An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Silicon Roundabout, East London’s Tech City

Sam Peet /
Sam Peet / | © Culture Trip

Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor

The UK tech scene is booming in London, and Silicon Roundabout – the start-up cluster in postcodes such as EC1V and N1, around Old Street Tube Station and a hop from Brick Lane – is its main hub. Here, you’ll find a range of co-working spots, as well cool places to eat, shop and sleep.

Entrepreneurial hotspots

1. Campus London

Building

Campus London is Google’s free space for the city’s start-up community
© Campus London

Campus London is Google’s free space for the capital’s start-up community. It serves as a central locus for London entrepreneurs, organising free events and workshops and hosting Campus Residency, a 12-week programme for high-potential start-ups focused on machine learning. The ground-floor coffee shop is open to the public, but get here early – seats are picked up quickly by innovators and venture capitalists looking to spot the next big thing. Seed fund Seedcamp and Code First: Girls, which aims to increase the number of women working in tech, also occupy the building – making Campus a true one-stop shop for London’s innovators.

2. WeWork Old Street

Building

Old Street’s WeWork office space is home to both entrepreneurs and established businesses
© WeWork

Located just off Silicon Roundabout, Old Street’s WeWork office space is home to entrepreneurs working on early-stage ideas as well as established businesses looking to expand their approach. The co-working community attracts companies of all shapes and sizes, and the site is perfectly situated at the heart of the Tech City buzz.

3. IDEALondon

Building

IDEALondon
© IDEALondon

IDEALondon is a post-accelerator centre for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and expand their business, from UCL Engineering, Cisco’s incubator and capital enterprise group and EDF Energy Innovation.

4. Second Home Spitalfields

Building

Second Home is a stunning co-working space at the heart of East London’s creative cluster
© Second Home

A stunning co-working space at the heart of East London’s creative cluster, Second Home sits on the outskirts of Tech City, near Brick Lane. The space hosts a carefully curated and connected community made up of teams from a diverse range of industries, including charities, corporates, creative businesses and innovators such as Kickstarter.

Coffee shops

5. Shoreditch Grind

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, British

Shoreditch Grind
© Grind & Co. Ltd
Occupying an honoured spot on Old Street Roundabout since 2011, Shoreditch Grind is a local landmark. Equipped with an upstairs recording studio that has hosted the likes of Tinie Tempah and Sam Smith, the Grind has a full kitchen serving food, cocktails and coffee. With exposed-brick walls, neon signs and a great playlist, there’s a cool vibe here, and Grind counts London’s coolest entrepreneurs among its patrons.

6. Ozone Coffee Roasters

Cafe, British

Ozone Coffee Roasters
© Ozone Coffee Roasters
Ozone is a trendy spot for brunch, coffee or a meal. The street-level floor can get a little crowded, but if you head down to the largely unfurnished basement (where the beans are roasted) you may have better luck finding somewhere to sit. Once you’ve found somewhere to rest your weary body, you’re in for great coffee and culinary delights, including slow-brew specials such as Kenyan peaberry coffee. The food is also great, from eggs Benedict to pea risotto with shoots of crunchy rice. There’s a great wine list, too.

8. Kahaila

Cafe, British

Kahaila
© Kahaila
In among the curry houses, pop-up stores and galleries of vibrant Brick Lane, Kahaila is a snug wooden cocoon full of delicious smells. Its homespun, distressed-wood interiors match the simple yet generous food and drink that’s on offer, sourced from local suppliers. Kahaila is also a hub for the local art scene, with featured artworks displayed and sold in the shop and a wide range of artistic events, including art launches, music nights and private events. It’s all fairly guilt-free, and the coffee shop even channels all its profits back into the local community. music nights,

Where to shop

9. BoxPark Shoreditch

Market, Store

Boxpark in Shoreditch
© Stockinasia / Alamy Stock Photo

Even entrepreneurs need a break. Head to Boxpark, Shoreditch’s trendy pop-up shopping centre made of repurposed shipping containers; it’s great for independent and global fashion and lifestyle stores and cafes.

10. Brick Lane Market

Market

You’ll find everything from vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery to music, arts and crafts in Brick Lane
© Brick Lane Market

Selling everything from vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery to music, arts and crafts, Brick Lane is an East London staple. Food trucks dominate the street seven days a week, plus there’s the Boiler House Food Hall, the Tea Rooms, the Backyard Market, the Sunday UpMarket and the Vintage Market near the Old Truman Brewery, so you’re spoilt for choice.

11. Redchurch Street

Market

Labour and Wait
© Labour and Wait

Redchurch Street is a six-block stretch of East London that is home to the city’s coolest design-led stores, cafes and restaurants. Stores include Labour and Wait, for home goods; cult beauty brand Aesop; Monologue, for furniture; and luxury clothing Sunspel.

Where to stay

12. Shoreditch House

Boutique Hotel

Shoreditch House
© Shoreditch House
A branch of the global Soho House group, Shoreditch House delivers a slice of salubrious Soho in East London packaging. Guests have access to the restaurant and members’ workspaces. Entrepreneurs from the creative industries are drawn here, as the venue focuses on attracting guests with common interests so a sense of community flourishes.

13. M by Montcalm London Shoreditch Tech City

Boutique Hotel, Suite Hotel, Hotel

Courtesy of M by Montcalm London Shoreditch Tech City / Expedia

Just three minutes’ walk from Old Street Tube, M by Montcalm London Shoreditch Tech City is not only well placed for exploring Shoreditch, it’s also in a prime position for transport connections to venture around the rest of the capital.

14. The Hoxton

Boutique Hotel, Business Hotel, Chain Hotel

Courtesy of The Hoxton / Expedia

Just a few minutes from Shoreditch High Street and five minutes from Old Street, the Hoxton offers rooms with beautiful modern interiors, balanced with traditional quilted furniture.

15. citizenM Shoreditch

Budget Hotel

Courtesy of CitizenM Shoreditch / Expedia

Perfectly situated in central Shoreditch, this stylish yet affordable hotel is the perfect place for someone wanting to experience the area on a budget. It’s also only a short walk from Liverpool Street Station.

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