The Deli, Walthamstow
69 Orford Rd
by Cathy Latte
“Peep peep”. I rummage around in my bag and find Alpine Sport (my Swiss-nationalist coloured Nokia). It blinks up at me: “Guerilla Craft in Walthamstow. 26th April. Davina.”
Later, basket affixed and streamers streaming I pedal down and pick Davina up on the corner of First Avenue. We do one of those excited little waves that friends who haven’t seen each other for a while do.
Davina and me used to be ‘Wired Women’ and we’d see each other all the time. Together with our theremin-wielding Grrrrl friends we went around burning out plug sockets and making music venues (really) angry with our colourful crew of cheerleaders – and their repertoire of chants about masturbation.
Today, sunny Café Deli is our destination for a leisurely breakfast. Normalities like beany-eggs fast breaking are replaced with European cousins like paninis, wraps, baguettes and pastries. Salmon and capers with creamy cheese in a toasted baguette takes my fancy. Mozzarella and SD-tomatoes wrapped for D. We have standard in a bag herbal tea, no more to say there.
The food’s cheap and tasty – just a fiver each including tip. It’s coupled with a good chunk of side salad. Vegetables delivered in the form of crisps and an al fresco surround give it a breakfasty picnic theme.
The service is particularly good. I tend to over-tip after an experience with my boyfriend here last week. We had a moment, as couples do. He was being particularly indecisive, couldn’t choose between chocolate and pecan - a trait I deplore. It was going on for some time. I remarked on his flustering to the waitress. She peered over the counter and in her strong West Indian way said: “Boy, you gotta make your own decisions. Don’t rely on others, just ain’t fair”. What a marvellous woman, I remember thinking.
We toddle off to the Guerilla Craft – which wasn’t that radical but more of a cutesy, home stitched do: fluffy cats strewing themselves over chaise lounges, pin cushions and lavender pillows. But it's a winning combo - the breakfast, as my pa would say, ‘set me up for the day’ and the craft fair gives me a nudge to root out my old needles and yarn. I settle back into my cottage chair for lovely afternoon of pearl, stitch and bitch. Delightful.