If you’ve ever visited London you will know that the West End is traditionally the trendy area of England’s capital and has historically been home to the city’s social elite for as long as anyone can remember. However, in the past few years a shift has begun to take place.
Sure, the West End is still fantastic, with its never-ending shopping, luxury boutique housing, and many of the quintessential London attractions such as Leicester Square and Covent Garden, but with the new wave of avid travellers of the past five years, many people are seeking a more local experience while on holiday in favour of avoiding the throngs of tourists and the subsequent tourist traps found at each destination’s star attraction. Enter the East End along with its iconic suburb Shoreditch and its infamous pedestrian haunts of Brick Lane and Old Street, to name just a few. The streets surrounding these vibrant hubs have, over the past few years, become the go-to destination for not only hipsters, but art and culture lovers from all walks of life, and no-one agrees with this more than South Place Hotel. Located in the ideal location between Liverpool and Moregate tube stations, guests are spoilt with proximity to both the city and the bursting energy of the East. They offer a fantastic service where a member of staff will take you for a tour of the local area and it’s ideal for experiencing the East End like a London local.
The streets of Shoreditch, these days looking rather spruced up compared to ten years ago, are splashed with colourful street art, locally-made delicacies and plenty of venues for lounging around in the sun and enjoying a pint or two. BOXPARK is the latest buzzing pop-up venue for food and drinks, with dozens of bars and casual eateries full to the brim on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as punters make the most of the new (temporary) additions to the food scene before they close shop and another pops up in its place. We were in this pulsing town during Wimbledon, and the local council had made sure to make adequate fuss of this worldwide sporting event, setting up deckchairs in front of big screens on the street with live streaming of the day’s matches. Basically, you can’t walk around this neighbourhood without feeling the effortless cool that emanates from every street corner.
Fashion lovers will be in heaven scouring the many vintage fashion stores and independent boutiques, and no shopping trip to the East is complete without a trip to Spitalfields market. A must-see for design lovers, it has dozens of local market stores selling their designs. Here you will find lots of beautiful fashion, homewares and jewellery, and there are plenty of places to sit down and eat to fill the tank for the next burst of shopping. Spitalfields also makes for great people-watching.
You will certainly want to visit all of London’s beautiful landmarks when you plan your next trip there, after all no holiday to London is complete without a photo of Big Ben. But when it comes to the neighbourhood you stay in, take our advice – the east is where it’s at, and ‘local’ trumps ‘touristy’ every time. Book your luxurious stay in London and your tour of the East End here, and keep on travelling like a local!