East London has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent times. Once a poverty-stricken part of the city characterised by crime and infamous as the domain of the notorious Kray twins, East London is now home to areas among the trendiest and most exclusive in the city,such as Shoreditch and Hoxton. Fascinating history, bustling markets, and some of the trendiest bars and clubs anywhere in London await you as you explore the east of the city.
The marshy area of Moorfields originally separated East London from the rest of the city, and explains its slower growth and later deprivation. The rapid expansion of industry in the nineteenth and twentieth century saw East London’s docks become crucial to the trade carried to London along the Thames, but eastern areas of the city remained deprived throughout much of the twentieth century. In the mid-90s, Shoreditch underwent rapid gentrification and became a fashionable part of the city in which to live, thanks in part to its association with artists and creatives. Today, this area is the home of many of London’s tech industry companies and start-ups, giving it the nickname ‘Tech City’. Its reputation as a hipster haven, while no unjustified, shouldn’t put you off, and beneath the bandwagoners there remains a genuine and thriving creative scene. Part of the reason behind the recent rise of Shoreditch is its proximity to the City of London, and The Montcalm London city at the brewery hotel lies within easy walking distance of Shoreditch High Street.
East London’s nightlife is justly renowned, and there’s something for all tastes in this part of town from historic, stereo-typically English pubs to cocktail bars and edgy club nights. Foodies will also love East London, and there’s no shortage of food pop-ups such as Urban Food Fest, which comes to Shoreditch every Saturday and features cuisine from all corners of the globe whether you’re after Venezuelan grill, Indian pulled lamb or South African bunny-chow.Bagel lovers will find themselves at home Beigel Bake, an iconic outlet on one of the most iconic roads in East London, Brick Lane. Home to a sizeable Bengali community, you’ll find yourself accosted by zealous restaurateurs trying to tempt you into their curry houses with discounts and deals, and again you shouldn’t let yourself be put off – an Indian meal on Brick Lane is a great way to round off a day’s eastern exploration. Brick Lane is also the site of the famous Brick Lane market. Renowned for the eclectic range of goods you can find on offer, this market’s strange wares have made it a favourite of photographers and art students, and for many years it hosted a stall which sold nothing but rusty cogs. Not that useful, you may think, but you can also pick up great one of a kind pieces and souvenirs, from antique books to art prints, rare vinyl and vintage clothes. Much of the market is held in the Old Truman Brewery, which is an iconic and historic East End landmark.