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Walthamstow Village, E17

What: It’s not all rude boys and rappers. In the leafy village, there’s a different ilk. An active Residents’ Association organises fetes, street parties and street theatre.

Shop: You’ll spend lots of time in The Village Store (, with its fresh in-store bakery. There’s also a pizzeria selling bases slathered in Napoli-sourced tomatoes, mozzarella and organic ham from Dorset.

Drink: The owners of the cosy Nag’s Head let their cat roam around the pub like it’s a living room; they also love a Sunday jazz jamming session. The friendly place attracts beardy ale drinkers.

Eat17 is all about UK-sourced grub. The pork is from Surrey; chickens and eggs from the West Midlands; and juice from Devon. Dishes include piggy puffs and apple ginger puree, plus bubble and squeak cake.

Greenwich, SE10

What: Nautical-themed Greenwich is where time began. Not only can you hop over to north London on the Emirates Air Line, but you can enjoy independent restaurants, offbeat shops and a rocking weekend market selling top local produce.

: Joy is all about random gifts and ridiculously pretty outfits. Take home an emergency moustache, a ‘Gay Bar’ of soap, or a floral retro-style dress.

: Sup decent local brews at Greenwich Union, which only serves Meantime Brewery beers. Particular favourites are the Chocolate Porter and the Raspberry Wheat.

: Noodle Time is popular with students and locals, offering more than 120 dishes from Asia for just a few quid. Try a huge bowl of chicken soup noodles (10-11 Nelson Road, SE10 9JB).


London's coolest villages: Consider living in a quaint urban pocket
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