In Stratford, there are two shopping centres directly over the road from each other. One of them is the huge, sprawling, shiny Westfield. The other is small, a bit dingy and, in all honesty, a bit tired looking. This second shopping centre holds a special summer secret though. If you take the lift to the top of the car park and swing a left through the doors to the roof a wonderful circus themed wonderland called Roof East is waiting for you.
Roof East is one of those places that I’ve been meaning to go to for a number of summers now but I hadn’t managed to make it up there. How delighted was I then, to be invited by SFG Club to the launch of their new summer season? Very, is the answer.
It was a lovely night weather wise and as the summer goes on and my office moves from Euston to Stratford I can see myself spending more time up there.
This year it is circus-themed and it’s cute. Plus, luckily for me, there’s not a scary clown face in sight. What there is though is loads to do. You can try your hand at crazy golf with Birdies, lawn bowls with a hip-hop flavour at De La Bowl and take on the batting cages with Swingers. We gave all three a little try and I have to admit I thought Swingers was the most fun. Although I was so SO bad at it. I figured I’m not awful at rounders so this is the same, right? WRONG! I did manage to hit a few of the pitches fired at me though. Thankfully. But I did walk away with a big old bruise on my thumb where I got hit. That hurt.
Didn’t hurt for long though. I managed to power through a good selection of the cocktail menu. All in the name of research, obviously. The pina coladas served in pineapples were clearly the most Instagrammable summer drink around. You may have seen the boomerang of them in my stories from the night (if you follow me on Instagram that is. If you don’t why not?!) But a special gin and jam cocktail the wonderful Dave the barman made for me was the best thing I’ve ever drunk. Never mind just that night! Apart from that, I’d also recommend the Stratford Spritz. I think that’s what it was called. It was really good, whatever it was called.
The BBQ Club made sure that our stomachs were fully lined too. The halloumi burger I had there was absolutely spot on and Steph said her signature burger was pretty damn good too. We both went for normal fries over sweet potato and they were really tasty too. Nice and crisp but still fluffy and not at all greasy. All in all a winner.
On top of all the fun sports, circus cocktails and brilliant barbeque there is also Rooftop Film Club. Moulin Rouge was on the night we went but we didn’t go round to watch it. I am hoping to return later this month to watch one of my all-time favourites, Empire Records, there though. We did go round for a look, and a sample of their popcorn, the deckchairs looked comfy and there were blankets for you to snuggle under as it got a little bit cooler.
As if all that wasn’t enough there were games dotted around to play too. I’m not very good at cornhole. I clearly cannot judge distances and either completely overshot the target or fell way short. I do take my giant Jenga very seriously though. It’s my number one outdoor game.
We had a great night up on the roof and I’m already looking forward to going back. If you find yourself in East London and are looking for somewhere to sit outside, I’d highly reccomend a visit to Roof East.