Westfield Stratford shopping is fantastic. But let’s be honest the crowds and noise of fashionistas on a mission can be overwhelming. I find that when I’m hungry I need a bit of peace before I’m ready to hit the rails again. Well, I have the solution for you! Have you ever thought about venturing into East Village London?
Well, we have and will give you an insight, so you too can take a rest bite from the chaos just a stones throw from the tills.
Stratford is already the most connected neighbourhood in London and now weekend Night Tube services have kicked off on the Central and Victoria Lines, with services on the Jubilee, Northern and Picadilly lines following soon this autumn. Eventually Stratford will be served by at least 4 different train lines for 24-hours at weekends.
So, it’s getting even easier to get here.
Westfield Stratford City isn’t really a place you go to window shop, except perhaps glancing at the flower stalls..
or peeping at the pastries.
So, once you’ve shopped until you are ready to drop, you will need somewhere to replenish yourselves. Westfield’s have loads of bustling restaurant chains, but if you want a little peace, let me share a secret…
Just outside, within 5 minutes walk, is the calm and hip East Village.
Just find the exit near John Lewis (towards the International Station). There are maps in Westfield’s everywhere. Once out just walk straight ahead. That’s it!
Modern apartments have been part of a development plan since the London Olympics. So, now with 6,000 people choosing to live here, restaurants and shops have been adding more and more buzz to this area. So, much so it has the reputation of being ‘London’s Hippest Postcode’. There really is always something going on.
You can explore on Boris Bikes if you had the energy (unlikely if you’ve been shopping) or crash on giant cushions and bask in the warm Autumn sun.
Unassuming restaurants, like this Italian, are opening all over.
Santi is cool and calm inside. The wood fired oven was already on and the smell of freshly baked bread filled the restaurant.
Even as the restaurant filled, it was wonderful to sit, relax and chatter without the din of a colossal shopping mall.
Cold white wine was a welcome lunchtime treat.
The food here is comforting and homely, with a real glance to authentic Italian cooking. All the pizza chefs are from Southern Italy.
Tuna Carpaccio marinaded in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fennel seeds and lemon juice, topped with fresh chilli and served with rucola salad.
Sautéed fresh mussels with garlic, olive oil, tomato, chilli and oregano served with garlic toasted bread.
Smoked mozzarella with breadcrumbs served with sautéed aubergines. This is a speciality here as it isn’t commonly on Italian menus.
It’ll probably feed two as a starter, but get more of that incredible aubergine!
Linguine with King prawns, mussels, garlic, tomato and chilli.
Spaghetti with fresh clams, garlic and cherry tomatoes.
Scrumptious homemade tiramisu.
Another restaurant I’ve eaten in is Darkhorse, a European restaurant. See what we thought, here.
From 11am – 4pm every Sunday, you’ll find a fab little food, drink and craft market.
Check out these ladies selling some of the best pies I’ve eaten anywhere. Cleverly called three point one four pies (it’s pie squared!).
Do try this strawberry ganache one – it’s to die for!
This Finnish pear and fig one was divine. I’ve made it clear to my son that I expect to be fed pie on his visits home or he’s no longer welcome (they really are good).
We bought some Cow poo from a farmer.
The boys sampled some rather good blended wine.
Now you’ve been fed and watered, how about some hide and seek?
It takes a while to spot your own reflection. *waves*
Oh, there’s a brilliant wine shop here. We’ve enjoyed many a bottle as my son James often spoils us with exciting wines when he visits home.
Bottle Apostle is a mecca for discerning wine lovers.
Choosing is half the fun.
Check this place out for a decent cocktail. Milkmade.
So, forget the tourist sights of the Olympic park a short stroll away (for now), if the purpose of your visit is Westfield shopping, venturing into East Village London has you immersed very quickly into a fun and vibrant neighbourhood.
Now I’m ready to hunt down some Jimmy Choo’s.