A Guide to London: Part 2...The very cool East London

Shoreditch and Hackney are the new Brick Lane, so step away from the tourist zones and have a pint or go vintage shopping like the locals do in the very cool & villagey East London.

Markets and shopping:
Broadway Market is a quality farmer´s market with plenty of amazing fresh food and the road itself is lined with cool, unique boutiques which make it perfect for shopping delicious cakes, vintage clothing, jewellery & vinyl.
 It´s open on a Saturday from 9am to 5pm, when it´s time to stop for a beer and do some people watching in a local café or pub.

(from Broadway Market facebook)
If you miss the chance to see a market on a Saturday, head over to Columbia Road Flower Market located near to Brick Lane on a Sunday. Open from 8am till 3pm, you´ll not only see a street overflowing with beautiful fresh flowers but also over 60 independent boutique shops to browse as well as cafés and plenty of pubs for that well-deserved shopping break.

Browse vintage clothes and jewellery, antiques, cupcake shops, interior design and delis, but try to make it there before 2pm as things start to wind down. 

(timeout London)
Pub stop:
The Royal Oak Pub; a very typical pub but with a Sunday courtyard café on Columbia Road, which does fresh beigels, coffees and pastries to coincide with the Flower market. 

Best brunch:
For a seriously good brunch in East London, try Mr.Buckley´s. Named after the guy who tried to burn it down, you can soak up the alcohol with a proper English brunch in this cool bar / restaurant on Hackney Road....bacon sarnies, Glasgow potato scones and chips with truffle oil...carb heaven!

Or my favourite for avo toast and poached egg the pretty Well Street Kitchen

Vinyl heaven:
Rough Trade in Brick Lane gives you, not only all the records you´d ever want to see in one room, but also live gigs and Monmouth coffee whilst you´re browsing!

Spend hours browsing the vinyl at Sister Ray Records in Ace Hotel on Shoreditch High Street. With music spanning all genres, this is a vinyl lover´s mecca. (sister shop in Soho too)

Night out:
One of my favourite bars in East London is The Book Club. It´s a cool spot for drinking with friends and has plenty going on in terms of art, music, dancing and of course ping-pong! It´s popular with locals and is a good post-work meeting point for a quick mid-week cocktail or three!

The Book Club
If you´re looking for live music, head to Dalston and catch a gig at Birthdays for a small charge or just chill out with a beer and some friends (and some oversized taxidermy) at the Hunter S Pub.

The Hunter S Bar, Dalston
If you´re in the area, it´s inevitable you´ll end up at the The Dolphin pub as it´s the only place that´s open late and after a few drinks a spontaneous night always ends up in a cheesy / dance club. Don´t let the music choice put you off though it´s full of cool people and you´ll see plenty of Hackney locals. Always busy but only 5 pounds to get in. 

For more secret and local spots in London, see Part 1 of my London guide to the Southbank here, and Part 3 of my guide to Chelsea.


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