If there's one word that perfectly encapsulates everything about Shoreditch, it's creativity. In an area where empty walls are blank canvasses and future works of art, an invitation to future Banksys, and where countless old warehouses have been overtaken by trendy interactive galleries, creative touches are the cornerstone of one of the most trendy areas in the capital.
What was once a sprawling urban landscape has become an identity - more than just another area of the capital. In Shoreditch, design is the most important aspect of life, and the young and arty of the UK often descend upon the plentiful supply of galleries, bars and restaurants that have made it a popular haunt in the last few years.
Opportunities for investment
The best places to buy in London are those which are becoming more and more popular with young professionals because of the commercial side of the areas. More businesses means more jobs, and this is something that has served Shoreditch well in recent years. It may not be the rising star anymore in the London property market, but it is still very popular among tenants, which is a bonus to investors.
While some areas have suffered from the move of media companies to the north - many of which followed the BBC's move to Salford and created MediaCityUK, Shoreditch has remained a key area for the tech industry in London, and demand for properties from affluent young people in this industry remains high. The average investor can get their hands on a flat for just over £518,000 at the moment according to Foxtons, and can make an impressive rental return, with the average rental price sitting at way over £2,000 per calendar month. It means yields are very impressive relative to the rest of London and the UK in Shoreditch.
An eclectic shopping experience
Art may be the first things that springs to mind when you think of Shoreditch, but shopping is something that has really become a gem for the area in recent times.
Tucked away from the high street, Shoreditch's shopping options really are in line with the area itself, and locals will be able to find something to suit them no matter what they fancy. From food and drink to antiques and fashion, the area has it all.
One of the real highlights of the area is Boxpark, a pop-up mall which has been created from shipping containers. It is filled to the brim with lifestyle and fashion brands, both local and global. In an area where conversions helped build a reputation, this mall is truly authentic Shoreditch. Brands you'll find here include the likes of GAP, Decorum and Moleskin - all well worth a look.
Another place worth a visit is Aida, which is marketed more as a neighbourhood hangout rather than just a boutique. Get your hair and makeup done and sit down to a coffee before you peruse the rails of fantastic fashion items on offer.
Other highlights of Shoreditch include the likes of Denham and Hostem for the best in local fashion, or Leila's Shop on Calvert Avenue if you fancy some gooey brownies and treats. Be sure to also pay a visit to the famous Brick Lane for a mix of all things art and fashion.
Finally, the area is also home to Columbia Road's vibrant and colourful Sunday market, where local vendors sell plants, seeds, bulbs and flowers in every colour imaginable. It's a great place to visit, and locals can even get some good deals if they get there as things are wrapping up for the day.
Fantastic food and drink
Shoreditch has long been known for its wonderfully-eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants that brings the area to life and makes it a fantastic place to spend any day or night. No matter what you're looking for, you're sure to find something that takes your fancy in Shoreditch.
Some of the most fantastic eateries in Shoreditch include:
- Beach Blanket Babylon - Occupying an old warehouse - how very Shoreditch - this restaurant is as decadent inside as it is simple outside. Serving modern European cuisine for the discerning diner, it is ideal for everything from brunch through to evening meals.
- The Breakfast Bar - Far less decadent but just as trendy, The Breakfast Bar is a real favourite with locals. As the name suggests, this place serves up some of the best breakfasts around for all palates.
- Merchant's Tavern - Another set in a Victorian warehouse, this eatery has the seal of approval from Grace Dent, no less. Ideal for a range of cuisines, this wonderful restaurant serves a selection of classic French, Italian and Spanish dishes.
- Tramshed - Best known for having Damien Hirst's cow in formaldehyde hanging above diners, this is a great place to bring art and food together as one. The layout is simple and laid back, but the mix of chicken, beef and perfect starters keeps people coming back for more, as does the art gallery downstairs.
The creative and arty overtones of the area are not only prevalent in daytime Shoreditch, but continue into its bright and colourful nightlife, which provides a real wealth of hip spots to hit for residents and visitors alike.
We look at just a few of the very best nightlife places to visit in Shoreditch:
- The Book Club - One of the original places that helped Shoreditch gain its edgy reputation, The Book Club is a basement bar that has it all going on. From cocktails to food, this is a spot truly filled with the character that makes Shoreditch what it is. With everything from bands and DJs to ping pong tournaments and dance-a-longs, it really is one for the trendy young Londoner.
- XOYO - Probably the most famous club in Shoreditch, XOYO is known as a live venue primarily, but also has a two-room nightclub that hosts the best and brightest in dance music. Friendly Fires, Mark Ronson, Felix Da Housecat and Simian Mobile Disco are all acts that have graced the stage at this gem.
- The Horse & Groom - Another that really encapsulates the entire aura of Shoreditch, the Horse & Groom is a club with a twist. From the outside, it looks like a little traditional pub, but inside it hosts dance music parties, which feel quirky and almost out of place (but that's part of the charm) in such a setting.
- Trapeze - One of Shoreditch's newest nightlife hotspots, Trapeze fills the gap (literally) left behind by the beloved East Village. And with a circus themed bar and kitchen upstairs and in an intimate club on the bottom floor, it's easy to see why this has become a favourite already in its first year.
A hidden gem in Shoreditch
Claiming to be London's real secret gem, what could be more of a hidden treasure than an event that takes place in a secret venue? Shoreditch is home to Rebel Bingo Club, a self confessed mutant form of the old favourite. This raucous night sees people taking part win outlandish prizes among music, light shows and jokes to make the night pass with a really trendy little twist.