Print House Bar and Kitchen at Danes Bar in Stratford is a short walk from my friend's new home, so it made the perfect location for somewhere to eat on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Print House is cool without even trying to be. Granted the grey stone floor, artwork decisively scattered around the expanse of the bar-cum-restaurant, the chesterfields the open kitchen and mood lighting is a calculated effort, but it comes off so cool that you down even know it.
Attention has been paid. Not in the over-done too-cool-for-school, but customers will notice kind of way, but in a polished, clean, but also come-hither an rest way that I've never seen before. Relaxed fits the restaurant-bar like a glove, but they have been attentive.
Even in the female toilets there are glass jars filled with freshly-picked lavender which grows in abundance nearby.
That's not to say they don't care. Our waiter was superb, funny and patient whilst we caught up and giggled over our cups of mint tea and freshly-pressed cranberry juice.
At Print House you can tell they've really thought about the customer because there are so many different styles of seating. To the immediate left when you walk in a high tables and stools, where we spotted a lot of people gathered, watching a football game displayed on the big screen. Behind the high seats are wooden tables and chairs, perfect for groups, but my friend and I plumped for the more intimate seating of leather booths.
To the back of the restaurant, near the toilets are a couple of large chesterfields, ideal for a chat with friends or a loved on, away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurant when it gets busier.
It was just what I needed. The portion was large and the fish was incredibly fresh and thick, coated in a moreish batter served atop thick wedge-like chips and crushed peas on a wooden board and with a home-made cream and tart sauce. It was simple food done well and that's what I love. One of my pet hates is fried fish that's thin with a mostly-batter coating.
Print House certainly made an impression because both my friend and I inhaled our food without much conversation - the sign of a good menu (even if you're with someone you haven't seen for weeks).
The bar and kitchen is currently hosting a Christmas market until the 23rd of December that is on from 5pm - 10pm every day.