Harriet Rose of KISS FM on life ‘surrounded by kindness’ in North East London


grew up in a West Midlands village, but moved to London when I was 19, as soon as I could. I have lived everywhere; New Cross and Brockley when I was at Goldsmiths, then around Hackney.

I moved to Walthamstow Village five years ago – I lived on Kingsland Road and it was so loud and hectic. Heard Walthamstow is cold but I have my favorite thing, which is good food.

I was looking to buy a place to live and found a two bedroom apartment on the ground floor in a townhouse that I share with my cat, Leonard Cohen. The people before me had really done a great job on it, so I didn’t have to do much. I redone the garden and paved the lawn for maintenance reasons, and I introduced storage for clothes everywhere and transformed the second bedroom into a walk-in closet.

It is decorated in vintage pastels; my bedroom is light green, the guest bedroom is pink and everywhere else is sort of creamy off-white. I like quite old-school furniture; my vibe is very vintage.

Better eat and drink

If you want a snack, go to Homies On Donkeys in Wood Street Market for a taco. For dining there, there are two tapas restaurants that I love: Orford Saloon staff on Orford Road are so warm and kind, I always have a good time there, and Don Francisco Y La Luna across the street main is amazing.

If you fancy a leisurely drink then The Checkers, also on the main street, is really great, or the Queen’s Arms is fine if you want an accidental evening. It’s so much fun. The last time I was there I ended up doing karaoke.

The Checkers pub on Walthamstow High Street

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Where i train

When I first moved to Walthamstow I really had a hard time exercising and needed help finding something I would like to do. I found this personal trainer called Sam George who started his business, Sam George Fitness, from scratch and owns a small gym. He transformed my life. I also go to Gym Walthamstow if I don’t see Sam.

For a dose of culture

The obvious place would be the William Morris Gallery. I actually like its gardens a lot, and they often have markets, food, or fireworks in Lloyd Park. It is a real center of activity.

The gardens of the William Morris Gallery

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To commune with nature

The place I really like is Hollow Ponds, which is about a 15-20 minute walk away, near Whipps Cross Hospital. You can walk around, they have boats for hire and a little cafe. This is where I go when I want to take care of my mental health.

Grocery shopping

During the pandemic virtually the only place I went was Eat 17 Spar on Orford Road. It’s amazing. They have a Japanese take-out and unlimited wine section, as well as artisan products from local producers. I also like Parish Wines nearby, where you can get a very classy bottle of wine.


I get up for work around 5 a.m. and jump on the metro because it’s much faster than by car. It only takes about 20 minutes to get to Oxford Circus. I had a bicycle during the pandemic, which I use to get around east London.

Dream street

I would like to live in the middle of Orford Road because I like being in the center of things. There are also some very beautiful authentic houses on Beulah Road.

Something you only see in Walthamstow

I have never lived anywhere else in my life where I have felt so surrounded by kindness. I’m going to have dinner with my neighbors, I know everyone on my street and absolutely everyone wants to stop and chat.

What’s the catch?

It’s close to central London as the crow flies, but driving can be very time consuming due to all the traffic.

In three words

Community. Comfortable. Energetic.

What it costs

Average home purchase price: £ 634,649

Average flat-rate purchase price: £ 374,784

Average rental price of a house pcm: £ 1,809

Average rental price for an apartment pcm: £ 1,353

Local schools

Most Walthamstow elementary schools get at least a good Ofsted report, and the schools watchdog gives top marks to Greenleaf, St Saviour’s, The Woodside and South Grove elementary schools.

For older students, Walthamstow School for Girls has an excellent Ofsted report, and the vast majority of other high schools in Walthamstow are rated as good.

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