Shoreditch is a chameleon-like neighborhood, evolving all the time. Within the space of a year, it is able to change its skin (the walls are never the same with the latest graffiti), the layout (pop-up spaces appear and disappear overnight) and vocation (hi-tech for now).
Shoreditch is like an open-air laboratory of trends and ideas. If something becomes fashionable, it starts out here in this Bermuda Triangle bordered on the east by Banglatown and Brick Lane, the most ethnic area, and to the west by the City with its brokers and business community, and with the kaleidoscopic Spitalfields market right in the middle.
Those who want to sample the legacy of “Cool Britannia” should walk these streets, perhaps with alternative tours which guides tourists into Brick Lanes’s cauldron of curry and then through the maze of street art, which has its European capital in Shoreditch.
Not to be missed is Redchurch Street, with its alternative shops, independent stylists, art galleries and coffee shops offering gluten-free cakes and freshly brewed coffee. This is the realm of shabby chic, including the French APC and the Hostem boutique, with brands such as Yang Li, Margaret Howell and Adam Kimmel.
To experience a novelty in Europe, just move a bit further on, to 388 Old Street and enter the Ziferblat. On one condition – you have to have time available. Because time is the unit of measure used at the checkout. Each minute costs 3 pence; everything else is free. You can help yourself to tea or coffee, make make it yourself or get help from the staff. There are always snacks for guests – cakes, fruits or vegetables. There are books to read, board games, lamps, chairs, like a shared living room, and many clocks to measure the cost of each visit. The idea comes from a Russian company that now wants to expand worldwide. And of course it started in London.
Did you think London’s luxury hotel scene was slowing down? Not a chance! You could look forward to the upcoming ‘urban resort’ in Shoreditch from the Gansevoort Hotel Group, which is known in NYC for its DJs and it’s rooftop pool parties. This project will have 120 guest rooms with seven luxury suites, a restaurant, bi-level bar, rooftop swimming pool and lounge, 24-hour fitness center, over 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Fans of the electronics scene will want to check the tech incubator.
Brian 25 and Jason 28, two rapper brothers who used to perform in different clubs in Shoreditch, are very impressed about this area, which is constantly changing while maintaining the same style and spirit: “We definitively love Shoreditch, it is the most vibrant area in London, we like performing here because of the open minded people. It represents an inspiration for every artist.”