Grace’s Guide to (The East Side of) London

We are lucky to have a new installment of Grace’s Guide this week featuring the poshest places to go in the East Side of London. Grace has been there so many times that she’s practically a local. So check out her insider recommendations and remember a new Ace Hotel recently opened in Shoreditch too!

Grace’s Guide to (The East Side of) London

Who: Various
What: London for work and fun
Where: London, UK
When: Six trips in 2012
Why: Sometimes work, sometimes play, always fun. London is a city where I feel totally comfortable– maybe because I tend to stick in a few areas. Though there are some areas on the west side that I love (especially Marylebone for the food shops), I’m an east side girl and I love wandering around Shoreditch and surrounding areas.

Shoreditch House
We can see ourselves reading by the roaring fire via Shoreditch House

Hotel

Shoreditch House - I love it here so much that I just can’t stay anywhere else. The rooms are teeny, but they’re really well thought out. Beds are super comfy, teeny bathrooms have full size Cowshed products and lots of little treats – face wash, makeup remover, condoms… Also they have a couple great restaurants and bars, so it’s a great place to hang.

Princess of Shoreditch
Eat like royalty via Princess of Shoreditch

Food & Drink

Princess of Shoreditch – Cute gastropub in Hoxton, tucked in an alley just behind the Hoxton Hotel. Simple but delicious food made with locally sourced ingredients. Great place to spend a lazy weekend afternoon.

Dishoom – Beautiful newish restaurant in Shoreditch. Designed with the old Persian cafes in Bombay in mind. Open all day, but I went for dinner. Delicious food and perfect cocktails.

Albion – Perfect spot for breakfast or coffee on Redchurch Street, just behind Shoreditch House.

Tramshed – Well, they only serve chicken and steak, and there’s a giant embalmed cow by Damien Hirst hanging in the middle of the dining room. That’s really all you need to know. GO!

Workshop – Delicious coffee spot in Clerkenwell. Great spot to sit and enjoy breakfast/ brunch/lunch (try the thai beef salad).

Canteen – Duck in here for lunch while at Spitalfields Market, if you don’t feel like having street food.

Worship Street Whistling Shop – Great spot for interesting, innovative cocktails

Columbia Road Market via columbiaroad.info
We do love flowers…we feel very strongly about them! via Columbia Road Market

To Do

Geffrye Museum - This charming museum shows how English homes have changed over the centuries, from 1600 to the present. It’s situated in a series of 18th century almshouses in a row, around a courtyard. Great way to spend an afternoon.

Brick Lane – A mecca for food, shopping, art– definitely worth a visit. There’s tons of graffiti everywhere, street food and generally a lot going on. Weekends are insane, particularly Sundays when tourists and locals alike descend on the Brick Lane Market. Go twice – once during the week, once on a weekend.

Rough Trade – Remember record stores?? If you did and you loved them, Rough Trade is a must. This location, just off of Brick Lane, is the newer of the two outposts (the original is way west, by Portobello Road), and is huge. I’ve spent hours here browsing and discovering new music.

First Thursdays – If you’re lucky enough to be hanging in East London on the first Thursday of the month, take advantage of First Thursdays, where you can cruise galleries, museums, art spaces til 9pm. Whitechapel Gallery is a good place to start.

Columbia Road Flower Market – Go EARLY on a Sunday morning to stroll and see an amazing variety of flowers and plants (and cute shops on either side of the road). Gets crazier the later it gets, and the whole thing wraps up mid-afternoon.

Spitalfields Market – So 10+ years ago when I was interning in London, I would go to Spitalfields Market to get street food for lunch. It was sort of grimy back then – basically the total opposite of what it looks like now. Spitalfields of today is slick and clean and almost looks like a mini-mall. Still worth taking a look though and also the stores in the surrounding area.

 

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