Shoreditch was once a haven for hipsters, and despite the steady wave of gentrification over the years, it’s still an achingly stylish area where you’ll see a mixture of fashionistas, hip millennials, media workers, tech geeks and City businesspeople.
It’s the first place to head to if you want an unforgettable night out in the coolest bars and the most raucous clubs. Sample inventive new cocktails at Nightjar, a basement speakeasy that harks back to the prohibition era, before heading to XOYO to watch one of the hottest new bands in town and dance the night away to cutting-edge DJs.
The East London district has been a thriving creative hub ever since it was associated with the YBA (Young British Artists) movement in the 1990s, and continues to be one of the hippest places in the capital to find rising artistic talent.
Victoria Miro Gallery is a great place to visit to check out established and up-and-coming artists, while Hix Art, tucked in the basement of the Tramshed restaurant, rotates its exhibitions every eight weeks.
Shoreditch is also a photographer’s dream, with many places decorated with street art. Graffiti artist Banksy held his first major exhibition, Turf War, on Kingsland Road, and has gone on to use the area’s streets as his own personal canvas. The best way to experience all the art on offer is by taking the Alternative London Walking Tour, which offers fascinating tours led by local street artists and creatives.
The area is also a magnet for tech businesses, with many companies setting up their headquarters near Old Street’s roundabout, now dubbed Silicon Roundabout. Head to Google Campus London for exciting tech development workshops or to get a free co-working space (just remember to register first). It’s an incredible place to network with like-minded people.
But it’s at the weekends that Shoreditch really comes alive. You can watch the world go by at its many bustling markets, and grab a flat white at Paper and Cup, a social enterprise café that also sells second-hand books and local artwork, before picking up some plants at Columbia Road flower market and checking out the vintage threads at Beyond Retro in Brick Lane. For contemporary fashion, take a look around some of Redchurch Street’s many shops. For the best Sunday roasts, make your way to The Marksman for succulent pork belly or The Royal Oak for melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder.