London | Discover the trendy, hipster district of East London

London | Discover the trendy, hipster district of East London

A weekend in London is all about discovering the iconic sites of Big-Ben, Tower Bridge, High Park or St James Park, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham, Coven Garden, Soho or Campden. But it’s to the east of the city that we’re taking you, to East London.



If I tell you I’ve only been to London once, would you believe me? well, I assure you it’s true! I’ve been dreaming of going back there since I visited in 2007, but I haven’t found or had the opportunity to go. That’s why, last December, we freshly landed in this city nicknamed “Old Smodke”. We decided not to visit the capital’s Hightlights, but to stay in a single district. From Shoreditch to Bethnal Green, passing through Spitafields, Dalston, Hackney and Whitechapel, discover East London, the trendiest district and one of the most sought-after areas. It has been completely restructured, combining old industrial brick buildings with new, modern architecture. A haven for bobos and hipsters, you’ll now find numerous markets, art galleries, street art, architects’ offices, vintage boutiques and coffee shops. Eats London was a real coup de coeur for us!



In just a few years, East London has become the district for the arty and trendy. And it all starts around Shoreditch, the most popular area in North-East London with its Street Art district. The district stretches along both sides of Shoreditch High Street: from Old Street to Hoxton. As soon as you leave the metro, head for “redchurch street”, where you’ll discover a variety of street art along the way, before arriving in front of Barber & Parlour (rechurch Street 64-66). A typically London hybrid concept, where you can have lunch, get your beard trimmed, watch a film or go shopping. Let yourself be carried away by this atmosphere as you join Brick Lane.



In Shoreditch, we really liked the Boxpark Shoreditch, the world’s first pop-up shopping center. It’s a place where containers are rehabilitated and transformed into boutique corners for trendy designers or street food stands. We therefore recommend the Voodoo Ray’s for fast food. A little further on, you can sample delicious Peruvian cuisine at Andina or the Indian at Dishoom for its spectacular decor and delicious food.

Try the cocktail bar on the roof top of Queen of Hoxton, the coffeshop Woolindando, a cool little coffeshop furnished with plants ( 253 Bethnal Green Rd). For an original evening out, have a drink at Ballie Ballerson, a cocktail bar filled with hundreds of balloons. (97 – 113 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3BS)





This street, easily recognized by its brickwork and its landmark, the long red-brick chimney (which houses a former Truman Brewery), is our favorite and an East London must-see. The street of Brick Lane is nicknamed Banglatown due to the strong presence of Bangladeshi residents. Depending on the day, you’ll find street-food stalls everywhere. The English have incorporated spices into their street food, influenced by their Indian immigration, and we don’t mind. So be prepared for spicy cuisine or curry dishes. People also come here for the many coffee shops, bookshops and home decoration boutiques. We also appreciate the neighborhood thrift shops like the vintage shop “Here After“because that’s actually one of the interests of Brick Lane, reworking your wardrobe! Don’t miss the big thrift shop at Vintage Market in the basement, it’s just incredible and gigantic! It’s in this market that I’ve unearthed a few nuggets! The famous Brick Lane Market or Sunday UpMarket, is East London’s must-visit rendezvous with its unique pieces, but it’s also snapped up on Sundays from 9am to 5pm.



Take a side street off the vintage market, the “dray walk”, where you’ll find the biggest record shop in the area; Rought Trade East dedicated to indie rock and pop music, pop-up stores, a store selling all the world’s soccer jerseys (even the most collectible) and, at the back, a food truck corner that’s super cool and tasty. We tested the veggie burgers!



It’s always busy inside, but stop off at Beigel bake (159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB) or try the funny and unusual concept of the Cereal Killer Cafe (192a Brick Ln, London E1 6SA). It’s a coffee invented by 2 twin brothers who, one day, wanted to eat a bowl of cereal in the middle of the afternoon, but no café served it! That’s where the idea came from. The café offers around a hundred cereal brands, mainly from the United States, but also a few French brands such as Chocapic. You’ll eat cereals in bowls accompanied by milk (25 varieties of milk available). Some have original tastes like Cheerios Peanut Butter or the Apple cinnamon cheerios. Expect to pay between £2.60 and £4.60 per bowl. What I really liked was the name of the coffee and the wide choice of cereals, sometimes unknown in France. You can also stop off at Franzé & Evans (101 Redchurch St, London E2 7DL) for Sunday brunch.



We drink chai coffee at Café Yumchaa (137 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB), Café 1001 in the basement of Vintage Market and Kahaila on 135 Brick Ln.



You can still find street art on the corner of Hanbury Street and Wilkes Street, as well as on Grey Eagle Street. the Adidas boutique, where we unearthed a pair of exclusive sneakers sold only in London. If you don’t know the All Saints boutique (114 commercial street ), stop by just for the pleasure of your eyes and take a lunch break at one of the classics of English cuisine, fish & chips from chez Poppies fish & chips. A nice little restaurant and a good fish & chips that has the advantage of being more generous with fish than with oil-filled breadcrumbs. Turn left onto Commercial Street, then right onto Brushfield Street for a fine view of Christ Church Spitafields and its white steeple, then Liverpool Street station at the other end. And don’t miss a visit to the boutique « Anthropology » before strolling the aisles of the Old Spitafields Market, another favorite. This covered market, symbolic of the district, is housed in an old Victorian building, once dedicated to a silk market. Today, these restored halls are home to second-hand goods dealers, cafés, record stands, pretty boutiques and a huge selection of street food, each more gourmet than the last. During the Christmas season, you can buy Jump Pulls, those ugly Christmas sweaters we love so much! It’s pretty crazy to see how the English love this tradition, organizing “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party“, a small party where managers and employees come in extravagant outfits. Metro Liverpool Street Station.





In the Old Spitafileds Market where you’ll find a wide choice of street food and Poppies Fish & Chips. Opposite the market entrance is a famous pub, the Ten Bells (84 Commercial St)where Jack the Ripper was apparently rampant. If you book in advance, we recommend the Hawksmoor Spitafields Bar, a place that serves good whole grilled chicken to share. ( 157a commercial street). For a more gourmet dinner in an unusual setting, head to Galvin La Chapelle, a Michelin-starred French restaurant run by Michel Galvin and housed in a former chapel. (35 Spital Square).

Did you know there’s a bar hidden behind a fridge door? discover the Spitafields Breakfast Club (12-16 Artillery Ln, London E1 7LS) to sip a cocktail.


London is full of markets, each more lively than the last. Old Spitafields Market is one of those markets you can only find in London. Avant-garde street food, vintage and non-vintage clothing sales, record shops and second-hand shops. That’s what you’ll find in this market. A very chic and trendy ensemble that makes you want to stroll, where many Londoners come for lunch and a stroll. A true London lifestyle. For the little ones, you can take them to the Spitafields Farmer Market, to see farm animals and vegetable gardens. Open from 10am to 4:30pm every day except Monday.


Another must-see if you’re in London on a Sunday: the Columbia Road Flower Market (Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG)It’s a typical English-style flower street, lined on both sides with plant and flower displays. Located a 15-minute walk north of Brick Lane, it takes place only on Sunday on Columbia Road from 8am until around 3pm. Here you can discover the English passion and love for flowers and gardening. Here, numerous flower vendors rub shoulders with the street’s charming boutiques and cheerful cafés. I’ve found a very nice store to hunt for vintage deco objects that also doubles as a café, the Heaven café. Do business there on Sunday afternoons. It’s like being in one of the scenes from “Love Actually”, with a guaranteed Bristish atmosphere. If you’re in the neighborhood for an evening of fish & chips, head to the Virgin Queen (Goldsmiths’ Row).



Finally, there is the Broadway Green Market in the Hackney district. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it because of the downpour. And yes, when it rains in London… it rains! As a result, we missed this more traditional food market, which stretches from Regent’s canal to London Fields park, where we come to do our shopping. It’s apparently worth the detour. Every Saturday, all the trendy bobos in the area rush to buy organic and healthy products while strolling past the decor and vintage clothing boutiques along the street. You can stroll along the Regent Canal with its moored barges for a digestive stroll. Open Saturday 9am 0pm. Metro Bethnal green.

On the other hand, and by chance that same rainy day, we unearthed the “Mare Street Market “, a beautifully decorated place where you can come for drinks, lunch, brunch and time with friends. A huge hall in an attractive, if somewhat noisy, setting. Bus King Edward’s Road.



Shoreditch has excellent local transport links (tube and bus). Thanks to its proximity to Liverpool Railway Station, it provides easy access to all other parts of London and the city center in just a few minutes. The historic Shoreditch district is home to art galleries, theaters and fashion boutiques.

For these few nights in London, we stayed at the East London Hotel. Located at the exit of the de Bethnal Green, you’ll be 15-20 minutes’ walk from Brick Lane and Shoreditch. A modern hotel with a good breakfast, well-equipped although the rooms are a little small. Like most hotels in London, you can expect to pay from €170 a night to €250 for a night in a double room over the Christmas period.





You can also test the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch (100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ), an iconic place where all the decoration is for sale, so the concept is very cool. In particular, it offers an ideal co-working space for busy workers or nomadic workers!

Practical Information | London

  • The London Underground is called the Tube.
  • Check the zones in which you are and wish to travel, as the price of the transport card will depend on the number of zones chosen. We had chosen the weekly menu for the zone 1 and 2 at a price of £34,10/p car if you make a lot of journeys by metro and bus, it can be very advantageous. If you take from zone 1 to 9, the maximum, the card will cost you £88.70/p. Beware, there are also peak and non-peak prices. Yes, I know it’s strange, but we go from £2,40 à £2,90 for a single trip per person.
  • Subway opening hours: from 5am to midnight, Monday to Saturday. And Sundays from 7am to midnight. Frequency: 5-10 minutes.




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