For years, E20 was the fictional postcode for Walford in ‘EastEnders’. Then the Olympics happened and it went IRL. These days it’s London’s newest postcode, and at its centre is Victory Parade: the new high street for residents of the former 2012 Athletes’ Village.
Stretching from the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park right across the renamed East Village, Victory Parade has started drawing visitors as well as Villagers. Part of its appeal is the open space, of course: the Olympic Park’s 560 acres are right next door. But there’s also a proper community vibe starting to take root here, with independent restaurants, bars and shops, as well as a Sunday market specialising in homemade products like mermaid toast (look it up on Instagram).
Just off the Parade is Victory Park, home to the Victor the Gorilla sculpture, which starred in endless selfies (including Tom Daley’s and Maria Sharapova’s) during the 2012 Games. In the summer months a large cinema screen pops up here, along with brightly coloured deckchairs where you can sit back and soak up sporting events and retro films. It’s things like this that make Victory Parade more than your typical London high street. Head down and check it out. You’ll find E20 has come a long way since Frank Butcher’s day.
A powerful chocolate martini at Tina E20 just round the corner. Grab a table on the outdoor terrace and drink in views of the Olympic Park.
Pink pepper gin at creative hub RedYellowBlue with its digital art space and kitsch ’80s décor.
Locally brewed crate ale at Village Vanguard. Just across the road from Victory Parade on Liberty Bridge Road, it’s a popular spot with the locals.
A delectable fried egg with spinach inside a focaccia at Italian-owned bakery Signorelli. Bellissimo!
Proper hearty grub including classic fish and chips at friendly, upmarket chippy Fish House.
Confit pork belly with summer veg and mushroom jus at Darkhorse. This Mediterranean-influenced gaff is owned by a former executive chef of Soho House.
Seafood linguine at Santi, an inexpensive and authentic Italian that’s loved by the lunch crowd.
Ape around like some of the world’s greatest athletes did and snap a selfie with Victor the Gorilla. He doesn’t bite.
Salute the sun at one of the free Our Parks yoga classes in Victory Park. They also run boxing and circuit training – Olympic legacy, anyone?
Put your thinking cap on and test your knowledge in the weekly quiz at nearby bar Neighbourhood – it’s on Celebration Avenue, just a shot’s put from Victory Parade.
A bike from cycle shop Pavé Velo. The helpful staff will offer you advice on a suitable range of new and used bicycles, so you can give Bradley Wiggins a pedal for his money.
A bottle of homemade lemonade or some fresh Lincolnshire rhubarb from organic grocer Ted’s Veg, opposite Victory Parade on West Park Walk.
Fresh parmigiano reggiano from Ted’s neighbour, Italian-owned deli Appetite. This new business will even deliver to your door by bike, so you can keep your cheese-bingeing green.
And if you only do one thing…
Hit up the marvel that is the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Whizz down the world’s longest tunnel slide, take a spin around the velodrome or make a big splash in the Aquatics Centre.
By Lynn Carratt, who’s less Mo Farah, more Big Mo.