Hucks Cafe

Our small dog has developed a pathological fear of Grove Road, the road that leads to the vets. As soon as he gets within sniffing distance of the vets, his little legs go stiff as boards, he grips the tarmac with his claws and refuses to go any further. We try and negotiate with him, try and encourage him to walk further up the road by waving treats under his nose, but nothing will convince the little fur ball to move. We figure that we need to prove to him that Grove Road isn’t all that bad by taking him there and sometimes not visiting the vet. Yesterday gave us the perfect opportunity to try out this distraction therapy. We were going to the Village festival anyway, so decided to go the long way round by going up Grove Road and visiting Hucks Cafe on the way. Whilst the dog may not like the vet, he’s a sucker for anywhere that may provide him with the chance of getting a piece of biscuit.

Hucks Cafe

Hucks, which has been open for three weeks, can be found in the old printers shop next door to Cost Cutter. The printers sign above the shop window has been left intact, which if you are a shop front nerd like me, is a glorious thing to see. The inside of the shop is divided in to two. The front of the shop is home to the cafe, and the back is taken up by a studio, which is available to hire. Outside on the newly widened pavement are two long tables which are perfectly placed to get the sun. We settled at one of these table and basked in September sunshine, trying not to look at the dog who was eyeing us with suspicion.

Whilst the old shop front has remained, the inside of the shop has changed since it’s time as a printers. The serving counter is fronted with rough wood and topped by a slab of polished concrete. The back room has beautiful parquet flooring and is home to a few tables and an upright piano. I was particularly taken by the Corona Extra table out back, but was reminded that we don’t have room for anything new before I could ask where it came from. I should say before I go any further, that I don’t make a habit of taking photos in toilets, but I made an exception here. The floor is made up of a mismatch of colourful ceramic tiles and the sink taps are copper pipes with industrial looking handles. I got an odd look from the lady waiting to use the toilet after me, I think she had heard me take the photos and probably wondered what on earth I was up to.

Hucks, which is more of a coffee shop than a cafe, serves pastries, cakes and cookies, and much to my delight their tea comes from tea pig, my favourite provider of my favourite drink. We ordered one of the giant cookies to go with our tea, not for our benefit you understand, it was to help keep the dog distracted. I think our order of two teas and a biscuit bigger than my head came to just over £4.00, which I think is just about in line with everywhere else. We weren’t the only ones enjoying Hucks, when we arrived the table next to us outside was full, and there was a constant stream people popping in to get take out drinks. The cafe may only have been open for three weeks, but people seem to be making the most it already. Hucks has friendly owners, sits in a quiet sunny spot, and serves great tea. All in all, a winning combination.


One comment

  1. Huck
    In the 1960’s, when we moved from a warehouse flat in Spitalfield, to Walthamstow we lived in a half house ground floor flat in Brooke Road. We shared the upstairs bathroom with the upper flat tenants but there wasn’t any hot water other than from our kitchen Ascot!.

    I worked locally as a low paid Cost Clerk and we had two small children. In order to enhance our poor income, my wife did part time evening bar work at Walthamstow Stadium. We also had a dog.
    His name was ‘Huck’ (Hucklebury Hound’) and he was part whippet and part ‘allsorts’. He was skinny and always looked half starved. (One day he stole and ate our Sunday joint) My wife walked him during the day and at the weekend we used to take him and the children for walks in nearby Epping Forest.

    Although we only lived only a shHort distance away we didn’t often go to Orford Road although we often passed through it on the way to the market. Then, the ‘village’ was a very small area around Vestry House, the ‘Old’ House, St Mary’s Church and the Almshouses. Orford Road was quite run-down and a bit scruffy and our only reason for visiting there was to attend Connaught Hospital and the maternity clinic in West Avenue.

    Huck was fascinated by water but wouldn’t voluntarily swim. I used to carry him out to the top of my wellington boots height in a forest pond and put him in the water. He would then paddle furiously to the edge and vigorously shake himself dry.

    Quite often he would disappear into the forest and despite our calling to him, he wouldn’t return. On two separate occasions he was returned to us after a few days by strangers who got his address from his collar. Apparently he had attached himself to them in the forest and because he looked to be ‘half starved’ they took him home to feed him. When they brought him back to us we always felt slightly guilty because it was obvious that they thought we had neglected/mistreated him.
    One weekend we took him for a walk in the forest and once again he did a ‘runner’. This time was different because we never saw him again. For several successive days I went to the forest looking for him but to no avail. Our best guess was that he had attached himself to some kind person who thought that he had been mistreated and kept him.

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