Over the last couple of years we’ve come to appreciate the humble staycation like never before. With travel having been so impossible for so long, even a solo night away from home in your own city is enough to refresh, revive, and put a spring back in your step that you didn’t know you needed. That’s exactly why we jumped at the chance to have a night away at Stratford’s newest addition, The Gantry. Minutes from Stratford International, Westfield and The Olympic Park, the hotel is the latest opening in Hilton’s Curio Collection, a design-led space with a buzzing food and drink scene.
From the moment you enter the lobby, it’s clear this space will be chic. Mid-century modern furniture, teak armchairs, shades of mustard and teal, plenty of greenery; it’s the living room you always dreamed of. The first floor is home to their signature restaurant and bar offering - more on that later - with a cosy, welcoming layout that doesn’t compromise on style. This is definitely one hotel that’s stuck to their guns when it comes to the décor and it’s paid off.
Our room came complete with epic views back towards Canary Wharf and the City, with the lights of Stratford twinkling all around; somewhat magical considering the location. We really liked the room style, a elegant with an industrial edge, including nods to the area’s railway heritage in its artwork and styling, like the leather straps of a luggage rack-style shelf and a fantastic giant trunk.
The bathroom featured a huge walk in shower and delicious herbal toiletries by Grown Alchemist, which we were pleased to see were full size versions; it seems hotels are cottoning on to the waste of miniatures at last.
It’s the little things in a room like this that make it special, from the toiletries to the glamorous glassware, it made the room feel much more expensive and luxurious than its price tag - or location - would suggest.
There’s definitely been a strong focus put on The Gantry’s food and drink offering, and it shows. Coming soon is artisanal food market The Stratford Grocer & Co. featuring a café, a dedicated sparkling bar, and and all-day restaurant. The aforementioned first floor is dedicated to main restaurant Union Social, where Sicilian Executive Chef Salvatore Coco has developed a varied menu of favourites with a sprinkling of global inspiration. Dishes include the likes of Genovese focaccia and tarragon risotto to sesame glazed sea trout with white miso tamarind. We tucked into to fantastic Hampshire beef cheek with red wine jus and pressed lyonnaise potatoes and a deeply indulgent sticky toffee pudding, but with a whole host of International flavours on the menu we’re looking forward to going back for me.
Drinks are courtesy of award-winning London mixologist Walter Pintus, an alumni of The Ritz, who’s created an inspiring cocktail menu. Around the corner is Coupe, a Sparkling Bar with a speakeasy vibe of neon signage, velvet bar stools, banquette seating and outdoor terrace. We’re also urging the arrival of spring, for it brings with it the opening of a further bar on the 18th floor with city views and the promise of al fresco live music and DJs across the summer months.
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