Back many centuries ago Green Street’s primary purpose was to separate the parishes of East Ham and West Ham. Today, however, it caters to a hugely diverse population and is home to a number of amenities and hidden gems worth checking out next time you visit.
‘The borough is a lively, vibrant and exciting place, and Green Street is a real jewel’- Robin Wales.
- Curry houses, restaurants and eateries
The bustling street comprises a vibrant mix of people and cultures, including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, British, Afro-Caribbean, African and Eastern European. This has resulted in a wide variety of restaurants on tap. From personal experience: Vijay’s Chawalla is great for vegetarians who fancy some Indian cuisine. Himalaya – offering traditional Pakistani dishes – offers the option of a quick snack on the outside or the choice to go inside and have a dish. Nathan’s Pie and Eels, alternatively, is good for some ‘east end’ pie and mash. There are many other places to try, and we are all ears. Let us know!
This is touted as Europe’s very first boutique Asian shopping centre and is a very recent addition to the street. Asian inspired clothes and jewellery in all shades of the rainbow are to be found here and if you get hungry there is a food court selling all things from spices to a chocolate shop. Prepare to be dazzled!
- Football Links
The Boleyn has been the home of West Ham FC since 1904. The turrets at the front of the stadium have been modelled on those appearing on the club crest and hark back to its supposed links with royalty (local legend has it that Henry VIII built a castle on Green Street for his then lover and second wife Anne Boleyn). Also worth seeing is the statue called ‘The Champions’. This depicts the famous 1966 World Cup victory scene with Bobby Moore. Make the most of the footie links here however, as West Ham are due to relocate to Stratford at the end of the season (May 2016).
- Queen’s Market
This market sells a range of exotic vegetables and household objects and has been part of the local community for over a century. It is now open seven days a week. Recently it was host to the first Green Street festival and (despite the rain) boasted an explosion of colours and culture.
- A few other gems
Other items of interest to see are the Boleyn Tavern: despite this place being touted as a football pub (you’ve been warned to avoid on match day), it boasts a splendid Victorian interior to look at. Alternatively, if you also want to escape the misery of grey Barking Road in the winter (we have all been there), the Boleyn cinema can transport you to the hot and spicy world of Bollywood splendour (subtitles included). Finally, Newham Bookshop, one of East London’s leading independent bookshops, is also worth dropping in on as it offers an increasingly unique exposure to good olde decent paperback books as well as hosting a range of literary events.
By GRA member Naomi