Contrary to popular belief, Shoreditch is not just full of hipsters and over-priced cafes and bars. Although it has in the last twenty years or so gone through gentrification, it’s very multicultural and full of history.
We got the Metropolitan line to Liverpool street and started our afternoon with lunch at Canto Corvino, newly opened in Spitalfields. After lunch, we headed to Old Spitalfields Market to browse the stalls.
Old Spitalfields Market
Apparently there has been a market on the site for over 350 years and in 1991 it became known as Old Spitalfields Market. The market is open seven days a week and consists of shops, restaurants and stalls selling everything from art and jewellery to clothes and street food. The market is housed in Grade II listed buildings, built between 1885 and 1893 but is flanked by modern buildings, such as Bishops Square which was designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.
On the weekend, the market is always buzzing. This weekend the market was hosting London Cocktail Week so there were lots of really cool, funky stalls and vans selling cocktails. As we’d already had two glasses of wine with lunch, we decided to abstain from any cocktails (even though they were very tempting!). The market regularly hosts events, such as the Record Fair and the Designers/Makers market as well as lots of vintage markets. Check out their website to see which events they have coming up.
What I love about this market is that most of the stalls are independent and unique – there isn’t stall after stall selling the exact same thing. I couldn’t resist treating myself to something so I bought this gorgeous handmade, leather wallet/travel card holder from Nat Boyd for just £10.
If you’re interested in Jack the Ripper, head across the road from the market to have a drink in the historic The Ten Bells pub. Although the name has changed, this pub is associated with two of Jack the Ripper’s victims, Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly and always forms part of a Jack the Ripper walking tour.
Shopping and street art on Brick Lane
After the market we headed to Brick Lane, which is famous for its curry houses and is home to London’s Bangladeshi community. It also has lots of little markets dotted along the road and the Old Truman Brewery, which now houses offices, independent shops, galleries, markets, bars and restaurants, takes centre stage. For independent, up-and-coming designers take a look at The Laden Showroom or, if it’s vintage that you’re looking for, Rockit is right next door. In fact here’s a whole list of boutiques on Brick Lane, for all you fashion lovers.
If you have time for afternoon tea, head to The Vintage Emporium on Bacon street where you can have tea and cake inside a vintage clothing shop.
Keep an eye out for the amazing street art that can be found all over Shoreditch. In fact Shoreditch is full of art galleries including the Red Gallery, which runs an arts club, hosts exhibitions, film screenings, talks and lectures as well as running live comedy and music nights.
Whilst walking back towards Liverpool Street station, we were lucky to see a street artist in action. I’m really keen in joining a street art walking tour next to learn more about these artists and their work.
If you enjoyed Exploring Shoreditch, why not read my post on Exploring Bermondsey.