If you’ve come to London for the shops, the West End needn’t be your only target. Westfield Stratford City, within a short bus or taxi ride of the Lion & Key Hotel, is the biggest urban shopping mall in Europe — and, as it’s all under one roof, it’s a shopping experience the weather can’t spoil.
It’s hard to know where to begin with Westfield’s shops. From a massive John Lewis department store to a lavishly stocked Ikea, everything you could wish for is here. Fashion outlets range from iconic High Street retailers like M&S, Miss Selfridge and Zara to brand-specific shops such as Armani Jeans, Hugo Boss and Mulberry.
It isn’t all fashion, though. Whether you want fragrances and toiletries from Lush, The Body Shop or Boots, music from HMV or books from Foyles, there are more shops here than you’ll have time to get round.
Food and Drink
Any shopping mall needs its food and drink outlets, and Westfield has four food courts. Besides familiar restaurants like Nando’s and Wagamama and fast-food standards like McDonalds and Pizza Hut, there’s also a wide range of world food and more unusual specialist outlets.
If you just want coffee and cake, on the other hand, the choice includes Costa and Starbucks, as well as less-familiar names.
Westfield doesn’t only cater for shopping. Its 17-screen, all-digital Vue Cinema is one of the largest and most innovative in Europe, showing all the top releases. All-Star Lanes offers a luxury bowling experience, while at Aspers Casino you can choose between chancing your luck or relaxing in one of its two bars or its restaurant.
For the Kids
The children need a break from trailing around the shops after you. There’s plenty of opportunity for them to enjoy playing in a range of well-equipped Playworlds, or the special Biodiversity Playground.
There are also plenty of child-focused shops, including the Disney Store and Lego, and kiddy cars for them to have fun getting about. Westfield is also well equipped with parent rooms and offers a child-safe shopping service.
From free Wi-Fi to 5,000 car-parking places (if you prefer to visit under your own steam), Westfield has all you might want and more. But it isn’t just a vast shopping and leisure experience, it’s also an innovative building which features floor tiles that collect kinetic energy to power the place.
A visit to Westfield Stratford City is a thrilling day out, but it’s likely to be exhausting — and you’ll be delighted to come back for a relaxing night at the Lion & Key.