It's now been five years since the London Olympics. While most of us have moved on, that 'Olympic Legacy' that we heard so much about has been quietly taking shape. The former Athletes' Village has been transformed into an area the marketing team likes to call 'East Village E20'. For the rest of us, it's just E20 — which happens to be London's newest postcode, and, if Vogue is to be believed, London’s ‘hippest postcode’.
Almost 6,000 people are now living there. It's home to 35 acres of open space, and the likes of the V&A Museum, Sadler’s Wells and the London College of Fashion are due to move into the International Quarter. But with that still a way off, what is there to do if you find yourself in the swanky end of Stratford anytime soon?
9am: You're right in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium here. If that's inspiring you to get fit, head to an Our Parks free fitness class. Yoga and Boxercise are ideal if your fitness ability is limited, and the classes are aimed at all levels and ages.
10am: After a workout session, pastries are your friend. Italian-owned bakery Signorelli offers a wide range of freshly made cakes, pastries, croissants, focaccia and breakfast choices. The fried egg inside sourdough bread is worth a punt, washed down with a glass of freshly squeezed tangy orange juice. Grab a table outside and look out over the Portland’s Water glades nature area — it's a good opportunity to watch birds in their natural habitat.
11am: If you want a child-free day exploring the village, send the kids off to East Village’s summer camp Camp Horizons. Run by E20 residents Fabian and Helen, it offers ‘young campers' a wide range of activities including sports, drama, dance, arts and crafts, music and a chance to make new friends.
12pm: If you want to get inside one of the London 2012 venues, try out a taster track session at the Velodrome, but be warned that the bikes have no brakes (we learnt that one the hard way). Alternatively, cool off with a dip in the pool at the Aquatics Centre or play a spot of badminton at the Copperbox. Thought boat trips were restricted to the Thames? Think again — take a guided boat tour through the landscaped parklands while learning about the history of the park and plans for its future. You can also navigate the park yourself in a swan pedalo — unusual, but much more tiring.
1pm: It'd be rude to leave the park without riding the slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit. The world’s tallest tunnel slide was added to the controversial sculpture in 2016 to attract more visitors. It takes 40 seconds to descend, and you'll be kitted out in (somewhat uncomfortable) knee pads and a helmet for the 178-metre drop.
2pm: After a busy morning head to Here East, the park's tech-hub, which doubles up as a decent food spot. Set on the banks of the Regent's Canal, it's particularly nice on a sunny day. Shane's on Canalside is a Kiwi-run restaurant specialising in fresh meat and fish sourced from ethical producers. It's a bit of a hipster hangout, but the food is pretty good, especially for carnivores. If it’s just a snack you fancy, head to Randy Wings for a choice of odd-flavoured chicken wings and burgers — we recommend the Hanoi wings with beer batter and tangy Vietnamese fish sauce. If you've got time, indulge in some retro gaming at the Four Quarters arcade bar — the Space Invader table-top arcade games are pretty addictive.
3-5pm: Spend an hour or two shopping at the village’s independent stores. Pavé Velo caters to keen cyclists with new and used bike equipment, while Bottle Apostle stocks very unique wine and beer. Grab a bargain at the Weekly artisan market specialising in home-made products and food, including mermaid toast. Wash it down with a bottle of homemade blackcurrant or lemonade from Ted's Fruit and Veg and an ice cream from La Gelatiera. Don't miss Victor the Gorilla sculptor in Victory Park — he became a hit with Olympians Tom Daley and Maria Sharapova during the 2012 games.
5pm: Cocktail o’clock. Head to shabby chic Tina E20. Our pick of the extensive cocktail list is the chocolate martini — be careful though, it's a stong'un. Indulge on the outdoor terrace for views of the Olympic Park. If you prefer something more creative, head to bar and digital art space Red, Yellow, Blue.
6pm: Enjoy happy hour at Village Vanguard, a quirky venue that offers live music, supper clubs, bottomless brunches and big screen entertainment. If you're likely to become a regular, it's worth checking out the membership, which entails all manner of dinner and drinks deals.
7-9 pm: Getting peckish again? If you fancy posh nosh, head to Darkhorse, which offers Italian and Spanish food great for sharing. If fish and chips are more your bag, try Fish House, an independent restaurant where you can tuck into a fish pie or battered cod — the only thing missing is the gravy. Santi, meanwhile, offers inexpensive Italian dishes and large portions. You can’t go far wrong with the seafood linguine and a glass of red wine.
9pm: If you’re exhausted after a long day in the village head to the Neighbourhood bar for a quick nightcap and a chat with local residents. Good news — when it's home time, the Javelin train will whisk you from Stratford International to St Pancras in seven minutes.