Some say Shoreditch has had its day, that London’s trendy brigade have moved on. If you go to Brick Lane Market, though, it doesn’t look that way. The weird and wonderfully dressed hordes keep coming to Shoreditch, packing into ramshackle bars and independent shops in and around the rough triangle made up by Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street. Whether you’re purchasing a few succulents from Columbia Road Flower Market, being entertained at the creative space Rich Mix, or sampling cultural delicacies from a nearby street food pop-up, there will always be something new to try in this busy corner of east London. Despite the spread of affluence, much of the area maintains its original gritty, urban edge; many of the walls and shop fronts are plastered with graffiti (even if lots of it these days is advertising something). Of course, for many the grime is all part of the appeal – if you want a big garden and posh schools, move to Muswell Hill.
Forget the silence and boredom of a museum – your kids will thank you, trust us – and instead soak in your daily visual inspiration with a walk around Shoreditch. The street art in this area is among the best in the city so be prepared to stop frequently to take photos of your annoying creative teenagers. Start on Brick Lane and make your way up to Shoreditch High Street. Highlights include two Banksy pieces in Rivington Street, the Zabou ‘smile’ image in Cremer Street, a pair of Stik’s iconic figures in Princelet Street and London’s own Lewis Campbell’s iconic ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ in Heneage Street.
When it comes to things to do in Shoreditch, an absolute must is checking out the Columbia Road Flower Market. This is one of our favourite things to do in East London on a Sunday. Feel like you’re in a scene from My Fair Lady as local vendors call out their prices and latest bargains on some of the most opulent (and affordable) flowers, houseplants, herbs and succulents. Keep your ears peeled and you might even hear some authentic cockney rhyming slang. Plum tip: grabbing a bouquet to display in your home away from home like The Easton Gate will make your stay in London feel even cosier.
Snack to your heart’s content at Brick Lane’s Sunday market which offers tantalizing street food from all around the globe. Grab a famous salt beef bagel at Brick Lane’s iconic Beigel Bake. Dinerama’s Street Feast in the heart of Shoreditch is open Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm – midnight offering ten street food vendors and ten bars to explore across two levels. Or head to Boxpark, the world’s first pop-up mall, where modern street food stalls and exciting retail pop-ups live side-by-side.
If you’re in the mood for a proper sit-down meal, whatever you do don’t leave the area. Fine dining is among the easiest and best things to do in Shoreditch as there are a wealth of fantastic restaurants in the neighbourhood. A few of our favourites include Peruvian spot Andina, swanky Michelin-star seafood eatery Angler, chic and delicious chophouse Brat and lively and fun dolce vita inspired Italian resto, Gloria. When it comes to getting your drink on, the neighbourhood also boasts many charming local pubs and upscale cocktail bars to choose from. If you’re a whisky drinker, don’t miss Black Rock, an exclusive whisky bar with space for just 35 people, and don’t worry if you can’t get in, this spot is so popular that the owners opened a larger whisky pub on the ground floor which serves whisky cocktails and beers on draught. For a lovely beer garden on a hot day try the Crown & Shuttle, which also boasts a ‘90s tribute pub on the first floor that will make even you feel young again. For the best craft beer, ale and cider try Howl at the Moon, or for some killer (and pretty) cocktails check out Nightjar. Just remember you can no longer kick a hangover like you used to, although a luxurious accommodation will certainly help.
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