Shoreditch – the triangle of roads made up of Great Eastern Street, Old Street and Shoreditch High Street – is packed with bars and interesting shops, and all the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane Market.
And, while it may be well known for being gentrified in recent years, it retains quite a bit of its grittier urban edge. It’s a particularly diverse, vibrant part of London.
If it’s restaurants you're after, try the chicken and steak eatery Tramshed, offering a great combination of fun and glamour. The area is also home to the third branch of Bombay-style brasserie group Dishoom (The name refers to the sound effects of blows being thrown in a classic Bollywood movie fight scene.) Or try the relaxed vibe and leisurely pace of Lyle’s.
Just fancy a drink? Try cocktail bar White Lyan, or well-established Callooh Callay with its elegant, fun vibe that’s not pretentious or trashy. Another place for cocktails is the Golden Bee on Singer Street. Or go for the minimal décor and great service of the basement bar Happiness Forgets.
Shoreditch is also known for its clubs. While some, such as Cargo, can seem pricy, others including the Bedroom Bar offer an idiosyncratic but lively clubbing night.
And as well as browsing Brick Lane’s stalls, you can check out Red Market on Old Street.
Alternatively, if circus arts are your thing, see what the Centre for Circus Arts has to offer, since they run courses on everything circus-related.
All autumn, a weekly night market transforms a local car park from noon until midnight for the Urban Food Fest, bringing myriad global eating options (and a bar) to town.
Walk up to Shoreditch from Brick Lane and absorb the area’s brilliant graffiti – the neighbourhood is home to some of London’s best street art. There’s even an official Shoreditch Street Art Tour!
Browse Redchurch Street for shops of modern designers, perfume labs and more. One small clothes shop, Wonderound, is good for quality garments at affordable prices.
Finally, there are smaller cinemas here, from Richmix to the Independent to the Electric, arguably the most comfortable cinema experience in London.