Tag Archives: Restaurant

Hornbeam cafe announce March events

Picture of the Hornbeam cafe

The Hornbeam, Hoe Street

The Hornbeam cafe have announced details of their events in March (and even a few in April). We went down to Hornbeam for the vegan Sunday roast the other week and it was delicious, with a good atmosphere too.

Highlights of the calendar for March are a Pancake Day event this Saturday (5 March) and the Fairtrade day next Saturday (12 March). As well as the usual treats, Hornbeam are promising a range of other Fairtrade delights to try, including chocolate and cocktails. There will also be a special menu in the actual cafe that day (did we mention the cocktails? Yum).

The Spring Up! celebration on Saturday 19 March will feature a rhubarb pizza with ultra-local rhubarb from Chingford. The website has details of all their usual events, such as the Science Fiction/Fantasy book group and knitting groups. Full details of all the events are here.

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A night out on the Walthamstow scene

As E17ers know, there’s always something happening around Walthamstow, and last night was a particularly busy evening. There were a range of events happening around the area, and in true dedication to the cause, we tried to get to all of them!

Drink from the Speak Easy

The Speak Easy was particularly popular

First stop was the Love Easy at the William Morris Gallery. The night was run by Craft Guerrilla, and there was a range of crafts and vintage items to check out. There was also a Speak Easy for some liquid refreshment, a tombola (had two goes, didn’t win – nightmare) and the Shellac Sisters were spinning vintage 78’s on wind-up gramophones. It was good fun and it’s great to see the Gallery busy and being used like this.

From there we were looking for somewhere to eat around Blackhorse Road. We ended up in Yasar’s, a kebab restaurant and take-away opposite The Standard. We’ve never been before, but it was lovely! Good atmosphere, nice pictures of old Walthamstow on the walls, and tasty food. I tweeted that I was there, and it turns out that it’s a bit of a favourite of E17ers! The lamb shish kebab was delicious, Mrs Stow Scene had a nice falafel kebab, and tweeters tell me that the kofte is also tasty.

Nightfires on stage at The Standard

Nightfires rocking The Standard

Next up was Nightfires playing at The Standard. Nightfires are a Chingford band and have been going for about a year. The gig was rocking and their material worked well live. Their sound reminds me of some of The Automatic’s heavier moments, particularly on ‘The Wreck’ and new song ‘The Christchurch Brainwash’. With gigs coming up in Islington and Camden over the next few months, Nightfires are a band to watch.

We left before the Cream tribute band to get a cab down to the Hornbeam cafe near Bakers Arms, for their Valentine music night. Acoustic folk rockers The Scumbags were half way through their first set, so we settled down with a couple of bottles of Pitfield’s Eco Warrior to enjoy. I have to say, the whole event at Hornbeam was brilliant. They had food, a DJ and the atmosphere was fantastic.

The Scumbags at Hornbeam

The Scumbags at Hornbeam

The Scumbags were also superb. Their second set was a bit more pacy and covers of ‘Kinky Afro’ by the Happy Mondays and ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis went down a storm. Hornbeam was open into the early hours and, after making a reservation for a vegan Sunday lunch, we called it a night.

All three events were really good fun and I love being able to have a night out like this in E17. Looking forward to the next one already!

Review of Cornelius restaurant

Cornelius restaurant signWe’ve had a lot of interest on the blog about the restaurant that has replaced The Lock at Tottenham Hale. Cornelius promises a mixture of Italian and Romanian food.

Given the interest we’ve had, we thought it would be rude not to go along and see what Cornelius was like! There were a lot of positives but overall the restaurant needs to work out who their target market is. Here’s the details.

Atmosphere

We had a table for two at 7pm on a Sunday evening. The only other diners while we were there were a family with a young child. It’s quite hard to judge a restaurant when it is so empty, as there wasn’t much buzz but the waiter was extremely attentive.

There was also a table being used by a group of guys who were obviously connected to the restaurant, and they were basically drinking and popping out for a fag. It wasn’t really disruptive, but was definitely a bit off-putting when we arrived and undermined the classy feel they were going for.

The music was Romanian folk music for most of the evening, until it became what I think was Romanian disco-pop. I was pretty happy with that, although the disco felt slightly odd in an empty restaurant.

Practicalities

Cornelius is trying to market itself as an Italian and Romanian restaurant, but it definitely felt primarily Romanian. The menu basically had separate sections for Italian and Romanian food and wine, and the two sections were totally different in terms of font and layout. It’s not a major gripe, but I felt like I had to choose between going Italian and going Romanian.

The waiter was a nice guy but didn’t seem to know the menu very well. However, the service was good, it felt relaxed without taking too long.  The menu was quite extensive, with a reasonable amount of veggie options. The decor was cool, the loos were fine (big pictures in the ladies, I hear), the chairs were a bit low but it was generally all good.

Food, wine and price

We had two starters, two mains and one dessert, plus a bottle of wine and two more glasses of wine, coming to £65.12 including 10% service.

Starters were antipasti (£5.95) and mushrooms provencale (£5.25), both of which were quite tasty but fairly straight forward. The mains were tagliatelle salmone (£6.95) and grilled marinated lamb (£9.95), and we ordered a tomato salad (£2.50) on the side.

The tagliatelle had smoked salmon rather than salmon and was quite heavy, although also quite nice. The lamb had a kind of minty flavour which, if I’m honest, was totally fine but reminded me of a lamb burger. The roasted veg and potatoes (well, I’d call them potato wedges) were nice. The tomato salad was a disaster – even though it was from the menu, I think the waiter got confused as it was literally a tomato cut up in a bowl. Oops.

In terms of wine, we had a bottle of the Romanian Cabernet Sauvignon Murfatlar wine for £15.50 a bottle. There was a slightly random moment when, having ordered the Romanian wine, the waiter brought over a bottle of Californian Cab Sauv as well as the Romanian one we had ordered, and asked if we would prefer that as it was more full bodied. We weren’t sure if he was saying that it would be nicer. Anyway, we stuck with the Romanian and it was really tasty, hence having two more glasses of it (in the name of research, of course).

For dessert I had mixed ice cream (£4.50), which again was fairly straightforward but quite tasty.

Overall

I know E17ers had a lot of love for The Lock. This is definitely not The Lock, Part 2. Cornelius is nice and I respect what they are trying to do. I’m sorry they weren’t busier. I really think they just need to work out who their audience is. The decor, prices and service (the waiter poured the wine throughout dinner) says ‘high end’ but the menu and food say ‘tasty budget fare’.

I can’t help thinking of an Aerosmith lyric, “it’s like the right dress on the wrong girl.” That describes my overall impression of Cornelius. Mrs Stow Scene said it better – “this place would be great if it was where Mondragone used to be.” That’s it really. Cornelius could be a great Romanian restaurant if it was a bit smaller and a bit cheaper. I really hope they make a go of it, as that location is amazing. I just wonder if the location and the restaurant really work together.