Stratford – the shiny, post-Olympic enclave of east London, is still going strong after its boost in 2012, with plenty of Londoners buying up flats in its swishy new apartment blocks or packing out the Westfield mall’s All Star Lanes bowling alley, cinema, shops and restaurants. And then there’s the Olympic legacy: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has a sandy beach in its 111 acres of open space during summer, and hosts live music, theatre and dance events.
Hungry? Try Randy’s Wing Bar for excellent chicken at Here East or trendy café Sawmill for cake and jam-jar cocktails (and pay in Bitcoin). Access to the rest of London is easy, with pretty much every form of travel available: DLR, tube (Central line), Overground, rail and numerous buses, and all the best hotels in Stratford are within easy walking distance of everything.
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The best hotels in Stratford
With Chesterfield seats and a working fireplace in the lounge, The Westbridge has that classic British regal vibe nailed. A few of the rooms are modern, but the best are the royally named heritage rooms in its Grade II-listed coach house, furnished with Georgian and Regency touches. Randomly, there’s a BYO halal restaurant, and a gym, and it’s right on the High Street, so within easy reach of the tube, Westfield and the Olympic Park.
Winning hands-down for personality is the Cart & Horses bar and guesthouse. The pub and live-music venue has been there for years, and the owners make a big thing of the fact it was where a burgeoning Iron Maiden had a residency in the mid-’70s. Rooms are homely – like staying with mad-but-fun relatives – with the option to use a shared bathroom or have your own.
This recently renovated contemporary hotel comes with spacious, bright rooms in grey, brown or green tones (trust us, they’re nicer than they sound), all a mile away Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a ten-minute walk from Stratford tube station. Rooms come with free wifi, tea- and coffee-making facilities and room fans, plus there’s free continental breakfast served in a bright dining area, and a light-filled lobby bar.
Rooms here have a simple, modern design, but the view is the best bit, with vistas across to the Olympic Park, the Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture (and, as of summer 2016, super-slide!) and beyond to the City skyline, featuring the Gherkin et al. This all-suite hotel is good for long stays, as each one has a full kitchen and access to a laundry room, and it’s ideally located in Westfield and a four-minute walk from the tube.
This modern apartment hotel is just five minutes’ walk away from Stratford station, so very close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Westfield. Its clean spaces, from studios (starting at £80) to two-bedroom apartments, include fully equipped kitchens with washer/dryers, as well as TVs and DVD players, free wifi and nice amenities like L’Occitane toiletries. If you can afford it, spring for a penthouse apartment, which comes with a terrace or balcony. Secured on-site parking is available for a fee.
This is the place to come if you want a stylish serviced apartment with balcony, proper kitchen, full-length windows, greyscale bedroom (with flashes of hot pink) and Scandi-looking neutral sofa, piled up with cushions. It’s right by the centre of Stratford, so close to Stratford High Street tube, the Olympic Park and all the shopping you need. Fresh flowers in the rooms are a lovely touch, and the angular, cut-out design of the building is pretty cool too.
This handsome family-run pub with nine rooms (from around £100 per double) on a corner site of Angel Lane is less than a mile from Stratford International railway station and a 15-minute walk from Westfield Stratford City. Décor is smart and simple, and all rooms are en suite and come with wifi, TVs and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Full English breakfast is free, and is served in a bright, airy conservatory leading out to a garden terrace. There’s an ATM and free car parking too (one space for each room).
Things to do in Stratford
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