London always had and always will have a special place in my heart, it’s hard to explain why. I assume it has to do with its diversity and the people I know here or met here. So far I’ve been like ten times or so to the UK’s capital and every time I’m here I’m discovering something that’s new to me. So when I visited London last June with my mom I made sure we’ll visit the East End as I’ve heard that it’s one of the up and coming parts of London.
My mom and me had our room in London’s Motel One Tower Hill (highly recommended!) and from there it wasn’t that far to just walk over to the still victorian-looking former hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper; if you’re using public transportation to get there, Liverpool Street would be the closest station. As soon as you enter the area around Brick Lane between Whitechapel and Shoreditch you’ll forget that this was where some of the most cruel murders in history took place and that until a few years ago gangs were having fights on these streets. Here and there you’ll find a reminiscence of the “old days”, such as the barber who named his shop “Jack the Clipper”, but all in all the East End transformed into a hipp district. All of a sudden it offers chic hotels with panorama terraces, art galleries and countless vintage shops.
Fashionistas who look for vintage clothes and unusual accessories should make sure to visit the Old Spitalsfield Market or the market at the Truman Brewery that takes place every weekend. Sides from a huge variety of vintage shops the area around Brick Lane offers something like a trip around the world when it comes to food. One of the most famous shops is Beigel Bake, where you can get all sorts of bagels but also the pizza and pasta. As it’s London, you’ll find a huge variety of curry shops, but also a chocolate shop that sells something that comes close to art. I’m talking about Dark Sugars. Please promise to stop by there if you’re ever close to that area. You won’t regret it, it’s one of the finest food shops I’ve ever been to.
Also, make sure to explore the smaller streets around Brick Lane too, because there’s a lot of street art going on. If you’re lucky you might even get the chance to watch an artist while creating his artwork. I would recommend to plan at least four to five hours in the area, that allows you to check out most of the vintage shops, gives you enough time to try clothes on and get some street food while walking around the open air gallery that’s the East End. I’ll be back for sure as I still want to do one of those Jack the Ripper walking tours.
All pics are mine, so don’t steal ’em, okay? Thanks.
The East End is easily accessible via public transport (exit “Liverpool Street”, which is a stop of the Central Line, Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line and Metropolitan Line). There’s a free self-guided tour through the history of the district, all you need is a free app you can get from talesandtours.com.