Fur jackets, vintage dresses, indie buns, Ray-Bans, bicycles, art school graduates, musicians, vegetarians...welcome to trendy Shoreditch, the heart of London's party scene.
Located within the Borough of Hackney, Shoreditch was the home to early theatres in 16th century and continued to be an entertainment Mecca until the early 20th century. It was long considered a working class neighbourhood until recent times, when rising popularity of the area has seen housing costs soar.
The ancient Shoreditch Church (St Leonard's) is the historic centre of Shoreditch and features in the classic nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons with the line "...when I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch." It is now often used as a meeting point or point of reference for the area.
If you're looking for a night out, Shoreditch is the place to party. There are plenty of places to eat, drink, and dance in Shoreditch, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Cocomo at 323 Old Street is a great way to begin your evening as they serve cheap and delicious cocktails before 8pm. It's a cosy bar with low tables, cushioned chairs and red lighting which gives the space an almost Moroccan vibe.
Next stop, Jaguar Shoes. This former bag and shoe shop is a quintessentially Shoreditch bar with its blend of eclectic shabby-chic style decor, cool kids with angular haircuts, and a rotating art exhibition which supports and promotes local artists. It's an extremely popular hangout and can get very busy, especially on the weekends.
Catch 22 is a popular two storey venue sporting a mixture of dj's playing hip hop, electro and indie beats, and live bands. Downstairs is free to enter and has a more relaxed bar feel to it. It is a good place to have a few more drinks before heading upstairs where most of the action happens.
Owned by the dictators of coolness, Vice Magazine, the Old Blue Last is a unique pub that can be a lot of fun. Located at the junction of Great Eastern Street and Curtain road, this shabby Victorian building has all the hallmarks of a traditional British pub but has a reputation for wild nights and intimate gigs. The Old Blue Last attracts an assortment of clientele: painfully hip young indie kids, washed up old rockers, the odd celebrity, and general Shoreditch riff-raff.
However, the best way to approach a night in Shoreditch is to take it as it comes. You never know who you're going to meet or where you're going to end up. Just go with the flow and have fun!