Developed by Manhattan Loft Corporation, the same name behind Chiltern Firehouse, The Stratford Hotel has taken over the first six floors of the award-winning 42-storey The Stratford. The building was designed as a social hub for locals, hotel guests, residents and visitors by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the architects behind the Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Centre, and includes a dining space, hotel and short- and long-term stay apartments. A second restaurant, Allegra, is due to open on the seventh floor later this year, and a pizza oven is joining the ample outside space.
With previous projects including big names such as Noma and 11 Howard in New York, interior architect Space Copenhagen has once again created a cool, grown-up space, making the most of the triple-height atrium here to create a light, calming Scandi-chic spot where brass meets concrete and understated details are king. Washed out wood tables are offset by dinnerware that is simple but considered – even the water glasses feel easy in the hand. The large room centres around the open kitchen and bar, and patrons are welcome to pull up a seat at the marble counters to get a better look at the action over a drink or dinner. Or for quieter catch-ups over a coffee, nab a sofa or plush high-backed chair in the eclectically designed lounge area.
Wander in for breakfast pastries, a lunchtime burger, light snacks (cheddar doughnut, anyone?) or dinner – this is an all-day affair. Head chef Ben Harrington has moved over from Soho House to create a seasonal brasserie-style menu that covers the classics, but with elevated twists. At dinner, the glorious Parkerhouse bread rolls come out warm on a rustic breadboard with Hinxden Farm butter, offering a pretty strong start. The chicken schnitzel with lemon and parsley has a crispy coating that is perfectly light, while the sirloin steak is juicy and flavourful. The giant hasselback potato with Parmesan and chives is moreish and easily a meal on its own. Dessert is where things ramp up a notch, and the baked yoghurt tart with rhubarb and ginger is an artfully presented Instagrammer’s dream.
The drinks list is extensive, and includes a good variety of cocktails and mocktails. Fresh fruit juices are a key component, and the pear and vanilla bellini is sweet and refreshing, a welcome treat on the hot day that Brummell visited, while the summer seasonal version with rhubarb and elderflower is countryside in a glass. The spritz options are fun and inventive, and include a Sherry Velvet that shows off a cherry liqueur from Kent.
A three-course meal for two with cocktails, from £100
A versatile, elegant space to work, catch up with friends, start (or end) a night-out, all while enjoying a varied choice of staple dishes that are worth the visit alone.
The Stratford Brasserie, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD thestratford.com