Step Back in Time | Stratford's Best Spots for Nostalgia Lovers
The hustle and bustle of London can make its locals love it and hate it in equal measure. Luckily, East London is home to a fantastic selection of retro and vintage locations which provide the perfect refuge from the modern day. We’ve compiled a list comprising some of East London’s best vintage clothing, antique and retro gaming spots for those days when you just need to decompress.
East End Vintage Clothing
Where: Ackroyd Drive, E3 4JA
Separated into two sections, the common thread running through everything on offer at East End Vintage is the fact that each piece is guaranteed to be hand-picked. In one section of their large East London warehouse is a typical layout of individually priced items on a seemingly infinite grid of rails, yet it’s in their Fill-A-Bag section that you’re most likely to really grab a bargain. While thrift stores tend to charge by weight when it comes to these sorts of deals, what separates East End Vintage Clothing is that once you’ve paid for your bag, you’re free to fill it with whatever you can. Not a scale in sight!
Fillable bags start at £10 for medium, or £20 for a large.
The Bow Wardrobe
Where: 77-79 Burdett Road, E3 4TN
If East End Vintage leaves you wanting more, it’s just a short walk to The Bow Wardrobe. Its contents are largely made up of public donations and items bought from the general public, so there’s no telling what you might stumble across. It can be a great place for those looking to furnish a new flat or finally let go of that jacket that doesn’t fit anymore but is just too nice to blindly give away. It’ll be in excellent hands at this family-owned enterprise.
The Bow Wardrobe is open Monday-Saturday, 11am-6pm. Prices vary.
Where: 30 Felstead Street, E9 5LG
If it’s antiques you’re after, then there really is no better place than Béton Brut. Don’t be fooled by its brutalist name (meaning bare concrete – a nod to the 1960s buildings that pepper London’s East End), the staff here are knowledgeable about a wide range of eras and continents from which their pieces come. Much like the website, the interior is sleek and sparse to let the furniture sing. Such expertise comes at a price though, so be prepared to dig deep if you fall in love with something.
The showroom is open Monday to Saturday by appointment only.
Where: White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Puritan Values is great if you want to continue your antiques binge or stop for an old-fashioned ale. In March last year they moved their London showrooms to a loft warehouse at the top of a beautiful red brick mill, and their new location is a portal into a bygone era. Once there you’ll also find two on-site micro-breweries: Howling Hops Brewery & Tank Bar; and Crate Brewery. The easiest way to get there is to hop on the overground to Hackney Wick, from where it’s barely a minute’s walk.
Puritan Values’ showrooms are open by appointment only. Both breweries are open every day from 12pm-11pm.
Where: 25 West Ham Lane, E15 4PH
While some might dream of the Victorian era, others may long for a time only just passed. This is the case for much of the clientele of Secret Weapon, sister pub to Dalston’s Loading Bar and Stratford’s foremost gaming pub. 30-somethings can find a hit of childhood nostalgia in games like Tekken 3 and Ghostbusters pinball. No need to pay to play here. If you’re drinking, everything’s included. And it’s not just video games either. Board games are stacked sky high for those who are that way inclined.
Secret Weapon is open 4pm-12am Monday-Thursday, 4pm-2am Friday-Saturday, and 4pm-11pm Sundays.