neighbourhood guide:

Shoreditch

Once an industrial wasteland in the heart of the East End, Shoreditch was the hipster party hotspot through the late nineties and early noughties thanks to an influx of young (but financially insolvent) professionals, creatives and bar-workers. Enfant terrible of the art world Tracy Emin set up home here before it was the fashionable locale it is today, and still lives around the corner in Spitalfields. Some have declared the party in Shoreditch well and truly over due to rapid gentrification in the last decade – but we’re inclined to disagree. Still a hub of creative industry and artistry, Shoreditch has relaxed into a neighbourhood containing a more refined, grown-up kind of cool.

Restaurants

BRAT // bratrestaurant.com
This Basque-style restaurant is one of the best new restaurants in the city, winning a Michelin star just seven months after it opened. Consistently garnering rave reviews from restaurant critics and customers alike, it can be fairly difficult (but not impossible) to get a table.

ANDINA // cevichefamily.com
The sister restaurant to the ever popular Peruvian eatery Ceviche from Martin Morales, this gorgeous spot in Shoreditch has the feel of a traditional ‘picanteria’, a traditional lunch-time restaurant. Indeed, it’s the perfect spot for a casual lunch or even dinner and drinks (the Pisco Sours are highly recommended).

GLORIA // cevichefamily.com
Riotous, decadent, cheeky — these are all adjectives that spring to mind when describing this beautiful trattoria-style Italian eatery. A favourite with the media-types who float around Shoreditch, it can get a little busy at peak hours, so it’s always best to book ahead.

SMOKING GOAT // smokinggoatbar.com
An excellent venue for large groups, Smoking Goat offers feast bookings, high ceilings, expansive tables and delicious Thai-style barbeque.

Brick Lane & Beyond

BRICK LANE // visitbricklane.org
Home to an abundance of curry houses, a vintage market that sprawls like a rabbit warren and plenty of artwork weaved in between, the historic Brick Lane is the cultural melting pot of East London. The rich diversity of the people who have chosen to call it home has been its greatest blessing, from the Jewish and Irish inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century, to the growth of the Bangladeshi population in the 1970’s – in truth the area has provided a sanctuary to many displaced Londoners. The soul of Brick Lane is easy to see. Embrace it by enjoying a ‘bring your own booze’ curry (our pick is the Brick Lane Brasserie); leafing through vinyls in Brick Lane Market, all before heading to Dark Sugars for Ghanaian chocolate truffles which taste like no other.

STREET ART ON RIVINGTON STREET //
Located in the courtyard of hip London bar Cargo, Rivington Street is where you can view one of Banksy’s early satirical masterpieces in London, Guard Dog. It’s one of the only pieces not behind perspex glass in the city, allowing you to enjoy the work as it was intended to be. Just off Brick Lane and down a slightly menacing looking alley way is an abandoned car-park that has now become one of the most famous and frequently visited street-art galleries in London – Seven Stars Yard. With the walls a constantly changing canvas, there’s a new piece to admire almost every day.

BEIGLE BAKE // facebook.com/beigelbake
When a popular spot is described as an ‘institution’ it’s usually a bit of an exaggeration – but not in this case. This East London 24-hour bagel spot has been keeping both late night party people and hungry young professionals fed since 1974. A traditional jewish bakery, its salt beef bagel is one of the best you’re likely to have in London, as is the trusty salmon and cream cheese.

COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET // columbiaroad.info
Certainly London’s most beautiful market, Columbia road offers a bloom of every shade and variety. Whether you simply want to enjoy the market as a visual feast or you’re after the perfect potted plant, the market’s lively atmosphere makes it a must-visit destination during your time in the city. If you’re a bit of a thrifter arrive towards the end of the market (around 2-3pm) and friendly stall keepers might oblige you with some winning deals.

Our Shoreditch favourites

Stores

GOODHOOD // goodhoodstore.com
The crown for the ultimate Shoreditch store has to go to Goodhood. The shop itself attracts purely for its design pro-ess, let alone the premium garments of men's and women's streetwear. They also have a lifestyle section to coincide with the sartorial pieces. With a focus on sustainable brands, Goodhood is also showing they are focused on 2019's Fashion 101- environmental and ethical clothing.

MODERN SOCIETY // themodernsociety.com
Head to Redchurch Street for the flagship store of the luxurious and expertly curated Modern Society. The clothes are the perfect accompaniment to the chic set-up, with brands like RE/DONE and Trademark, alongside their own pieces and touches of homeware. Like all good East London boutiques, it comes complete with an in-house coffee shop, for a caffeine fix after you’ve eyed the rails.

AIME // aimelondon.com
Offering brands that are eternal fashion show favourites, including Isabel Marant and Ulla Johnson, Aime in Shoreditch is a great pit-stop for a post-show splurge. The pieces encapsulate chic, pared-back style, so if you're looking for that Parisian-girl-in-London aesthetic, this will be your go-to.

GLASSWORKS // glassworkslondon.com
An intimate and relaxing boutique on Shoreditch High Street, Glassworks offers the perfect place to source statement pieces for your wardrobe. Enjoy their own-brand collection alongside Sass and Bide and Helmut Lang. The accessories section is also great for between-show browsing.

Caffeine Fix

SHOREDITCH GRIND // grind.co.uk
Good for espressos but even better for espresso martinis, this coffee-house-by-day but cocktail-bar-by-night is a popular local haunt. With a recording studio upstairs and tattooed young professionals as its clientele, you’ll feel very Shoreditch as you sip your tipple of choice by its expansive windows.

ORIGIN COFFEE // origincoffee.co.uk
Serving beans from their Cornwall-based roastery, this coffee shop and barista training centre offers some of the finest roasts you’ll find in London. Pull up a stool at their ‘brew bar’ to enjoy their monthly speciality coffees. As you do so, take in the weird and wonderful artwork of John Kilburn – an artist and sustainability academic – whose eccentric mural takes centre stage in this well-loved East London hang-out.

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After Hours

DISCOUNT SUIT COMPANY // discountsuitcompany.co.uk
Walking past this speakeasy bar is easily done. From the outside it looks like a rather shabby tailor shop. But persevere; if you can locate the obscure, street level entrance and descend the bar’s narrow staircase, a treat awaits you below. You’ll find exposed brick, lighting that bathes everyone in a liquid-honey coloured glow, and highly skilled bar-tenders who will hand you exquisitely crafted cocktails, whether you order off-menu or on.

BLIXEN // blixen.co.uk
Modelled after European grand cafés, the interiors here are effortlessly elegant — think cool, marble surfaces and large, light-pouring windows. The regulars here (of which there are many) come for the well-executed brasserie food on offer but what makes Blixen special is the impeccable service. The waiters are attentive and charming, always on hand to give you a smile or an excellent wine recommendation – whichever you require at the time.

THE CULPEPPER // theculpepper.com
A roomy, airy gastro-pub with a gorgeous roof-top garden where they grow much of their own fresh produce. For those looking to expand their palette, it also boasts a wonderful selection of English wines.