Thursday, 2 June 2016

Unexpected Places: Why I Fell in Love with E14, London

When I was searching for a place to live in London, I looked all over, you name it, I probably saw a flat there. It didn't really matter the neighbourhood, but I did still have a wish list that I was desperately seeking. At first anyway.

As time wore on, I had very much overstayed my super generous welcome with some extraordinarily kind, dear friends, and that wish list became almost none existent. I now searched for anything in zone 2 that wouldn't have me to dipping into my savings each month for the pleasure of living in the shoe box sized room. That was the criteria. Cheap and hopefully cheerful.

Finally, I found my home. The flatmates were nice, the place was clean, my room was big with a large mirrored wardrobe (better than I could have hoped for!). The area was Langdon Park in East London (never heard of it? It's east of the cool East London bits you're thinking of) a few minutes walk from both the DLR and Bromley-by-Bow tube stations.

{Erin Out and About} Whooosh, Langdon Park DLR

{Erin Out and About}  Langdon Park
At first, I wasn't a huge fan of the area, although it was zone 2 (only just) it was very suburban, meaning not much going on, on the surface, but as I began to spend time in and explored the area, I discovered some really great things about my little bit of London. I discussed some of the things I loved to do in my Staycationing in East End post a while back, but here are a few more of my favourite things from the E14.

Chrisp Street Market
{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Chrisp Street Market

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Chrisp Street Market
Based on the many markets I've visited, it's no secret that I'm a fan of a market stall, especially one with a little history. Originally, the area was a Victorian Street Market, then in 1951 Chrisp Street Market became the first pedestrianized shopping area of its kind in Britain. 

Today, the food is fresh and cheap. Want some garlic? Here's 20 cloves for £1, Bananas? Here's a dozen for £2! The local shops that surround the market are diverse and interesting; my favourite bit being the Idea Store located near All Saints DLR. I could pick up my next tube reading material and dinner fixings all in one place.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 
{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Olympic Park

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Olympic Park
In Stratford, roughly a 20 minute walk  from my door (maybe less now as the redevelopment is completed) exists beautiful green walks, a North American-styled shopping mall and great restaurants. The former home of the 2012 Summer Olympics has been reinvented and continuing to be used and enjoyed by the public. Although I never got a chance to go up the Orbit or have a swim in the London Aquatics Centre I liked that they were in my 'neighbourhood'.

House Mill
{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: The House Mill

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: The House Mill

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: The House Mill
I love a bit of history me, and the House Mill along the River Lea had just that. Around the corner from my local Tescos is a grade 1 listed 18th century tidal mill (the largest left in the world) located on a pre-Doomsday site (1086AD). It produced grain for flour and a gin distillery and only ceased existing as a working mill in 1941 when the area was bombed during WWII. 

Today, it has a lovely little cobble stoned cafe along the River Lea, has facility hire, and the occasional special cultural event. They currently have a campaign to bring the machinery back to working order, redevelop its education programs and to produce hydroelectricity for sustainability. BIG things happening here!

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: The Canals

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: The Canals
The canals were my most favourite thing about East London. Full stop. The fact that I had canal access close to my house tickled me. The first time I came across my canal (yes, MY canal) I gasped and was giddy with excitement.

I went for a run along it every chance I got, heading up toward Stratford or down to Limehouse. On real adventurous days I would make it all the way up to Victoria Park via the canal path.

Walking along the canals took me out of the rush of the city. I had a little piece of nature beside me and I could watch the birds, fish, and other urban wildlife doing their thing and listen to the waters movement. Not to mention the houseboats. Life on a houseboat fascinates me! I loved peaking in through the little windows and greeting people on board including the furry, four legged ones.

Galvanisers Union Pub{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Galvanisers Union

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Galvanisers Union

When I first moved to Langdon Park, all the pubs in my immediate neighbourhood were OMP and not to be ventured into alone. The better ones were just a bit to far out of my reach to be considered my local. This remained one of my grievances with the area until The Galvanisers Union opened in the spring of 2014 and it immediately become my local.

I could often be found there enjoying quiz night, a cheeky pint after a night out before heading home, a Sunday roast, or just a plain old, big night close to home. It was designed shabby chic and kinda hipster, but I didn't hold that against it. The gastro-pub food was good and they always had a yummy scrumpy on tap.

Moving back to Canada, I miss my local most of all.

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Galvanisers Union

{Erin Out and About} Unexpected Places: Galvanisers Union

Langdon Park, a.k.a. my London home was an unexpected place for me. I had visions of what living in London would look like and this place was not it! Despite that, I grew fond of and eventually even loved my little home in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, East London.

At the beginning of each month, I like to take part in the monthly travel link up hosted on the incredible blogs by AngieJessiEmma,  and this month's special host Carolann. You can join in too by leaving a comment below, checking out other posts on the link up, or adding your own post to the widget now until June 7th.

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