How many times have you shopped at Westfield Stratford City and never realised right next door, opposite the International train station, sits five restaurants including a heated terrace, rooftop dining and an award winning cocktail bar that hosts live music events at the end of each week? This and more is why your next night out should be at The Mezzanine Bar at The Stratford.
The 42 story luxury hotel and apartments skyscraper is owned by the Manhattan Loft Corporation (managed by Marriott) who also own 5 star hotels: St. Pancras Renaissance London and Chiltern Firehouse. If that’s not already piqued your interest, The Stratford was designed by the same architects as the Freedom Tower New York City and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.
The Stratford’s unique design makes it instantly recognisable for miles – we spotted it when we stayed at Shangri-La The Shard – and no matter how many skyscrapers go up in this forever developing borough there will be nothing quite so impressive as the building that looks like a precarious Jenga tower with trees where the blocks have been removed.
The Stratford Hotel has an impressive collection of five farm-to-table restaurants waiting for you inside:
Terrace E20 is the outdoor restaurant on the ground floor at the main entrance to all five restaurants at The Stratford. A third of it is uncovered which is perfect during the summer if you want to bask in the sun, whilst the rest is under cover and when heated during the colder months by roaring fire pits is deliciously cosy.
PFH Top Tip – on a beautiful summer’s day, make a reservation for around 3pm as that’s when the sun will be in its prime position to drench Terrace E20 in golden sunshine.
Kitchen E20 is an extension of Terrace E20 but indoors, through the front doors and on the right to precise.
Whist Kitchen E20 is on the right of the main entrance to The Stratford, to the left is where you will find The Lounge. The Lounge is my favourite place to spend cosy Christmas evenings at The Stratford.
Sip cocktails beneath their enormous Christmas tree as the festive glow that radiates from within you is matched by the flickering flames within the large glass encased fireplace – it’s a winter wonderland.
Take the express elevator up 7 floors to Allegra where you can dine either indoors or on their rooftop terrace. Sunloungers, tables, trees and a water feature fill this space where you can dine on dishes prepared with fresh local and seasonal ingredients.
Much like Terrace E20, Allegra is best enjoyed under the summer sun from around 3pm.
The Mezzanine Bar
Shortlisted for Best Bar Menu in the UK by Imbibe in 2019 for their innovative cocktail menu concept, The Mezzanine Bar is the hottest spot at The Stratford and by far my favourite.
If you’re looking for experiential cocktails, an electric atmosphere, seductive mood lighting, live music and bartenders so charming you feel like you’ve known them for years, then your next night out needs to be at The Mezzanine Bar.
I was invited for an exclusive preview of their 2021 cocktail menu, The Authentic Life, so you get to experience the behind-the-scenes on the inception of their 8 brand new cocktails for summer 2021.
With a combined experience of 22 years in the industry, the bartending team at The Mezzanine lead by senior bartender and one of Diageo Reserve’s World Class 2020 Top 100 list, Marcello Cauda, have created one of the most visionary cocktail menus to be served in London.
The Authentic Life was inspired by and celebrates 8 different lifestyles inspired by our collective passions and personalities that we discovered and nurtured during the intermittent months of lockdown during the pandemic.
With ingredients sourced from The Stratford’s very own organic farm, every element, bar the liqueur, created from scratch at The Mezzanine and an earth-forward mission to prevent anything from going to waste, you can bet that your night out at The Mezzanine is going to be every bit as authentic as you.
1. The Environmentalist
Do you take your own reusable coffee cup out with you? Are you working hard to reduce your single-use plastic consumption and are you the one friends and family come to when they’re not sure what can and can’t be recycled?
Chances are if you’re a loyal Postcards from Hawaii reader then The Sustainable Living (or The Nomadic) is absolutely your Authentic Life cocktail of choice.
“Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and one’s personal resources. It is often referred to as ‘earth harmony living’ or ‘net-zero living’”. – The Mezzanine.
The Stratford is already dedicated to working towards becoming a zero-waste business. Both the kitchen and bar uses their own fresh produce grown on their organic farm, anything that can be reclaimed is given a second life and any discards go back to the farm to be composted where it nourishes the next crop.
Sustainability is not just environmentalism, it’s about being able to uphold a consistent balance between meeting our own needs and those of the environment around us without compromising the quality of life for future generations. We care for our beautiful mama Earth now so that others may continue to thrive with her when we are no longer here.
To be able to do this we must look towards extending the life of what we already have and that’s exactly what Head Bartender, Marcello Cauda, and his team have done at The Mezzanine. The Sustainable Living expands your future expectations on how far the life of a single pineapple can stretch and uses every. single. part. of it, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
Pineapple juice is squeezed out to create the sour, the pulp is transformed into jam whilst the skin is fermented to make the tepache (which is much like kombucha) and best of all, everything is done at The Stratford.
Patrón Silver tequila is used for their commitment to limiting the environmental impact of the production of their tequila. They use reclaimed water for cooling and cleaning and they were the first tequila distillery to install a natural gas pipeline as their main energy source which reduces their CO2 emissions. They create fertilizer with the agave fibres from 10 surrounding distilleries, pay their growers fairly and participate in multiple philanthropic programmes.
2. The Socialite
Are you the glitter glue that holds the group together, known for keeping the conversation flowing and cannot leave the room without first speaking to everyone in it? Do you have more invites in your inbox than there are posts on Instagram right now using #WFH? If it simply isn’t a party unless you’re in attendance, then The Socialite was made for you.
I bet you never missed one Zoom party during lockdown right?
“A socialite is a fashionable person very frequently involved in high society, they generally spend a significant amount of time attending various fashionable social gatherings.” – The Mezzanine.
I bet you’re offering sips of your cocktail to everyone at the table before taking a second one for yourself. You want everyone to share in your experience – sharing is caring right? – but your generosity often leaves you with little to enjoy for yourself, right? This is where the concept behind The Socialite, created by The Mezzanine bartenders, becomes the answer to that very problem. Served across two glasses so that you can enjoy your whole drink and still be able to share it with your friends, The Socialite is the drink of the season.
Grey Goose Vodka (what else?) layered flavours of cherries, plum, coconut and mint make this gorgeous cocktail a crowd pleaser, just like you are.
3. The Creative
The subjective one.
“The creative life is full of new possibilities, discoveries, exploration, experimentation, self-expression and invention. It’s a habit, a way of being, a style of existing.” – The Mezzanine.
Despite The Mezzanine bartending team’s month-long experimentations to come up with The Creative, staying true to its soul essence even upon my invitation to sample The Authentic Life cocktail menu, was still a work in progress.
Head Bartender, Marcello Cauda, channeled frustrations of some of the greatest artists in art history as the presentation of The Creative failed to meet his expectations. This was simply down to the fact that the edible Bombay Sapphire gin paint hadn’t yet arrived and he was temporarily using his own concoction of food colouring and syrup, which unfortunately wasn’t taking to the glass as he had hoped. With paintbrush in hand, his heartbreak filled the empty bar as the red colouring melted off the flute canvas and down the stem. Of all the cocktails from The Authentic Life sampled that day, no other concept lived a truer representation of its namesake.
No need for concern if The Creative speaks to you, the gin paint arrived shortly after and works perfectly to honour Marcello’s creative vision.
As a fellow creative who lives with another I can vouch that The Creative both inspires and touches a nerve, as all masterpieces should.
Peach bitters, Bombay Sapphire gin, champagne and a lacto-fermented melon and pine honey (made at The Stratford, of course) make The Creative the work of art that it is.
4. The Minimalist
Less is more.
Is Scandi-forward design your dream decor? Is your wardrobe full of linens in white, cream, beige, sand and taupe? Do your Christmas decorations look like they’ve been foraged from the woods? Sounds like your no fuss no muss lifestyle makes The Minimalist your choice of tipple.
To live a life of minimalism means to remove the unnecessary. You own fewer possessions but each one serves multiple purposes, nothing is fussy but everything is intentional.
Served in a simple tumbler, because no other glass can do it all, and accompanied by a solo cube of ice, The Minimalist stays true to its namesake. Just three ingredients make up this uncomplicated beverage but little do you know they’ve been ageing to perfection in a beeswax lined mason jar.
“A minimalist lifestyle is the process of identifying what is essential in your life and having the courage to eliminate the rest. When you remove the unnecessary, you free up your time and capacity to focus on the things that truly matter in your life.” – The Mezzanine.
Many would argue that two essential ingredients to getting through life are coffee and chocolate and coffee bean bitters with white chocolate liqueur are exactly what you’ll find in The Minimalist.
Representing the circle of life, the only garnish is a hand drawn ring of white chocolate on the inside of the glass that infuses with the cocktail as the clean cut edges of the ice cube melts away.
5. The Nomadic
Around the world in one cocktail.
Do you yearn for far-flung places? Does every penny you earn get spent on aeroplane tickets faster than your conscience can question if you should be saving them? If your Instagram resembles a travel brochure and your suitcase is permanently packed then The Nomadic is for you.
Actually, if you’re currently reading this article on Postcards from Hawaii, a travel blog for the organised traveller who cares greatly for the planet, your drink of choice from The Authentic Life is absolutely The Nomadic.
“Being fully nomadic means being able to live and work from anywhere and getting to sample tastes of the world, immersing yourself in cultures, traditions, new places and experiences that can evolve your soul exponentially in one year abroad than five years staying in the same place.” – The Mezzanine.
The Nomadic, a twist on a classic sour, takes you on a journey around the world with every sip. Seven ingredients go into making The Nomadic, each one representing the continents that make up our beautiful planet Earth.
Africa – Fennel seeds from Africa infuse The Nomadic
Antarctica – The Nomadic is served with an ice ball
Asia – A yuzu spray from Asia adds a fresh aroma to the The Nomadic cocktail before being served
Australasia – The Mezzanine uses Eucalyptus leaves from Australia to make a tincture concentrate
Europe – Flat peach syrup from Europe adds a little sweetness to the mix
The Americas – Banks 7 Golden Age rum which is a blend of 23 different rums from 7 different countries including Guyana in South America.
Served in a martini glass with a compass-inspired garnish drawn with bitters atop an egg-whites foam, this is a round-the-world trip that doesn’t require a Vaccination Passport.
6. The Foodie
Are you the friend who everyone relies on to dish out the best restaurant recommendations? Does your food go cold because you need to get a good flat lay photo of it before digging in? Does your Instagram make everyone who looks at it ravenous? Sounds like the Foodie cocktail is your cup of tea.
The Foodie draws upon the experience of Michelin star chefs cooking your meal at your table and is delivered to you deconstructed. Get your phones ready as your Mezzanine bartender mixes The Foodie in front of you!*
The ingenuity of The Foodie doesn’t stop here! If you weren’t already geeking out (I certainly did) the actual cocktail itself takes a twist on a classic negroni and is inspired by one of Britain’s most treasured traditions: afternoon tea.
Boatyard’s Old Tom gin is infused with Savoiardi ‘lady’s fingers’ biscuits (cookies) and accompanied by Martini bitter infused with strawberries. With the addition of Cocchi’s Americano Rosa this show-stopping drink is intended to be a fusion of an aperitif and dessert; it’s sweet and bitter, complex yet smooth, opulent but accessible.
7. The Nature-Lover
It’s only natural.
Do you recharge by lying beneath the bushy canopy of trees whilst a gentle breeze makes the hairs on your arms stand to attention? Does the feeling of grass tickling your toes or sand filling the gaps between them give you a natural high? Would you sooner go on a 4 hour-long hike in the countryside than sprint on the treadmill at your local gym? Are you the one who carries the spiders from the bathtub outside whilst everyone around you is losing their mind? Yeah, you’re the inspiration behind The Nature-Lover.
“The ‘Nature-Lover’ is someone who finds their satisfaction in appreciating and feeling connected to the beauty of the natural world. They love to be outdoors in the fresh air, soaking up the wonders of nature.” – The Mezzanine.
Made with Canaïma gin (a Brazilian distillery who donates 10% of profits to reforestation efforts), The Mezzanine’s homemade cardamom and rosemary cordial and London Essence’s grapefruit & rosemary tonic, this extraordinary G&T, much like time spent in the great outdoors, keeps on giving. Watch as the homemade pink foam, made with egg whites and violet, jasmine and hibiscus flowers, that tops The Nature-Lover settles into your drink to form a pattern not unlike the wisps of a cirrus cloud.
Finished off with a spritz of sage flower mist every sip of The Nature-Lover smells like a leisurely stroll through Kew Gardens.
8. The Bohemian
“The modern bohemian lifestyle is one filled with music, art and literature – a way of living that embraces the doctrine of freedom over possessions.” – The Mezzanine.
The Bohemian is served in a rock glass, topped with crushed ice and a fig leaf foraged by The Stratford team themselves.
Don’t identify as just one? You don’t have to! Order your passions one after the other and drink to everything that makes your authentic life.
Should you prefer a classic cocktail The Mezzanine has got you covered, might I suggest their signature M Martini? To reduce wasting opened champagne that hasn’t been sold they reduce the reclaimed champagne and cut it with grappa (distilled pomace, which is everything leftover from the grapes during wine waking) to make their own bitters to accompany the Hepple gin and Grey Goose.
The Mezzanine Bar’s sustainable approach to their cocktails has set the bar for all future nights out, pun intended.
Book your table at The Mezzanine to avoid disappointment.
Live music nights at The Mezzanine, The Stratford
From Thursdays – Fridays live music sets the tone for your night out at The Mezzanine. Allow smooth jazz to soundtrack your intimate date night, the resident DJs to take your night out with friends to the next level or show everyone how it’s done at The Mezzanine’s Open Deck collective.
Takeaway cocktails at The Mezzanine, The Stratford
Enjoy some of The Mezzanine’s signature cocktails from home by purchasing the following bottled beverages:
Brownie Old Fashioned
Tropical Iced Tea
How to get to The Mezzanine Bar at The Stratford
The Stratford Hotel is located at 22 International Way, Stratford, next to Westfield Stratford City and opposite the International train station. Here’s how to get there from the following locations:
International train station
The main entrance to the International train station is located directly opposite from Terrace E20. You can literally hop on the Eurostar in Paris, pull into St Pancras (Kings Cross) and connect on a 7 minute direct train to step straight out into The Stratford – something to keep in mind if you ever visit London from Paris. From Stratford it’s only a 20 minute journey on the Central Line into the heart of London.
You can get to Stratford station on the Central, Jubilee and Overground lines. You can also take the national rail to Stratford and the DLR. To get to The Stratford Hotel from Stratford station enter Westfield (the direction is signposted in the station) and take one of the four exits listed below.
Westfield Stratford City
To get there on foot from Westfield shopping centre you can take one of four routes through the mall:
The ground floor exit between Curry’s PC World and HSBC. From this exit you will come out opposite The Stratford but the train tracks will be between you so you will need to make a left to walk beside them until you can take a right to walk over the bridge. The entrance to The Stratford Hotel and restaurants is at the end of the bridge on the right.
There are two more ground floor exits located within the Great Eastern Market food court. One is round the corner of Pasta Remoli, you’ll pass between a few restaurants before exiting opposite the children’s outdoor playground. Walk around the right of it and past the entrance to the International train station, over the bridge across the train lines and you’ll find The Stratford is at the end.
The last ground floor exit to The Stratford is located between Waitrose and Japan Centre and comes out in front of one of the car parks. From this exit, make a right and walk towards the International train station, past the children’s play area. Walk past the entrance to the train station and make a left onto the bridge over the train lines. At the end of the bridge is the entrance to The Stratford Hotel and restaurants.
You can also get to The Stratford from the first floor by taking the big exit between Cos and Kurt Geiger. Head down the steps, escalator or lift down to ground level and walk straight across the bridge towards The Stratford.
You can park at the International train station car park located next door to The Stratford. Parking here is cheaper than at the Westfield and more abundant once you get above the rental car floors. Just FYI there’s no barriers to the International train station car park but you must pay at the ground floor machines before exiting to avoid a fine as they detect your licence plate. Exit the car park and turn left, walk past the first door (this is to the loft apartments), the second door is the entrance you want and is indicated by “The Stratford” over the top of the doors.
Please drink responsibly and don’t exceed the legal limit.
Order from The Authentic Life cocktail menu from the 18th of August at The Mezzanine, one floor up from Kitchen & Terrace E20.
With so much to offer at The Stratford hotel from brunch at the outdoor terrace and coffee by the fireplace to dinner on the rooftop and cocktails served with live music, there is no better place to spend a night out in Stratford, East London.
Do more on & for the planet, Gabriella
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The Authentic Life cocktail menu at The Mezzanine Bar in The Stratford Hotel has been created by seasoned bartenders: Jack, Serge and Marcello.
*subject to change depending on how busy The Mezzanine is upon the time of ordering