Like many East londoners, I’m very excited about the Olympics, and I’m fascinated by the speed at which Stratford is changing.
There’s a tendency to romanticize places that are about to be transformed but, despite living and working round there for years, I struggle to associate Stratford with anything other than a crappy shopping centre and a massive roundabout.
It certainly was not known for its quaint charming pubs and, when I used to work there, Wetherspoon’s was the best of a bad bunch. The Edward VII, now known as King Eddie’s, might change that. It’s an interesting punt at the casual end of the gastropub market which we’ve been meaning to visit for more than a year now. It feels a bit out of kilter with the area at the moment but, in a couple of years, when Stratford is the centre of the Olympics and there’s a bit more money around, it’ll probably look like a shrewd move.
There’s a classy looking paper food menu and a good selection of beer. There are four ale pumps and bottles including Titanic Stout. One of the cask ales is brewed by Nethergate for the pub (Eddies’ Best) but wasn’t in that good nick, unfortunately. We enjoyed O’Hanlon’s Goldblade from bottles, instead. It’s a dusty, yeasty wheat ale which reminded us of Poperinge’s Hommelbier.
Low lighting and a period interior makethe pub cosy and the warm welcome helps. The food looked good, and there’s even a garden. It’s an interesting crowd — young and with quite a few eastern Europeans but, unlike many bars that target that particular market, it still feels like a distinctly English pub.
It would definitely be our local if we lived here.
The Randomness Guide reviews are here.