Steer past the clichés and you’ll find this east London locale still buzzing.
Why go there?
Because you read in Time Out that east London was really cool… 15 years ago (and this week).
No, seriously, what’s the vibe?
Shoreditch, so the cliché goes, is an overpriced hipster playground-turned-soulless husk; long on creative agencies and short on creative talent. But it’s not all bike polo and ideagasms. There are great spots to hang out in this influential corner of the East End. Pick wisely and it’s still ‘totally fucking Mexico’, as Nathan Barley would say.
© Paul Winch-Furness
Where do I start?
With a bite to eat. Andina on Redchurch Street is a fantastic Peruvian newcomer. Better still is Lyle’s in the Tea Building where you can eat ‘blood cake’. For actual cake, try Leila’s, off lovely Arnold Circus.
Now how about a drink?
On weekends Shoreditch turns into a veritable love parade of cosmopolitan entertainment. Jks: it’s pretty naff if you don’t know where you’re going. Duck into boozy boltholes Happiness Forgets on Hoxton Square or Callooh Callay on Rivington Street, which both do old fangled glamour in half-decent fashion. Or, for more authentic baroque chintz, try upstairs at The Bridge (Kingsland Road).
Where’s the party at?
Hearing Detroit legend Theo Parrish play one of his regular Plastic People sets is a London clubbing pilgrimage worth making (tip: arrive at the Curtain Road venue nice and early). XOYO, off Old Street, is in the running to be London’s best club. Otherwise disco rules downstairs at the Book Club on Leonard Street, where the crowd are a bit more chilled out.
How do I ‘get the look’?
Brace yourself, and your wallet: we’re going shopping. Start on Redchurch Street for hyper-cool emporiums APC, Aime and Sunspel. Otherwise, Son of a Stag off Brick Lane, The Goodhood Store on Coronet Street or Article on Kingsland Road are the de rigueur outfitters for blokes vying for Shoreditch House membership.
© Red Market
And if I only do one thing?
Visit a pop-up, of course! Boxpark, by Shoreditch High Street Overground station, has shops, eats and events. Red Gallery’s Red Market is still up ’n’ popping off Old Street, with street food, gigs and parties.
By Jonny Ensall