Well there have been a few of these East London 2012 Olympic guides floating around. But you know, they’re not East enough – they seem to stop in the middle East, Shoreditch which isn’t really that handy for the Olympics. We might be a bit tardy one week in, but we’re going to try a bit harder and get you east East.…
Chomping at the bit in Canary Wharf? Try The Gun
A brief walk from Canary Wharf this is as good as it gets round here. And it IS good. The Gun straddles pub and restaurant – a long terrace right on the river offers views across to North Greenwich. Whilst the food is a notch more refined than you average gastro-pub grub and served up on white linen.
The Gun, 27 Coldharbour Docklands London E14 9NS
Stranded near St Katherine’s Dock? Cross the road and find the Rosemary Branch
St Katherine’s Dock is faintly pleasant, but your eating options are just powered by the usual suspects. Having said that there is a medieval banquet with dancing girls and pigs on spits – perfect for summer! If those don’t float your boat then navigate your way across the busy road to the ancient Roman road – Royal Mint St – to find the distinctly Dickensian Rosemary Branch restaurant. Big on atmosphere and serving great pan-European dishes it might seem a little more appropriate for the winter – but don’t worry, I’m sure with our weather it’ll feel bang on the money next week.
61 Royal Mint Street., E1
Over the Olympic Park options?
Yep, you’ve just trawled through Europe’s biggest shopping centre – that’s something to tell your friends about back home. Don’t be scared of eating in Stratford’s Westfield; I was but I survived, the food hall is designed in extraordinarily good taste. The best of the bunch inside is Franco Manca for great sourdough pizzas.
Westfield Shopping Centre, E15
Hidden in Hackney Wick: Formans
If you manage to wind up round the back of the Olympic site then drop into Formans – salmon smoker extraordinaire and purveyors of British foodstuffs. With a big gallery attached, and plenty more in the area. Hell, they know their way round SEO – coming up as Formans: Olympic Stadium Restaurant. But they do have the creds being the only business who managed to play the the Olympic Committee at the own game and win: they got turfed out their original home and struck gold with a bigger, better space. Yes there was life before the Olympics on that site, it wasn’t quite as brownfield as they’d have you believe…
Stour Road, Fish Island, London E3 2NT
Looking for a traditional London pub? You’re going to get much more than you bargained for at The Palm at the edge of Mile End Park, a stone’s throw from the Regent’s Canal. This is a true East End boozer with crooners singing their hearts out at the piano and bronze shimmering wallpaper. This is as far from any kind of gastro-pub as you can possibly get.
Mile End Park, E3 5BH, 020 8980 2918.
Town Hall Hotel
Coming inland a bit towards Bethnal Green you’ll find a cornucopia of joy at these good looking converted council offices. The bar and two restaurants are all top notch and the right side of cool: splash the cash at Viajante or save a bit by going to the brilliant Corner Room restaurant upstairs.
Patriot Square, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, E2 9NF
You can pull off a good night round Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath Road. Bistrotheque (23 Wadeson Street, E2) for dinner and entertainment. It’s very fashion, very gay. Stagger down adjacent Vyner Street to find a host of galleries.
This pub (47 Approach Road, E2 9LY), close to Victoria Park is arty and leafy with it’s own acclaimed gallery upstairs.
Netil 360 (1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL) is a substantial block of artists studios with an enormous roof terrace. They say its a members’ club, we say call them and give it your best shot (put).
Need a famous British curry? Navigate south to the heart of the Bengali community in Whitechapel. One of the few places in the world where you’ll find a mosque next to a synagogue, this still holds top dog position for best Indian food.
3-89 Fieldgate Street London E1 1JU
New kid on the block Lardo, a few minutes walk from Hackney Central is the place to go for artisan charcuterie, Italian classics and Aperol aperitifs.
205 Richmond Road, Hackney, London, E8 3NJ
Don’t worry if you fall out at Dalston Kingsland – it might seem like the end of the road but this is party central with some pretty unusual dining options along the way. This is home to Hoxtonites in exile and the city’s West African community. Ridley Road Market will teleport you straight to Lagos but stagger north a few yards and you’ll hit a long strip of Turkish restaurants. Mangal I and Mangal II are amongst the best. Carry on north and you’ll find a deconsecrated mosque with a ‘secret’ Turkish restaurant in the basement. It’s a dry restaurant but good for a pit-stop.
Go to Shanghai for dim sum in an old pie & mash shop, replete will all the original tiles, below:
41 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2JS
Ruby’s – owned by a props hire business this is heavy on atmosphere but light on originality – more prohibition drinking style here.
76 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB
Market Bar – it feels a little bit Berlin, a little bit Melbourne. Right on Ridley Road, E8.
Dalston Roof Park – a spot of turfed joy on a roof. Big banked planters, a strong community angle, al fresco film screenings, beer. That’s all you need for a night out.
The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL
Dalston Superstore (117 Kingsland High Street) or Birthdays (33-35 Stoke Newington Rd) for partying. In fact there’s a plethora of clubs in the area. Start below Dalston Junction, and just head north checking out every basement disco you can find.
Dalston’s Street Feast market (Thames House, Hartwell Street, E8 3DU; 5-12pm). For Gujarati, Bajan and Korean grub. At tables, with cutlery!
Down on Regent’s Canal you’ll find a couple of hot spots. The Towpath Café (between Whitmore Bridge and Kingsland Road Bridge) for caff classics and
Waterline at 46A De Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5RY for dinnery classics and good wine. They both open up at the front to spill out onto the waters edge.
Now for something totally different: new worlders – get yourselves to London’s oldest home, built in 1535 for one of Henry VIII’s prominent courtiers Sir Rlp Sadleir. Yes, it’s still standing. It’s even got a café.
2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6JQ
Done with Sport and wanna Shop?
Burberry sale shop – wanna meet some Russian girls? This is where they congregate. 9-53 Chatham Place, E9 6LP
Broadway Market – wanna food shop? Jostle your way down this market street for good breads, pies and everything epicurean. Broadway Market, E8 4PH
Redchurch Street – rumour has it that half of Bond Street has an option on spaces for the future. But for now you’ll have to settle with crafty men’s outfitters. There’s also The Aubin, an independent cinema here too. Redchurch Street, E2 7DD
Dalston’s LN-CC – now this is a surprise. Surreal, subterranean and jeez, this is where you come and break a credit card. Stratospherically expensive – I’d treat it like a gallery: look, wonder and don’t touch.
18 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, E8 2EZ