Monday, 6 September 2010

Riverside Cafe

At the bottom of the huge sweep of Springfield Park’s Spring Hill, which looks as if it could have been transplanted from Hampstead Heath, is the beautifully basic Riverside Cafe. Sit in the café’s steamy interior or on one of the casually scattered chairs next to the River Lea and the Lea Rowing Club.

I normally go for a faultless and very reasonably priced (under a fiver) English breakfast, but they serve good omelettes, filled baguettes and a range of cakes too. Despite appearances and the bargain prices, the service is (generally) friendly and so efficient it would put most sophisticated restaurants to shame. Just across the water are the wilds of Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where an old breed of cattle still graze in the summer. It is just one part of the pretty Lee Valley Park, which languishes for a full 26 miles along the banks of the River and is London’s biggest open space, crossed by a network of footpaths.

Riverside Cottage, Spring Hill, Clapton E5 9BL Tel: 0208 920 3994