With a vast array of green spaces on your doorstep there are plenty of places to head out to when the weather is nice.
Surrounded by an exciting collection of shopping centres and high-street brands, Ilford has a lot to offer the seasoned shopper. The Exchange Shopping Centre is a mere 3-minute walk from Pioneer Point, home to over 50 high street names and open late on Wednesdays. For even more choice, Westfield Stratford is a mere 13-minute train journey away, with over 250 stores and 70 restaurants under one roof.
Keeping fit is easy, thanks to a wealth of open green spaces close to the residences. Valentines Park, Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park are all perfect for early morning jogs or after-work circuit training sessions. There’s also the state-of-the-art EasyGym on the first floor of Pioneer Point, offering flexible day passes and monthly memberships. It’s open 24/7 and even has a personal trainer on-site.
Nearby hidden gems
Valentines Mansion, Ilford
Dating back to 1696, Valentines Mansion and Gardens was once a hospital and home to wartime refugees; more recently, it hosted The Great British Bake Off series. Today it provides a beautiful event space featuring exciting exhibitions, theatre productions and workshops, as well as tours of the grounds and gardens. It’s also the place to indulge in a quintessentially English afternoon tea.
A haven for health-conscious Londoners, Organic Ilford – also known as OI – works directly with a handful of small-scale organic farmers to bring fresh, chemical-free vegetables, fruit, bread, milk and eggs to Ilford.
Gardeners Cottage Café, Ilford
Tucked away in the pretty walled garden of Valentine’s Park Mansion, the Gardener’s Cottage Café is a tranquil place to enjoy an old-fashioned lemonade, freshly baked Victoria Sponge cake or a toasted sandwich. Its tranquil and picturesque al fresco setting makes it particularly popular in balmy warm weather.
Sneaker, Gants Hill
Footwear enthusiasts will enjoy browsing the trendy Sneaker shop on Cranbrook Road, which features rare and limited collection trainers from around the world in an impressive range of colours and styles.
Zee & Co, Cranbrook Road
Stocking everything from silky cocktail dresses to quality pairs of jeans, Zee & Co is a favourite among London fashionistas. Among the high-end labels in the boutique are Hugo Boss, Joseph, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors and Barbour, to name a few.
The Urban Chocolatier, Ilford
Chocolate-lovers rejoice! The Urban Chocolatier on Cranbrook Road’s luxury chocolates made from top-quality ingredients are perfect for gifts or after-dinner treats. The delicious Cappuccino truffle comes highly recommended.
Loaded Burgers, Cranbrook Road
At Loaded Burgers on Cranbrook Road, quirky décor details such as jeans-covered benches set the scene for a meaty American feast of spicy buffalo wings and burgers. The house specialty is the Fully Loaded Burger – an extravagant stack of beef, lamb and chicken patties, topped with egg hash brown and sausage.
Caraway Brasserie, Cranbrook Road
A favorite among Ilford locals, Caraway Brasserie is a popular choice for weekend date nights and party bookings. Specialising in traditional Indian cuisine, the chefs in the open kitchen cook up regional classics as smokey tandoori dishes, tangy Delhi-style curries, and delectable coconut-y Goan fish curries.
The Boathouse, Barking
With an ‘East London meets Maritime’ take on the décor, the Boathouse is a trendy riverside hangout serving seriously good cocktails and locally produced food, matched with stunning Thames views. There’s also a vibrant programme of regular arts activities here, including jazz evenings, film nights and exhibitions, as well as yoga and art classes.