Stratford joined the Underground Network on 4th December 1946 as part of the eastwards extension of the Central Line but the mainline rail station here first opened way back in 1839. These days, there isn’t much here that feels like it was built before 1989, let alone 1839. It was extensively rebuilt ahead of the 2012 Olympics and the main ticket hall which seems like an Airport Terminal with its sweeping roof and glass frontage.
Its role as a major transport interchange has been cemented in the last 30 years by the arrival of the DLR in 1987 and the Jubilee Line in 1999. More recently the station has also benefitted from the renaissance experienced by the old North London Line as part of the London Overground in 2007 and the opening of ‘Stratford International’ on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in 2009. At present, only domestic high speed services call here so that name remains a bit of a misnomer. On top of all that, the station will also be served by Crossrail from 2019.
The Pub: King Edward VII, 47 Broadway, E15 4BQ
Stratford has changed so much over the last 10 years, the 2012 Olympics brought massive investment to the area, accompanied by the Westfield Shopping Centre which opened in 2011. At present, its a bit of a curious mix of these new developments and the post-war and remaining Victorian buildings that were here prior to that major cash injection. I suspect the modernisation process will be further accelerated when Crossrail opens.
The Pub can be reached via leaving the station at the Town Centre exit and going through the Stratford Centre, the shopping mall here pre the Westfield which still soldiers on despite being in the shadow of that retail juggernaut, and crossing the road to reach The Broadway. The pub is distinctive for having fewer stories than its neighbouring buildings.
Inside, it felt both quiet and sparse on our Saturday afternoon visit. The decor is fairly traditional with wood panelling and floor boards but with not too much else of interest. As well as the main front area, there are also two sizable side rooms, only one of which seemed to be open when we dropped in, so its actually a fairly big pub despite looking rather small from the street.
Ale wise, there were a couple available on tap including Summer Lightning, Blond Witch and Mad Goose. Sadly the Doombar was off! The food menu consists of standard pub staples – Sausage and Mash, Lasagne, Fish and Chips etc, all priced around £10.50. Regular evenings here include Open Mic Nights on Thursdays and a Quiz on Sundays.
I found the King Edward VII a little underwhelming. It wasn’t that it was an unpleasant place to drink, it just didn’t feel particularly memorable for me for whatever reason. Maybe I caught it on a bad day but it certainly felt like it was missing something. It’s a perfectly acceptable place to grab a quick pint but I wouldn’t go out of my way to go here.