Let me just put it out there, I really love Shoreditch but I wouldn’t want to live there. I’m happy in the quieter, less hip part of town I call home, a sleepier area of South West London that offers me an escape from the city. I do, however, spend an inordinate amount of time in the East as there are so many creative businesses and start-ups based there. It’s also one of my favourite areas of London for eating, drinking and shopping (I’m not so much into clubbing these days but there’s that too). A little wander down Redchurch Street will give you a good idea of what the area has to offer, independent boutiques sit side-by-side with cafés and pop-ups. Hackney is still one of the poorest areas of London and was once a fairly cheap area of London to live, this brought a lot of creatives to Shoreditch, starting studios and opening shops, as well as cafés and restaurants. It’s these entrepreneurs that have made the area so desirable to me but also larger brands (trying to get in on the buzz). But I like the fact that even these guys are offering a curation of their product that appeals to the more affluent residents of the area.
Last weekend we took the plunge and spent a night over in my beloved Shoreditch, at the recently opened citizenM Hotel. Tucked just behind Shoreditch High Street, the hotel is right in the centre of all the action. The hotel is pretty epic, it centres around a social open-plan floor with a bar, lots of lounging areas and spaces to work. There are design books everywhere as well as lots of iconic pieces of design and furniture by Eames like their Lounge Chair, Cone Chairs and cute little Elephants for kiddies. The rooms are small but cleverly designed with large bathrooms and a large double bed. An iPad in each room controls the TV, with lots of free movies. We were up on the 8th floor with an east-facing view over Shoreditch High Street. It was pretty wet and windy when we stayed but I still loved spotting some of my favourite places from above.
There’s a really creative vibe to the hotel that’s very reflective of the area, it feels buzzy but chilled. For once I wasn’t rushing from one meeting to another but got to relax into holiday mood. It’s funny what a small suitcase and the lack of a laptop will do to help you let go. I saw it as a chance to spend some quality time with the hubby, show him some of my favourite spots, enjoy a coffee together and do a spot of shopping (for both of us).
A.P.C. 15 Redchurch Street (womenswear & menswear) | Aesop (beauty) 44 Redchurch Street | Aida (lifestyle) 133 Shoreditch High Street | Aimé (womenswear) 17 Redchurch Street | Ally Capellino (leather goods) 9 Calvert Avenue | Goodhood (lifestyle) 151 Curtain Road | House of Hackney (homeware & womenswear) 131-132 Shoreditch High Street | Le Labo (fragrance) 61 Redchurch Street | Labour and Wait (homeware) 85 Redchurch Street | Luna & Curious (lifestyle) 24-26 Calvert Avenue | The Mercantile London (womenswear) 17 Lamb Street | Modern Society (lifestyle & café) 33 Redchurch Street | Monologue (homeware) 93 Redchurch Street | Pärla (jewellery) Boxpark, 2 Bethnal Green Road | Sunspel (womenswear & menswear) 7 Redchurch Street | Western Assembly (menswear) 30 Redchurch Street |
Eating & Drinking
Blixen (restaurant) 65A Brushfield Street | Boundary (restaurant) 2-4 Boundary Street | Dishoom (restaurant) 7 Boundary Street | Eyre Brothers (restaurant) 70 Leonard Street | Forge & Co. (café) 154-158 Shoreditch High Street | Lyle’s Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street | Paper & Cup (café & bookstore) 18 Calvert Avenue | Verde & Co. (café) 40 Brushfield Street