East London’s primary retail, cultural and leisure centre, Stratford if now the second most significant business location in the East, after Canary Wharf. We can’t wait for the unveiling of the East Bank that will welcome the V&A, BBC studios, Saddlers Wells 550 seat theatre, London College of Fashion and UCL Campus’. The new development will bring with it 2,500 new jobs and an estimated 1.5 billion generation for the local economy.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to the London Aquatics Centre with its wave-shaped roof, the London Stadium – and anyone can have access to these world class facilities. A spin class where the Olympic athletes trained? – it doesn’t get much more motivational than that, trust us.
Towering over the Olympic park is the unmissable 114-metre-tall sculpture and observation tower – The ArcelorMittal Orbit. Britain’s largest piece of public art, this red-liquorice-lace structure by Belgian artist Carsten Holler features a tunnel slide and if you’re so inclined you can shoot yourself down it (from £10.75). Not for the feint hearted.
Home to the infamous Westfield shopping centre, you really can fulfil all of your sartorial dreams in one fell swoop. Built for a new generation of shoppers (here’s looking at you, kid) feast on 350 stores, including an all singing, all shining Zara and an Arket with its own café for that essential caffeine pick me up.
Whether it’s a pop-up gallery space-slash-book sale aboard a canal boat (keep your eyes peeled), an interactive tech-expo at Here East, live music festivals at the infamous Victoria Park (or many of our East Village hotspots, stay tuned with our listings section), a rooftop film club or catching a game at West Ham’s ground.
East London has become a mecca for beer aficionados with a hive of hipster breweries and microbreweries. Urban legend has it that Pale Ale was actually invented here, after a batch of lighter beer, brewed in East London (Bow Brewery), left for India and matured past its intended maturation point. There’s Tap East Located in The Great Eastern Market at Westfield Stratford, Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick and Howling Hops, or sup on the very best craft ales at East Village’ s Neighbourhood pub and Mother Kelly’s tap room.
With 30 independent retailers including 14 food and drinks establishments (and counting) in East Village alone, there’s plenty to whet one’s appetite, whether for laidback brunches, group lunches, date nights or organic, homemade groceries to take home and enjoy indoors or al fresco (that’s what roof gardens are made for, right!) Do check out, Pidgen, Silo, Cornerstone in Hackney Wick.
Grace Dent (fellow East London inhabitant and food K-ween) crowned Hand as one of her personal faves ‘a dream destination for a day off… a menu serving a changeable feast of Palestinian, Greek and earthy British meze…[and] it’s called Hand, I’ve decided, because it’s a place that props me up when I’m hungry and discombobulated. We all need a hand sometimes.’ – scoring it a delicious 5/5…if its good enough for Grace…
East Village alone has 25-acres of parklands and green spaces, while the Olympic Park covers a whopping 560-acres – the equivalent of around 300 football pitches (that’s bigger than Hyde Park). There are 6.5km of picturesque canal-ways and approximately 26-acres of woods with over 13,000 trees in the Park and at least 60 species of bird and 250 species of insect (who, knew?).
Since the 19th century Stratford has been a vital transport hub and today it’s one of the best connected neighbourhoods in Europe with Stratford International and Stratford stations providing links to the West End in 20-minutes, St Pancras International in seven minutes (by High Speed 1), Canary Wharf in 10-minutes and London airports within an hour. The world really Is your oyster. Margate this weekend… Paris next? ‘You cannot fault the connectivity to the rest of London and beyond’ says Alex, proud East Village resident.
This super-hip postcode, with its abundance of green spaces and outdoor play areas, is as appealing to singles as it is to those with little-uns. If you’re a parent to a fur-baby, our sites are all pet-friendly too. Happy days. Who wouldn’t want to bring up children/dogs in a buzzing area where you can still be true to you, whilst still allowing said offspring to have access to the great, green outdoors?