RECOMMENDATION | Roof East Stratford – Shouting “Summer!” From The Rooftops
The last few weeks in London has been GLORIOUS sunshine. Even me, the most unlikely woman to ever get a tan, has managed to accumulate some freckles that are even joining up.
Summer before I moved to London would have been about BBQ’s and beer gardens. But almost five years after moving ‘darn sarf’ (imagine my worst cockney accent here) I see sunshine and think: ‘rooftop bar’. Turns out half the population also wants rooftop bars in London when the sun’s out.
It’s fair to say I’ve frequented quite a few. In The City, if you get there at the right time, you can watch the sunset over St Paul’s at Maddison’s, or at The Avery in Finsbury Square you can get great cityscape views whilst sipping on a chilled glass of Sauvignon and eating Padrón peppers (my fave).
These days though, I’m less about the touristy rooftop and more about finding somewhere I can relax, grab a couple of drinks and chat with friends in the sunshine. I think I have found that place.
It also helps that it’s in my new neighbourhood of East London and is just a stone’s throw away from Stratford station.
At the top of an 80’s style shopping centre (which is still very much used – I do my food shop there every week) some *very* clever people have taken over the car park on the roof and created this cocktail drinking- jenga playing- deck chair sitting-relaxed venue which I just LOVE.
Roof East is described as “London’s best adventure playground for grown ups (big kids, really)” and that’s essentially what it is! Deck chairs and tables adorn the roof, giant outdoor games are available to get involved with and for good measure they’ve thrown in a few old sports cars used as massive plant pots to create a bit of extra ambience.
You can just go for drinks and watch the sunset, but be prepared to queue for a while if the weather is nice. My friend and I made that mistake once and queued for over an hour and a half (never again). We learnt the hard way.
My best tip is to pre-book one of the activities they have up there. Then you can skip the queues!
There’s lots to choose from; crazy golf and shuffleboard to name a few. Once you’ve had your fun you can celebrate (or commiserate as is usually my case) and stay there for the duration of the evening. It’s relatively good value for drinks and at least then you’re in until last orders (which is around 11pm).
There’s street food carts that you can get some delicious food from for the meat eaters and vegetarians alike – but don’t sit down wind from the burger stand.
There is a reason the deck chairs are usually empty there!
If sunset drinking isn’t really your thing, then there is a rooftop cinema showing some of the classics and even a yoga class a couple of times a week where you can perfect your vinyasa flow.
Whatever your vibe is, there’s seemingly something for everyone to indulge their inner kid. I hope to see you there and if you get to the bar first, make mine a double!
Read about what’s on at Roof East here > http://www.roofeast.com/
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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Hidden in the heart of the East Village, part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and just a stones throw from Stratford station, are a handful of restaurants and bars. And right in the middle is Darkhorse bar and restaurant. It’s described on their website as a ‘modern European restaurant with Italian and Spanish influenced food wrapped in a British attitude’.