City East

Insider’s guide

The City’s east is an irresistible mix of old and new. A flower market established way back in 1869 and many 1920s Prohibition era-inspired speakeasies, contrast with a cluster of new, cutting edge technology companies, headquartered around Shoreditch, Aldgate and Old Street, which has become better known as Silicon Roundabout. It is a thriving 24-hour neighbourhood slap-bang at the centre of a business district full of contrasts and combinations.

The area is thriving with energy and life from early morning to lights out. It boasts a variety of street food, restaurants, pubs and bars, theatres, pop art, music festivals and open spaces all located nearby.

Take a short walk from Old Street underground and you find yourself amongst buzzing creative and digital start-ups whilst rubbing shoulders with some of the largest companies in the world. Nearby Shoreditch is home to fashion, outdoor eateries, pop-up galleries and just about everything artisanal. Its many modern and traditional bars and clubs make for a great after work destination. Walk further down the road through London’s celebrated curry mile on Brick Lane, a riot of smells and colours from the Indian sub-continent, to reach Aldgate and Whitechapel. This is a vibrant, multicultural district brimming with fascinating history, home to the Whitechapel Gallery and the former Whitechapel Bell Foundry – which was the oldest manufacturing company in Great Britain.

With extensive regeneration programs in Old Street, Shoreditch, Aldgate and Whitechapel, the City’s east area is booming and new businesses are moving in. The Elizabeth Line, opening in 2018, will provide direct and fast access.

"There’s great energy – it definitely feels like the place to be in London right now."

Andrew Hirsch CEO, John Brown Media

"Our members love working from this location as it’s constantly buzzing."

Gabriela Hersham Founder of Huckletree

"We’ve been here a long time and our staff really love working in the area."

Brian Knope Head of Global Business Environments, Inmarsat

Four of the best

Old Spitalfields Market
Open seven days a week, Old Spitalfields Market is London’s oldest market and hosts stalls ranging from contemporary and vintage fashion, music, bespoke children’s toys, jewellery and accessories to home interiors. The Market is surrounded by independent shops, cafes, bars and a vibrant street food scene, where up and coming chefs vie with neighbouring, award winning restaurants, including Blixen, Galvin La Chapelle and The Grocer.

Travel back in time
Speakeasies came to prominence during the Prohibition era in 1920s America as venues for illegal drinking. Today, with an address that is impossible to pinpoint on Google Maps, the modern ingredients are flickering candlelight, classic cocktails and jazz music. Head down ‘the stairs’ in Hoxton Square Happiness Forgets, or through the fridge door in Artillery Lane for The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town!

Rooftop hop!
You are guaranteed an exquisite cocktail, tasty street food and a great atmosphere in the open air in City East. Watch a movie in the summer at Rooftop Film Club in the Queen of Hoxton, catch DJs plucked from some of London’s biggest clubs at The Magic Roundabout, or dine in style at Boundary…the options really are endless.

Art for everyone
The Whitechapel Gallery is internationally renowned for modern and contemporary art and its pioneering education and public events programmes. This is the place to go for art lovers and those with a thirst for knowledge. A bookshop and dining room make your visit all the more pleasurable. The Gallery plays a unique role in the capital’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of east London as a leading contemporary art quarter.

If there isn’t time for the gallery, just look around the streets! The area’s street art displays a stunning range of colourful murals by top British and International street artists, from Banksy to sticker artists. Brick Lane, Redchurch Street and Shoreditch Triangle host some of the area’s most impressive and creative murals and represents one of London’s newest tourist attractions. Enjoy enchanting artwork including freehand painting, stencil art and even political and environmental art.

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