I accidentally spent three days in Shoreditch / Clerkenwell / Old Street.
London areas I <3 Part Two
Here’s the thing: I really like Shoreditch. I have been, in the past, under the impression that Shoreditch is for hipsters and poseurs. I disclose this information to you now in case you too avoid Shoreditch in favour of safer places such as Notting Hill or more rough n ready places like New Cross.
It all started because I went to the dentist (don’t ask how it was because it was as bad as you think) and then wandered, ending up in Old Street / Shoreditch. I stayed in the area because I was due to meet my friend Lisa for dinner at Princess of Shoreditch, which was on my London bucket list.
And what an amazing day I had! Aside from finding some great spots I hadn’t clocked before, I also chatted with some very friendly people. It’s not like I’d never been to Shoreditch, I just hadn’t wandered around. I’ve always had a specific destination. So here’s what I did:
Nobrow Shop and Gallery
Comic book fiends and art lovers will revel in this amazing little store, filled to the brim with graphic novels, posters, postcards and other fun toys.
If you’re familiar with Shoreditch, you don’t need me to tell you about Hoxton Square. But if you’ve never been, it’s a lovely place to hang out, people watch and get a meal if you’re so inclined. In fact, I visited three days in a row while on my Shoreditchy vacay. Try some burgers at Red Dog Saloon if you want your tastebuds to THANK YOU PROFUSELY. I will also write about Happiness Forgets in another post.
I found this cute shop/cafe while wandering aimlessly and I’m glad that I did. Not only does it have robots you can buy (see above), along with other amazing stuff, the staff are incredibly friendly. I didn’t stop for a coffee, but I sure did pinch a few free postcards for myself.
I like the Boxpark concept - Shoreditch residents were not too happy about a mall being built in their area. They protested and a pop-up mall was born. Full of independent (and not so independent, ie Nike) retailers, the shopping centre built of shipping containers is quite a nice little diversion. Inside I found:
The English Tee Shop
I wandered into this pop up shop and was regaled with a glass of Pimm’s and some delightful chat with the store owner. I tried on a top, which I didn’t end up buying, but their t-shirts are worth taking a look at.
East Wing Collective
I found myself in this shop talking to a lovely furniture designer. The store was full of design goodness - there were many little pieces I would have liked to get my hands on… if I weren’t leaving the country in a few weeks with tons of crap to tote home.
Leather Lane is a historic little street in Clerkenwell, laid out in the medieval period. Now surrounded by tons of startups and cool digital businesses, it’s a great place to get an affordable salad for lunch. Just bring cash! I found these places in Leather Lane:
Beer Craft Co.
I should mention that I’m not a big beer fan. I like whiskey and red wine and other more indulgent drinks. But this place had charm. And delicious pie (see above). I’ve also been to the Islington branch and can tell you that it is also quite good.
I’m very upset that I only found this shoe shop now. It’s my own fault - I had five years of wandering around London time to happen upon it. Regardless I’m glad I at least found it now. Boasting amazing shoes and bags at unbelievable prices, this shop is heaven for shoe lovers. I got some really nice leather flats for £20 and a beautiful leather satchelesque bag for about £30.
If you are a fan of bookstores, as I am, check this one out. There is currently a (small) sale.
If you happen to be east, check out the Columbia Road Flower Market, London Fields and Sebright Arms pub for delish burgers.