A Guide To A Different Side Of The British Capital
Street art, markets, fashion, and great food is what we seek for our time in East London.
The former shappy side of the city is now home to some of the best small art galleries, design agencies, food and fashion. This is a 5-stop guide to help you make the most of your time for a day in East London.
Good morning. The place we’ll call home for this stay is the Ace Hotel London, Shoreditch. Just like the other Ace Hotels Stateside, it boasts chic, design-y interiors, relaxed staff, and attracts a creative crowd that hangs out in the lobby at all times of the day, working on their latest project. Located in the middle of Shoreditch, it has the perfect location for a day full of exploring.
Part of the new wave of coffee culture in London, Ozone Coffee Roasters maintains a serious commitment to quality, social and environmental consciences, creating an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere and friendly service. A morning stop by Ozone Coffee Roasters will set you up for a lovely day ahead.
If you ever find yourself in London on a Sunday, we’d highly recommend a visit to the Columbia Rd Flower Market. The street is transformed into a jungle of plants and flowers. You’ll find everything from fruit trees, cacti, house plants and cut flowers. Stop by and your eyes and nose will thank you for it.
This is a great place to grab a straightforward holy trinity lunch: soup, salad and sandwich. That’s not play it down though, Attendant is very good at simple things: whether that be a home-made quiche or tomato soup.
Effortlessly fusing the concepts of the modern street food market and the pop-up retail mall, Boxpark stands proudly in the heart of London’s Shoreditch to deliver a community of brands specialising in fashion, arts, food and drinks. Boxpark is the world’s first pop-up mall.
In order to enter this fashion store extraordinaire, you need to book an appointment first. This might sound annoying or intimidating, but trust us, just do it. A super short email to them (address on the website) with your preferred date and time is enough, they’ll get back to you after a while. The earlier you book your appointment, the better, confirmations sometimes take a tiny bit longer.
Walk down the street to number 18, on the right side of the building is a small way leading towards a locked door. Ring the bell, and they’ll let you in. A member of the staff will show you around and explain everything to you, and after that, you’re alone in that magnificent space.
Each room has a different focus, from sportswear (in a term not used very literal here) to more high-end fashion. There’s a library room with rare art books and a very cool and very obscure vinyl record collection (on our visit, we found mostly Japanese Bossa Nova and Russian Jazz) as well as space for shoes. If you have the money, you can find some of the finest clothes for both men and women here. If not, treat it as if it would be a museum. It sort of is, anyway.
We love this shop for its great selection of contemporary fashion labels for Women and Men. Expect lots of Scandinavian brands like WoodWood, Japanese designers like Junya Watanabe and a beautifully curated selection of small, useful things like watches, shoes, wallets, and magazines.
you’ll inevitably end up on Brick Lane. This is the quintessential East End Street, with all its cafés, vintage shops, and Indian curry places a bit further down the road.
In the recent years, Brick Lane has become a tourist magnet, and it’s harder and harder to find really good, affordable second-hand clothes here. But there is at least one exception to that rule, The Vintage Emporium.
Located on a small side street, it’s a Victorian style café on first sight that serves nice tea and scones, but once you go down the stairs into the shop section, you understand why we had to include this shop into our guide. You’ll find true vintage items here, dating back as far as the very early 1900s. There are flapper dresses, hats and shoes, and even old underwear. Some of the items on display here look like they should hang in a museum, they are so delicate and well preserved. It’s not cheap here, but prices are very reasonable. Carefully explore all nooks and crannies, and then head back outside.
This über cool day/night undercover market in hip Shoreditch is housed in a former bullion vault and armoured truck depot. It’s open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm ’til midnight and hosts over six street diners, six bars, five street shacks and street food trucks.
It feels like a cross between a street food festival and a private party especially as the sun starts to set, and the music takes on a heavier baseline. Everyone is having a great time chatting and laughing over lobster rolls, dosas, wood-fired pizzas and fruity cocktails. The variety and quality of the food is fantastic.
Set in the heart of Shoreditch, this stunning converted Victorian Warehouse is the place for you if you are a fan of good music (including live and celeb DJ sets), delicious Southern American food and a friendly crowd. What more could you ask for?
Ace Hotel Bar and Rooftop
The Rooftop at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is a sunlit haven from the city below. With DJs, dancing, cocktails and a ‘nice’ crowd The Ace Hotel is the perfect place to spend the night and meet new people.