Humphry’s Café in The Highams Park

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Located in The Highams Park and surrounded by nature with stunning views of Highams Park Lake, Humphry’s Café is a vibrant café and community space.

Address: The Highams Park, Henry’s Ave, Woodford Green IG8 9RB

Phone: 020 8505 7999

Opening hours: Every day from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm (or dusk, whichever is earlier)

Operator: Toni Hanshaw

Art exhibitions

Humphry’s is also home to many community-based activities and is used as an exhibition space for work by local artists (if you would like to display your work, please email highamsparkplan@gmail.com).

See current and past exhibitions > 

Food and drink menus

Humphry’s sells a variety of hot and cold food, ice creams, lollies, cakes, teas, coffee and other beverages and cold drinks. We also sell goods by local producers, environmentally friendly duck food and doggy treats. Menus change daily, but here are some examples of what we offer (prices may vary).

Example breakfast menu
Example breakfast menu
Example lunch menu
Example lunch menu
Example sandwich and toasties menu
Example sandwich and toasties menu
Example hot drinks menu
Example hot drinks menu
Other items for sale
Other items for sale

Toilets

The toilets at Humphry’s are available for all to use when the cafe is open, whether or not you purchase food or drink.

Hiring the café for events

Community-based activities are also welcome in the building, subject to the operator’s agreement. Depending on the activity, a small fee may be payable. For more information call Toni on 020 8505 7999.

Humphry’s history

A café with toilets in the park was the most popular wish when the Highams Park Planning Group (HPPG) was formed in November 2013. HPPG approached the Council to see if they would agree for the community to take over the unused Council building in the park.

The building was initially built as an air raid station during the Second World War. Post-war, it was the community hall for the people living in the temporary housing built in the park after the war, known as prefabs. Read about the history of the prefabs (PDF)

Since their demolition and restoration of the park in 1961 following a successful campaign by the Highams Resident’s Association, the building was used as a grass keepers hut, boat storage for the scouts and community policing activities.

Following a problem with the water supply, the building fell into disuse and was left empty for about eight years before the HPPG asked if they could take it over for the local community. The Council agreed to give HPPG a ten-year lease, and in June 2017, planning permission was granted.

Humphry’s rebirth

The building needed substantial refurbishment and re-purposing. Work started in earnest with the help of the Highams Park Snedders, local businesses and volunteers, who provided so much of their time, services and goods for free. They were incredible.

Over 2,000 volunteer hours and £15,000 of investment delivered £140,000 of return, and counting.

This was a true community project in every sense of the word. So many people and local businesses were involved that it is impossible to mention them all. But we would like to give special mention to:

  • Norton Mayfield Architects (for putting our vision onto paper and steering us through the planning process)
  • Paragon Building Services (logistical support, materials and hard graft)
  • McRae’s Estate Agents (the very first to believe in the project and sponsor the windows)
  • ReedSmith Solicitors (for their unstinting support in steering us through the legal agreements)
  • Gracious Living (toilets, washbasins, disabled alarm)
  • Magnet Highams Park (worktops & cupboards)
  • Total Security Services (security cameras, alarms and ongoing monitoring)
  • The Royal Oak Pub (coffee machine)
  • Waltham Forest Council (Parks Department & Dirty Garden’s Team)
  • The Complete Blind Service (window blinds and cinema screen)
  • GF Plastering (plastering of ceilings and walls)
  • Randburg Electrical Services (complete rewiring of the building)
  • Invek Services Limited (plumbing & boilers installation)
  • Platinum Design & Build Limited (partitions/doors installations)
  • PPC Tiling Ltd (floor tiling to toilets)
  • Toga Plant Hire Ltd (free loan of equipment)
  • Olympiad Signs Ltd (Humphry’s sign)
  • Brian Goldstein (Humphry’s logo)
  • Delta Commercial Flooring Ltd (vinyl flooring)
  • Pace Interiors Ltd (joinery)
  • CJ Decorations Ltd (paints & equipment)
  • Architectural Roofing (roof repairs)
  • Star Room Construction (cutting out the front door and raising the lintel)
  • Picture This (framing of history boards)
  • InflectionTech Limited (financial support)
  • The Pantry (activity table)
  • First Containers UK Ltd (donation of the storage container for the compound)

Humphry’s café opened on Thursday, 26 April 2018. It now provides much-needed facilities in the park. This project was made possible by the support and good offices of the Council and Local Councillors who have supported us and granted the seed funding through the Community Ward Forums.