Inside, it’s like a summer fête, with flowers and chunky tumbler glasses on the tables and wooden crates and boxes dotted around the venue. Diners can choose to eat al fresco – although the view isn’t the stunning English countryside, instead flashing LED screens enticing shoppers into the centre – or there are two levels of seating inside, with mismatched chairs and an open kitchen.

THE GRUB: Authentic, seasonal British fare. We have to wait a while for our starters to arrive, and when they do, my stuffed baked Portobello mushroom with chestnuts and breadcrumbs, topped with Butler’s Cheddar cheese is nearly cold. However, across the table, the Scottish mussels with a bacon and Somerset cider sauce goes down a treat – it’s an unusual combination of flavours which fuse perfectly.

My main course makes up for the bumpy start. The Butler’s Cheddar and caramelised onion tart with baked tender leeks and roasted artichokes is delicious, the tanginess of the cheese complemented by the sweetness of the onions. My other half tries the sustainable fish pie with leeks and peas – there are generous chunks of fresh-tasting fish, with vibrantly fresh veg. The dessert menu boasts Victoria sponge; apple crumble with custard; and sticky toffee pudding. But we opt for an artisan cheeseboard, with delicious Blue Monday, Tunworth Soft and Kidderton Ash.

BEHIND THE BAR: A fantastic selection of wines by the glass from around the world, and a decent range of British ales and lagers.

BILL PLEASE: Starters from £5.50; mains from £11.95; desserts £5.95; pint of beer from £3.80; glass of wine from £3.95.
verdict The only grumble is the timing, but when they get it right, the food here is spot on, so it’s definitely worth a visit while out shopping.

Westfield Stratford City, Stratford, E20 1EN 
Tube: Stratford

Review: Carol Driver