Sponsored post in association with American Express®
This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, which to me, has the most beautiful ring to it. Supporting small and local businesses is hugely important to me and I was extremely chuffed to be able to work alongside the founder and ongoing supporters of the initiative, American Express. Especially as I think it’s important to shop small, not just on Small Business Saturday but all year round. Small Business Saturday is a day when people across the UK are encouraged to grab their shopping bags, get out onto the high street and support local small business. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
To help inspire you to explore new areas you may not have discovered, here are some of my favourite independent local shops and foodie haunts in Walthamstow, where I have lived now for just over one year, and where it seems I am falling in love with the neighbourhood more and more with every passing day.
An Aladdin’s cave of all things neon, Gods Own Junkyard is an explosion of colour, fun and crazy, with new and used neon fantasies, salvaged signs, vintage neons and old movie props. There’s a café inside that serves up a mean brunch and cakes a plenty (I can’t resist their almond croissants) and there’s a garden at the back if you need to give your eyes a rest, which is a little magical haven of loveliness.
The owner of this beautiful shop, Sandy, curate’s beautiful things from talented artists, makers and designers. Her shop is packed full of contemporary art, design, jewellery and ceramics at affordable prices. Enter at your own risk – you won’t be able to resist. (I speak from experience).
Debbie Bliss, the knitting guru herself, has her own brand of knitting yarns, sold worldwide. She is also the most published knitwear designer, with over 35 books, 20 booklets and her own magazine. She was awarded with an MBE in the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours List for her services to hand knitting and the craft industry. This shop in Walthamstow Village is packed full of some of her favourite things and is the perfect place to find a gift for all ages, occasions… or just to treat yourself. (Yep, I have. A few times actually – the hand cream is something else).
STOP AND STROLL…
Before heading to the Bell, I love taking a stroll through Walthamstow Village – it’s one of the prettiest spots in London. Designated a conservation area in 1967, you can stroll around St Mary’s Church (founded in the 12th century), 16th century alms houses, the Vestry Museum and The Ancient House… This amazing building is a 15th-century timber-framed “hall house”. It consists of 4 residential flats now, but you wouldn’t know it – it’s like stepping back in time and then some…
The Bell is one of the top ten most loved pubs in London according to Time Out :) Standing proudly on the corner of Forest Road and Chingford Road is this landmark pub, with 8 hand pulls serving a constantly changing selection of lovingly cared-for ales, and a well thought-out selection of lager and craft beer alongside a refreshingly unique wine list. William Morris wallpaper sets the mood from the moment you enter, with plenty of sofas, nooks and crannies to hole up in, play Scrabble in or devour an excellent Sunday roast. See you there :)
The perfect way to finish the day is with one of the best beers in London! Pillars Brewery is a craft beer brewery and taproom based in Walthamstow. Founded by four friends with one mission in mind: To reinvent lager. (BIG MISSION) They use the foundational ingredients of beer, combined with four weeks of conditioning and a dry hopping finale, to create a revolutionary London lager, which is delicious, local and well loved by locals and visitors alike.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favourite small shops in Walthamstow! If this has inspired you, visit amexshopsmall.co.uk to find out where you can support small businesses in your area throughout the year and get some further ideas for your Christmas shopping.
What’s more, if you’re an American Express Cardmember you will be rewarded for supporting your local high street with the Shop Small offer. When you spend £10 or more in a single transaction using your registered American Express Card at a participating small business during the campaign period (2-17 December 2017) you will receive a £5 statement credit. There is no limit to the number of participating businesses you can receive your £5 statement credit from – however, you can only claim it once at each small business. Terms apply.
But the Shop Small offer is just one way that American Express can make every day more rewarding. The range of Cards from American Express are packed with ways to reward you for your purchases*; from Membership Rewards® points that can be used to treat yourself to virtually anything to discounts at top restaurants and hotels, money back on everyday purchases, or collecting frequent flyer miles* – check out the American Express amex.co.uk/whyamex page for more information.
*Selected Cards only. Terms and Conditions apply. Subject to availability.
Promoter: American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Photos: Adam Hollingworth Photography – https://www.adamhollingworth.co.uk