Once a notoriously seedy corner of East London, Shoreditch is now one of the city’s hottest locations
A brief introduction to Shoreditch
Once a notoriously seedy corner of East London, Shoreditch is now one of the city’s hottest locations. Londoners and tourists flock to this area to shop, eat and drink and seek out diverse forms of entertainment. The area is full of bars, galleries, clubs, markets and cafés (including one that serves nothing but cereal and another that allows you to play with cats while you sip your tea). A hub for urban subcultures, Shoreditch is famed for its graffiti and street art, which covers walls, doors, windows and street furniture. Take a wander around Shoreditch and explore every side street to discover all that this corner of the city has to offer.
Food and drink
Shoreditch is known for its diversity, which translates into trendy bars, traditional cockney butchers and exclusive delicatessens
Shoreditch, located in East London, is one of London’s most distinctive and unusual areas, mixing contemporary with classic roots. An eclectic area that’s lively from early morning until late at night, it’s known for its diversity and fashion statements, which translates into trendy bars, traditional cockney butchers and exclusive delicatessens.
Hoxton Grill is a classic American grill, bar and lounge with red leather booths, offering American-inspired dishes. In the all-day menu, you will find spicy chicken wings, char-grilled steaks, burgers, ribs and mac ‘n’ cheese. The breakfast menu meanwhile, offers the most delicious traditional pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, while for a more modern twist, chia seeds and almond milk pudding with honeyed nuts are on the list.
Hache Burgers takes burgers to a whole new level. You are given a choice of a fresh ciabatta or brioche bun, while the burger itself comes in a wide range of delicious choices from Scotch beef steak through to lamb, chicken, falafel and goats cheese. If you still want more choices, Hache specialities are slow roasted pulled pork and aromatic duck burger, all served with rocket, beef tomato and sliced sweet red onion.
Bar Kick provides a winning combination of entertainment and dining. You can play table football while enjoying tasty food made from seasonal ingredients. You can choose from burgers, sandwiches, sharing platters and daily specials. The ‘El Cubano’ sandwich is a culinary delight, with roasted ham on toasted buttered baguette, served with mustard, filled with pickle and melted cheddar.
Hawksmoor Spitafields has a range of menus, whether you are after an express lunch, a more substantial meal, or simply a bite to eat while drinking in the bar. The Sunday roast is a must-try, featuring traditionally large joints of meat roasted on a spit over an open fire, served with duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, greens, roasted shallots and garlic, with lashings of bone marrow and onion gravy.
The Willow Shoreditch is as unique as Shoreditch itself. A one-stop shop where you can pick up carefully selected flowers for a hand-tied bouquet, vintage books and customised glassware, specially commissioned drawings and artwork, or even enjoy a freshly made salad or sandwich. The food is made with traditional English ingredients, however the classic dishes are fused with exotic flavours, correlating to the current theme of the shop.
Health and wellbeing
Touted as the home of ‘fitsters’, Shoreditch is the new heart of East London fitness
Touted as the home of ‘fitsters’, Shoreditch is the new heart of East London fitness. Located just outside the chaos of Old Street and down the road from the business centric, Liverpool Street, you can chill out at a spa or sweat hard in a Rocket Yoga class. With the explosion of juice bars, fitness hubs and yogas studios in the area, living the healthy and fit lifestyle here is easily done. Get ready to experience an eclectic vibe of fashion and fitness.
Being a fashion forward fitness clothing store is the primary function of this intimate boutique space, but they also play host to a number of fitness clubs, including workouts, yoga dance and run club throughout the week and at weekends. Check out their website to see the latest offerings and also book online. You can even purchase exclusive club apparel like a “I’m just here for the savasana” tank.
Shoreditch Park is an open space located in Hoxton and holds a Green Flag award meaning it’s one of the best green spaces in the country! Find a space to workout on your own or check out, Our Parks, who run free group exercise sessions in the space on the weekend. If group sessions don’t take your fancy, throw down a yoga mat and practice your asanas on your own. If none of that’s your bag, simply find a spot on a bench to soak up some sunshine and watch the world go by.
Frame Dance & Fitness
Their Shoreditch studio is a warehouse-style space located under an arch in a back alley. The world is your oyster here, with every type of class imaginable. Class categories include fitness, dance, yoga and Pilates, as well as a Personal Training offering. Check out their signature class – Frame Work – a complete mix of what Frame has to offer packed into a one hour class.
A cool, trendy, hidden away indoor cycling studio in Shoreditch, offering a variety of class types, motivational instructors and banging tunes. Expect the full package here; towels, cycle shoes (additional charge), group atmosphere and luxury facilities to refresh post workout. In their own words “This isn’t indoor cycling, this is BOOM Cycling!”.
Cow Shed at Shoreditch House
This Cowshed spa is located in a converted East London warehouse and members’ club. It’s the place to go to for party prep and recovery treatments. Offering a wide range of beauty and therapeutic treatments, from your ‘horns to your hooves’, as they say! The decor is glam and you will be too, when you’re done and dusted here.
Yoga for fellas, yoga for runners… yoga for us all! You can find some of the London’s best teachers on the timetable here, teaching everything from strong vinyasa flow, through to restorative practise. With a real community focus and inclusive feel, it’s a great environment to either begin a yoga practice or build on what you already have.
Tempo Pilates E1
If their two other studios are anything to go by, the newest addition in Shoreditch is bound to be a treat. Classes are reformer based, all set to great sounds with an upbeat tempo. It’s great for lengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and muscle tone, with classes available in morning, lunch and evening sessions.
If you’re after something off the beaten track and a contrast to the usual high street stores, Shoreditch is the place to be
If you’re after something off the beaten track and a contrast to the usual high street stores, then Shoreditch the place to be. Everything around Shoreditch has a very ‘cool’ vibe and you will definitely feel like the cat that got the cream with your latest purchase – whether that’s from one of the trendy stores at Boxpark, a shopping centre made from crates with individual boutiques, or from one of the vintage stores a plenty.
Boxpark is not your usual shopping centre. Firstly it’s made of individual crates, hosting small boutique stores and a selection of bigger known brands. Pick up the perfect gift at The Gift Shop, discover new make-up at the BeautyMart and soak up the fashion from stores like Hype, Hymn, Replay and OnePiece. Make sure you visit Dum Dum Doughnuts and enjoy a Nutella cronut… you won’t regret it!
Goodhood is another of East London’s shopping gems. This designer boutique stocks unique women’s and menswear brands, as well as top end designer pieces, which of course come with associated designer prices. There is also a wide selection of beautiful jewellery, lingerie and cosmetics, from brands such as Sacha Juan and Aesop. The Goodhood Café, COMMUNE, can be found downstairs; sip a coffee as you consider whether you are in an art gallery or a fashion store.
This vintage clothing boutique sells clothing, shoes and accessories from the 1900s-1980s. Paper Dress offers numerous services, including alterations and a personal shopper service, which is great if you aren’t quite sure how to portray the era you’re after. At night, the store is turned into a bar and events space with live music.
Located on Rivington Street, Artwords Bookshop sells a wide selection of books and magazines. From the outside it might look small, but the selection of books is second to none. They also have a small section of gift cards and wrapping paper, so you can find your gift and pick up the wrapping too – what could be easier!
Sneakersnstuff is the brainchild of Swedish duo, Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansso. It’s their first store outside of Sweden, bringing their love of trainers to London in this Shoreditch High Street store. Sneakersnstuff has collaborated with sports brands such as Adidas, Puma and Reebok on special designs. There is an abundance of on-trend trainers and sports clothing that will excite any ‘sneaker-head’.
SCP is a luxury furniture store based on Curtain Road. Ideal for furniture lovers, the store stocks everything from fibre-glass chairs to beautifully printed textiles, cushions and rugs and a range of neon art signs. There is also a selection of vintage furniture and ornaments that are definitely worth a look.
Owned by stylist and TV presenter, Brix Smart-Smith and her husband, Start London stocks numerous designer brands for women, including KENZO and Sophie Hulme. Across the street you will find Mr Start, Start London’s sister store, which offers a bespoke tailoring service for gents. Put together your own custom suit in your personal choice of fabric and design.
Squint is one of those mesmerising shops where that you can’t help but look in the window at all the bright colours. This furniture store is full of vintage one-off furniture pieces, designed by the supremely talented, Lisa Whatmough. Her recycled old furniture is full of life, each utterly unique, meaning you’ll never find any two pieces the same!
Shoreditch has a wide range of must-see places waiting to be discovered, many of which often house a treasure trove of unique stories and experiences. Explore some of our top recommendations below and get the insiders’ take on Shoreditch’s hidden gems.
You go to shops to buy things, right? Wrong! You can now take in a film while you indulge in a little retail therapy at Aubin & Wills on Redchurch Street. The teeny cinema beneath the shop has less than 50 seats – seats that are actually mostly comfy sofas, rather than creaky flip-up seats – which makes for a pleasingly intimate vibe.
Banksy artworks in Cargo Bar
The legendary street artist, Banksy, has made his mark in Shoreditch. Just inside the gate of Cargo Bar is one of his famous stenciled pieces – a policeman walking a poodle on a lead. The patient security guard on the gate is used to pointing it out to graffiti enthusiasts, and if you ask them nicely, they might direct you to a second Banksy inside the bar too.
Dennis Severs’ House
In 1979, Dennis Severs bought an old Georgian terraced house on Folgate Street in Spitalfields. Rather than stripping out the previous inhabitants’ dodgy interiors, Severs painstakingly restored each room in his new home, as if each room in the house belonged to a different era. Today the house is open to visitors, who are encouraged to explore the house in silence, taking care not to disturb any former owners who might still be around.
When you think of the brand of Nike, what springs to mind is probably sportswear for the gym; trainers, Lycra leggings, jogging bottoms. However, with the sports-Luxe or ‘athleisure’ trend around to stay, Nike is now thinking beyond the treadmill or the tennis court. Its NikeLab on Bateman Street is part showroom, part concept store. Inside an old railway arch, futuristic displays showcase limited edition, cutting-edge sportswear and street fashion.
Set back from the whirling Old Street roundabout, Bunhill Fields is a pleasant green space and public garden, located in a former burial ground. Today only 2,333 monuments remain in Bunhill Fields, commemorating many of London’s one-time brightest minds and plenty of the city’s non-conformists: Daniel Defoe, William Blake and John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, to name a few.
Like the look of Shoreditch?
Shoreditch has become very popular with London-based web technology companies looking to base their head offices around Old Street. Now referred to as “Silicon Roundabout”, the Old Street roundabout has become the centre point for these companies.