. This Stoke Newington import occupies a tiny shop front and is easy to miss, sandwiched between a barbers and another cafe. But it’s worth seeking them out for the great Climpson & Son coffee and cheap lunches of wraps and homemade soup. They also stock tempting sourdough and rye breads, vegan snacks and cakes, and weirdly (but happily) a range of sencha teas and Italian-made fruit smoothies that I can only usually find in a Japanese deli in Ealing. This is going to make my life easier – just please start selling the blueberry and apple flavour!
Bodega 50, 442 Hoe St, Walthamstow, E17 9AP
Only a few doors further along is the new Gnarly Vines wine shop. It’s the wine version of Clapton Craft beer shop. As expected, there’s a great range of interesting wines from less than a tenner upwards, and they have a fridge full of salami, pickles, charcuterie and cheeses to go with your wine. Only one person drinks in our house, when I open a bottle there’s a good chance of the last bit ending up in a stew so I begrudge spending too much. The guy in the shop was knowledgeable and patient, but also understanding of my first world dilemma and we chose a lovely bottle of red. They also stock a few ciders and plenty of spirits.
I also picked up a couple of recommended craft beers from Pressure Drop and Saizon that have been delicious. But I think the best and most surprising thing was the wide range of low or alcohol-free drinks. This included loads of new flavours from Square Root, botanical tonics, and a stunning 0.5% IPA beer from Pressure Drop that I’d happily drink. Now they just need to start stocking the French alcohol-free cider we once had in Lithuania and I will be sublimely happy…
When they get the licence sorted for drinks and nibbles in the shop, and maybe even a back garden Summer drinking den, this place will be perfect.
Gnarly Vines, 464 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9AH