Living in London: Laura Jackson on why swapping Hackney for Forest Gate was a surprisingly smart move

My husband and I have lived in Forest Gate for six years. It’s a beautiful house with great charm that we bought in 2006. However, it needed some updating. My husband lived in Hackney for 18+ years and couldn’t afford a shoebox. We decided to move further away. It’s a great decision. We didn’t realize we made a smart decision, but now I feel like it was. Best eating and drinkingWild Goose Bakery is the perfect place for light breakfasts or lunches. Missy, a pop-up shop that opened recently, is inspired by South Africa. It’s a wonderful place to make ferments and pickles. It’s part the Pretty Decent Beer Co taproom. They also make delicious pizza and pasta. Burgess & Hall is the place to go for wines. Dina, a natural wine shop, offers tastings and supper clubs. Calum Harris, of Dina natural wine store, hosts supper club / Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd. Get your culture fix. Epping Forest is a fascinating area for outdoor culture. There’s a place called “The Number 8 Forest Gate Emporium” and the owner is a great information whiz. If you’re ever in the area and are interested in historical facts, he can help you. To commune with natureWanstead Flats/ Daniel LynchWanstead Flats looks like a vast green area. If you look out, you can see Canary Wharf’s skyline. In the summer, bike rides are great. I like to walk around the Flats where I work out. I love to go for a swim, and the Olympic Pool in Stratford can be reached by train. There is a Leytonstone farmers market on Sunday for fruit and vegetables. For bread, pastry, and sandwiches, head to the Dusty Knuckle floating. There is also a great fishmonger. On Woodgrange Road, you’ll find Cups & Jars, a small French grocery shop. Unfortunately, I don’t have any sense of direction. But the new Elizabeth line goes to Liverpool Street in 12 minutes.Alternatively, the Overground from Wanstead Park takes you to Blackhorse Road where you can jump on the Victoria line. It’s very well connected around there.Dream streetA street within the Woodgrange Estate Conservation Area / Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd. There are many beautiful streets in the Woodgrange Estate Conservation Area. They are grid-like and lined with trees. They are separated by roundabouts. It was designed by an American architect. From an aerial view, it looks almost like America. People from Bangladesh and Poland are represented here. It’s a mix of people from different countries. Green. Green. How much it costs to live and rent in Forest Gate