Why not stop by for a refreshing beverage while you read your favourite blog this morning?
Enjoy a traditional cup of tea in this, our new shared space.
Absolutely the most stimulating way to start the day!
Tea and good company are all part of the new Diamond Geezer Daily Deal. A bespoke infusion of hand-curated leaves in boiling water can be yours for just £1.50... milk to taste, sugar optional.
Tick here to add a yummy digestive biscuit to your cafe experience.
To join the fun, simply wave your contactless card over the icon, and let the joys of cafe culture begin!
n.b. Unless you live in the E3 postcode area, you will need to provide your own tea. Please ensure that your kettle is plugged in. Teabags are readily available in all good kitchens, whereas digestive biscuits may need to be sourced separately.
n.b. If you do live in the E3 postcode, please make your delivery address clear via the private contact channel. Properties in Mile End may incur a surcharge. Your tea will be provided within the pre-ordained delivery window. Colour may vary. Temperature on delivery is not guaranteed. Please rinse and dry your mug in readiness for collection prior to your next purchase.
n.b. The £1.50 is an administrative charge, and will be charged nevertheless, forthwith and hereto.
Deep in the forests of Hainault Country Park, far beyond the outer reaches of the Central line, a unique timber construction has been created. Sixteen carved oak trunks form a large circle around a focal centrepiece, each repurposed from trees felled nearby during the creation of fresh pasture. There's really nothing like it anywhere else in the capital.
A veritable pageant of natural forms are combined within. Are those tadpoles crawling up the stump, transforming inexorably from spawn to frog? As an owl comes in to land, can you make out the geese and harvest mice carved below? Which other fossils can you make out amid the ammonites and crinoids? And is it actually physically possible for two hares to crouch like that?
My apologies, I am no longer able to include a photo at this point because it might interfere with your enjoyment of the new Diamond Geezer Cafe.
Woodhenge is the work of sculptor Jeff Higley, who set about the project in 2005 with the aid of Clint Chaloner, Cheryl Hughes and Kate Pyper. Together they embraced the brief set by forest manager Paul Browne to create a place of wonder as part of an art trail in the woods. Perhaps you'll spot Green Man Head and Chrysalis Bench on your way to the designated clearing, but it's Woodhenge which steals the show.
The structure was created sequentially, starting with four elemental pieces representing earth, wind, fire and water. It's as well to know this before you arrive, as their twisted spiky forms may not necessarily conjure up the correct interpretation. Then came the sculptures representing living things, which steal the show, and only finally the centrepiece, an organic three-way chair with steep backrests. You may need to dust it down, or wipe stuff off, before taking a seat.
As well as creating a place of awe and wonder, the large circle at Woodhenge is also intended to act as an outdoor classroom, a performance space and a gathering point. But I doubt that a lot of this kind of thing actually happens. Instead the site is just far enough off the main beaten track at Hainault Country Park, on the far side of the lake, to be properly secluded. It would be all to easy too pass by and never spot the wooden wonders within, including a twisted dragonfly stump and carved representations of many different types of plankton.
I don't think I can risk adding a photo here either, sorry.
Three years ago the sculpture trail and woodland walk were relaunched in digital form. New information boards were erected, and QR codes added so that smartphone users could get information about the history of the flora and fauna that live here. An exciting new website was launched with more information - hainaulttrails.org - but unfortunately nobody could be bothered to maintain it and the whole thing has vanished into the ether less than a thousand days later.
Instead the only alternative is to drop by Woodhenge yourself, perhaps combining your visit to Hainault Country Park with a spin round the children's zoo, an ice cream from the kiosk and a hike round the lush grassland. Take the 150 bus to its penultimate stop, alighting just before the Essex border, and come look at a few carved bits of wood for a couple of minutes.