London Calling: Off the Beaten Track
London Calling: Shoreditch
There’s no doubt that London, England boasts several of the world’s most iconic landmarks – Buckingham Palace, the Eye, and Big Ben to name a few. Any travel savvy guru can lead the way to their preferred fish and chip joint or pub for a local beer. But for a moment, consider skipping the main tourist attractions and instead explore what goes on beyond the recommended “Top 10” places to visit in London. What if you could blend the aesthetics of the arts, tasty cuisine, and a variety of shopping into one delightful afternoon?
The perfect blend of eclectic art, sophisticated boho, and small town charm: all while unified by London pride and an appreciation for originality. Shoreditch is rooted in its industrial beginning and originated as home to the textile industry. Over the years, this community now is compared to a mini Silicon Valley and the FlatIron District in New York City. A hub of new ideas while remaining classic, Shoreditch is sure to peak your interest.
Shoreditch’s claims to fame start with Columbia Road: a street comprised of sixty shops ranging from restaurants to flower markets to one-off boutiques. The beauty of Columbia Road is variety. Patrons can browse through vintage or consignment clothing, meander into an art gallery, visit a cafe to enjoy tea & a pastry, and it’s all within walking distance. If you’re staying for dinner, you’ll find a wide range of charming restaurants dedicated to keeping the East End of London intimate and charismatically elegant.
Another rite of passage visiting Shoreditch is to browse through Boxpark: the world’s first pop up mall. With their motto “Eat. Drink. Shop. Play.” Boxpark catches eyes with its go-big-or-go-home attitude of blending live music, entertainment, good eats, and shopping right into the heart of Shoreditch. Boxpark’s social atmosphere is curated through their strong emphasis on community: sports events, live DJ’s, and kids movies are just a few of the frequent events pulled off by the venue to continue the ever-growing blend of people and backgrounds found in this city. There is truly something here for everyone!
A third and final must-see of Shoreditch’s finest lands on Old Spitalfields Market: an ideal stop for someone who appreciates the arts. Old Spitalfields format relates in a similar manner to Boxpark and Columbia Road with a strong emphasis for shopping, eating and local events. Spitalfields, however, gives its own nod to the fashion and art world by reverting to a more traditional system: portable vendors and antique items that make shopping under the tents an inspired experience. Spitalfields is the ideal place to be for record collectors, art connoisseurs, and seekers of unique gift-giving. Spitalfields focuses its community events on wellness and educational matters: frequent events include art-based exhibitions and pilates.
No matter what the occasion, Shoreditch brings creativity and a fresh perspective to the streets of London with an invitation to shop, unwind and dine. Enjoy!
Jassy Verdult, Blogger at Travel Placement Service