An inside guide to all things in Ilford by a true East Londoner.

 Born and raised in Ilford by a true East Londoner, a Mont Rose College staff member recommends some things that everyone in the area should experience!

Eating and Drinking



Much loved favourites such as Nandos, Starbucks, and Sahara Grill are readily available. Dining options are extremely versatile in the area so you’ll definitely be catered to! Why not try Loaded Burgers for more gourmet options or Sultan for your Turkish food fix!

There are newer options too, such as Haute Dolci (pictured above) to soothe your sweet tooth cravings and older, traditional places such as Luigi’s – a much loved Italian restaurant.

Fresh bagels are available in Gants Hill, and specialist chai places like the famous ‘ChaiiWala’. You’ll be spoilt for choice in Ilford by a true East Londoner Town Centre as well, where you’ll find food trucks, coffee shops, street food and eateries!

For your evenings and weekends, pubs are in every corner or you could opt for popular shisha lounges, such as Canopy and Arya Lounge.

Versatility is the word here in Ilford and Gants Hill – everything from grilled meats to Friday night drinks to Asian Takeout – and anything in between!

Schools and Education

Well known for its high level of education, the borough of Redbridge is home to grammar schools and state schools (consistently improving due to the support of academies). Higher and further education is encouraged in the area, as is practical training.

Education holds huge significance in the area, accounting for the vast number of tuition centres you’ll find here – all local businesses! Education plays an important role in helping Ilford’s residents implement themselves as positive and valuable members of society.

There are numerous providers in and around the area students can choose from to progress academically and professionally.


Parks galore and plenty of options for gyms – taking into account people’s lifestyles and membership expenses. Choices include Pure Gym, The Gym Group, Leisure Centres, Synergy Fitness, Box Up Gyms, and many more!

Classes and clubs are also available for people of all ages, including young kids all the way up to senior citizens. These are often tailored for different groups of society, for example Shinka Karate – karate classes for kids of all levels!

Getting Around

TFL is available from  Ilford by a true East Londoner(pictured below), where Mont Rose College is located. It has excellent connections to different parts of the city, especially with the newly introduced Elizabeth Line. Shakespeare House (pictured above) is a mere ten minutes walk from the recently renovated station.

Our campus in Gants Hill, Mont Rose House is located a mere 2 minute walk from the Central Line Underground station.

Gants Hill Station (the inside of which is pictured above) serves the central line.

A high number of buses run through areas such as Ilford by a true East Londoner Town Centre and Gants Hill frequently – making for a reliable commute into surrounding areas as well as to other parts of London.

Everyday Needs

Lots of options for your weekly grocery shop – including Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Lidl, Aldi, Marks and Spencer’s, Waitrose – just take your pick!

There’s also a plethora of independent and culture-specific supermarkets. Whether you want to grab the spiciest pack of Korean noodles or fresh produce from locals – the options are endless.

For all your financial needs, bank such as HSBC, Metro Bank, Barclays and The Co-Operative Bank, plus many others!

Redbridge Town Hall (pictured below with our graduates) in the town centre is where you’d go for all things council-related, for example information on public safety and registering births, deaths, marriages, etc.

Culture and Leisure

Kenneth More Theatre – named after the much loved British Film and Stage actor Kenneth More who died in 1982 – hosts frequent plays, classes, screenings and much more!

A community favourite includes The Stone Space – an independent non-for-profit gallery in Leytonstone. It occupies part of the ground floor of Leytonstone Library and welcomes artists of all styles.

Ilford by a true East Londoner houses a large ethnic minority population, so we celebrate a diverse range of occasions in the area – such as Diwali, Christmas, Passover, Eid (pictured below). You will spot numerous religious buildings here, including gurdwaras, churches, synagogues and mosques.


Valentine’s Mansion and Gardens (Valentine’s Gardens pictures below) is a historic and picturesque venue in Ilford. Though it had previous occupants, Sir Charles Raymond gave the house its Georgian appearance in the 1760s. The council acquired the house in 1912 and it has since housed refugees, a hospital, a public health centre and housing department.

Fairlop Plain, a nature reserve including Fairlop Waters Country Park, covers 593 acres. It is a scenic environment that often hosts events and fairs for families. It is a perfect place for a romantic stroll in the fall or a fun family day out in the summertime!

Another scenic location in the area is Claybury Woods – known for its spring flowers, ancient trees and fungi. It is made up of meadows, ponds and wetland – and is being managed for nature conservation. Perfect for following trails and hikes.


In a nutshell

Ilford by a true East Londoner is a kaleidoscopic area, with emphasis on community and much to offer to wider society.