Walk through Shoreditch with a three piece suit on and you may get a few unsavoury glances. Uttering the word ‘mainstream’ could soon be a punishable crime in this bizarre yet vibrant area. The late 90s saw the regeneration of a once forgotten area of London’s portfolio. Along came Damien Hirst, the rebirth of artistic creativity and quirky fashion. Now, it boasts its ever popular BoxPark and alongside this entrepreneurial hub sits the infamous “Silicon Roundabout” – coined after the influx of tech companies into Shoreditch following the dot com boom.
But don’t just take our word for it; here are a few opinions from people who currently live in Shoreditch:
“It is always a live area to be in and there’s always stuff to do late at night, so you won’t get bored.”
“I especially love Brick Lane because that is where the coolest bars are!”
“It’s definitely changed over the last 10 years that I’ve lived here, there’s a lot more going on now and it’s a lot safer.”
“You wouldn’t be able to find independent clothing shops that you do here anywhere else in London.”
Where is it?
It’s one of East London’s most notable areas, but Shoreditch is only a stone’s throw away from Central London. Liverpool Street and Old Street are the most accessible underground stops and the Overground Shoreditch High Street station will drop you right in the heart of the area, next to BoxPark. The bus network is also extensive, the 149 and 243 are both 24-hour running (useful when getting home after a night out!)
What it offers
We think what makes Shoreditch so appealing for visitors is the ability to stumble upon so many hidden gems. Our Buzzmove mascot “b” visited the lovelock fence near Shoreditch station but sadly did not have anyone to share a padlock with! The backdrop of the fence does not exactly rival the lovelock bridges in Paris, but it is endearing nonetheless. Who knows, maybe Shoreditch will become the love capital of hipsters worldwide! We also visited Nobrow, a quaint little bookstore which specialises in independent and original print, graphic art, comics and books.
We loved AIDA, a delightful clothing store with its own in house café and make up station (our “b” could not help getting a makeover whilst we were there!). Shoreditch is awash with independent contemporary stores like AIDA, which is what drives the influx of fashionable individuals to work and live in the area.
One of the most recognisable attributes about Shoreditch is its extensive street art; you’d find it pretty difficult to walk anywhere in the area without encountering some form of bold, extravagant and most often genius creations. Does it devalue the area? Possibly, but it is one of the main reasons this area has seen a revival with younger generations and also growth of small businesses centred around the art scene. The art varies from simple murals to long extracts of text, often with defiant messages and a sense of ‘fighting against the man’ which mirrors the whole feel of the area and its distinct difference from the rest of the capital. Our personal favourite was the “death to hipsters” graffiti, which in Shoreditch seems most ironic.
Shoreditch has become synonymous with contemporary clubs and bars, the nightlife occurs not only over the weekends but throughout the week too. There’s no such thing as a ‘quiet night in’ here! Wander into the area on a Friday night and you will be greeted by masses of groups who have come straight from work to start the weekend off with a bang. Although known for its ‘urban’ feel, the plethora of options available for a night out in Shoreditch is surprisingly broad. The Hoxton Pony is an area favourite for the mid-20 crowd, serving up the best of funky house, disco and pop to name a few. If you are, however, after some old school 90s tunes and a bit of cheesy nostalgia, Cargo and Zigfrid von Underbelly would be ideal. Our favourite place in Shoreditch though, has to be the Book Club. Aside from its club nights, it also hosts ping-pong, salsa nights, expert talks and whole other range of varied activities throughout the week ensuring none of its visitors ever leave disappointed.
These were just some of our favourites, but if you are after a fun night out, we would definitely recommend exploring more of the clubs that Shoreditch has to offer!
Wining and Dining
As you’ve probably guessed, Shoreditch High Street won’t be serving up all of your favourite chains of restaurants – instead you have a selection of locally sourced and niche little stores. These often have very loyal customers and subsequently are marketed mostly through word of mouth. This part of London has become a diverse cultural hotspot, and with that has come many worldly cuisines. The Aarhus Polser food truck is one of many in the area, and serves up some amazing Danish hotdogs, and service with a smile! We also took a trip to Pizza East, right by Shoreditch Overground Station. It has a great atmosphere and even better food; because pizza ALWAYS does the job. Other notable places include: Boho, Hawskmoor and Tsuru.
On the top floor of BoxPark you can find a range of small places to eat ranging from burritos to fish and chips, with some nice communal heated seating areas. Amongst these are also a few bars, including the Caribbean themed one (pictured below) which you can always escape to if the London weather isn’t quite up to scratch. The bars in our Nightlife section above are also great places to go for casual drinks before the clubbing hours kick in.
Finding a home
Considering the prime location that Shoreditch is situated in, property in the area is not as dear as one may expect. The majority of residency in the area comes in the form of flats and subsequently the average rent is now a reasonable £506/week. To buy a similar sized flat would set you back just under £500,000, so could be a potentially lucrative long term investment. Houses in the area are in short supply though, so there is a rather steep incline – with the average house price in the area pushing just over £1m.
The Shoreditch population is primarily under 35 and without children, and therefore there is a limited amount of schooling within the area itself. However, its surrounding areas Hackney and Haggerston are more catered to any families that may be living in Shoreditch. Broadgate Nursery and Noah’s Ark are both well suited for the youngest in the family. There is a wide range of primary schooling, most notable Virginia Primary School and St Matthias Church of England Primary School. Secondary schooling in the area has come a long way in the last 8 years, with accomplished schools such as Central Foundation Boys’ School and Hackney University Technical College becoming widely publicised. Nearby universities include the London College of Fashion and the Institute of Marangoni.
Moving to Shoreditch will definitely be a huge shock to the system, no matter who you are; but we firmly believe that if you are willing to explore your more adventurous side, this is the place to be. Shoreditch is now a fully-fledged London Hotspot, and a vital part of the landscape. So what do you think, is this the place for you?