On Saturday morning I left the house just after 10:00am. A very dark sky hung above the reservoir between Walthamstow and Tottenham Hale, but I convinced my self that it wasn’t going to rain. I was very wrong indeed, it did rain, and it rained in a very serious fashion. I was heading home along the old viaduct path that runs along the top of the marshes and passes the mural under the railway bridge. I coud see the rain moving towards to me, it seemed to be coming from two directions, one deluge from Tottenham and another from over the river in Clapton. The rain wasn’t in fact coming from two directions, it was coming from Tottenham but the wind was blowing it across the marsh. It was cold and relentless, stinging my face as it flew sideways across the bleak marshes. I had to close my left eye to stop the rain hurting it as I battled forward to seek refuge at home. Typically, by the time I got to the front door the rain stopped, but it was too late I was already soaked and frozen. I needed good cuppa to defrost me, and I had a pretty good idea where I could get one.
We got the usual Saturday chores out of the way and headed out in search of tea and food. Picking up our friend along the way we were soon at our destination, a cafe called Indulgence on Hoe Street. Indulgence is a relative newcomer to the Walthamstow cafe community, but I’ve been waiting for it to open for what seems like an age. Indulgence has bought one of my favourite things back to E17, Massis tea, and the fabled ginger bread hug. I first visited Massis tea when they popped up at Hoe Street central, serving their flavoured tea lattes. My favorite flavour was the ginger bread hug, and it’s safe to say I became slightly addicted. Massis have gone from strength to strength since leaving their first home on Hoe street. They traded at several markets in London and did a stint in Westfield in Stratford before setting up permanently in the West End. I try and visit their cafe in the Arts Theatre when ever I’m in town so I can get a ginger bread fix. It was on one of these visits that Hovig, the chap behind Massis told me about the new venture in Walthamstow. It’s safe to say I was beside myself with excitement.
As well as being the second permanent venue to stock and serve Massis Tea. Indulgence, as you might expect for a cafe, serves a good range of meals and cakes. I had already heard some great stuff about this cafe and its food, so I was looking forward to trying the menu. As with many shops on Hoe Street, Indulgence has a large window to the front which floods the cafe with light. There are tables at the front which look perfect for people watching, there are more tables at the back of the cafe, and a large counter in the middle. The owner was very friendly, welcoming us almost the instant we walked in through the door. She talked us through the menu options, all of which sounded great. I opted for a mozzarella, pesto, spinach and tomato toastie on sour dough. My other half went for smoked salmon and cheese, and our friend who had already eaten ordered a lemon meringue. We also ordered a couple of ginger bread hugs and our friend went for the vanilla option.
The tables at the front of the cafe were all full so we sat at a table near the end of the counter. Before long the teas were delivered, the smell of ginger bread drifting up from my tea and filling the air. Not long after the magical Massis tea had arrived, the food came to the table. The owner had recommended the toastie that I ordered, and a good recommendation it was. The pesto was excellent and it had just the right amount of mozzarella in it. When our plates had been cleared away we ordered three more ginger bread hugs, settled back and had a good old gossip. I always think that a good indication that a cafe or bar have got the atmosphere right, is if you feel comfortable enough to have a good old chin wag. We whiled away an hour or so in Indulgence, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this new Walthamstow cafe. We weren’t the only ones that seemed to be enjoying the place either, most of the tables were occupied by the time we left. All credit to the owner that a new business is already getting so much support, another indication that she is doing something right. I like the cafe, and I like that Massis tea have come back to E17. Indulgence made a good first impression and is definitely somewhere that I’ll visit again.