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Shoreditch – London's Creative Heaven

Updated on February 7, 2017

Once home for the textile and furniture industries, now Shoreditch has become one of the most distinctive and artsy districts in London.

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History Lesson

Shoreditch is part of London Borough of Hackney, located to the north of the City of London. This is mainly industrial area but the constant changes and rebuilding makes it interesting and colourful place to live in. You can see pieces from all around the world when you explore Shoreditch's restaurants, clubs, cafes and galleries.

But first, why Shoreditch? The etymology is controversial and there are many different stories of how the name came to be.

Many people believed that after the death of Jane Shore (mistress of Edward IV) she was buried in a ditch in the area. So hence the name “Shore's Ditch”. However, long before Jane Shore have lived, the district was called “Soersditch”.

Yet another version and probably the most plausible one is that the name started as “Sewer Ditch” and with the time mutated into Shoreditch.

No matter what the truth is, this little part of Hackney is now thriving and it's full of creative people and you can see evidence of that even on the street walls.

Transportation

Since Shoreditch is so near to the heart of London this makes it excellently placed for transportation. Just like for most London districts you better leave your car (if you have one) at home. Public transportation is way faster and comfortable. Plus, there are many bus routes and High Street, Old Street, and Liverpool Street tube stations are at your service. For one of those days when the rain clouds decide to skip London, you can also hire a bike. This is a a lot easier way to travel around the Capitol and as a bonus you'll burn some calories.

Local People and Homes

The international community in Shoreditch is strong, there are people from almost every nook of the world. Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities were established long ago but now there are many citizens from Eastern Europe, America and even from Australia and New Zealand. And a lot of the creative juice in Shoreditch flows exactly thanks to this mishmash of different cultures.

But with the fast development in the area not only the number of clubs and restaurants grew, prices did too. Shoreditch's location (not that far away from the City of London) is one of the reasons why housing can be expensive and even a little over priced. But this doesn't mean that you can't find something that won't break your bank. If you don't mind living a shared house you can not only get a nice and inexpensive place but meet some new friends as well.

If you just moved to London, then one of the things you learn first is that your job takes pretty much all of your time. On top of that when you get home, you have to take care of family, cook and clean and still find a minute for yourself.

We do live in a busy world and from time to time when you can spare yourself some additional house work, well why not? After all not a lot of people like to spend their weekend in deep cleaning, scrubbing the bathroom floor. You can always hire some of the professional cleaners in Shoreditch and you will be the one who chooses when or how often you need the service. One of the best sides to the time we live in is that you can easily find someone to help you.

Nowadays Shoreditch is no longer a cheap real estate area. And after you learn a bit more about the interesting places there, find some time to go out and explore.

One can not miss the art topic when speaking of Shoreditch, so here's something more on the matter.

Art

One of the symbols of the area is Shoreditch Art Wall (SAW). This is 60 square metre wall on Great Eastern Street that's often used for art and commercial projects. And since about 30 000 people pass by every single day, even large brands like Adidas, Walt Disney, Paramount, O2 and Beck's choose SAW as their marketing tool.

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Galleries you Must Visit

Londonewcastle Arts is a place where artists can show their work no matter in what form that is – exhibitions, installations or even fashion shows.

Hales Gallery is more than a decade old and offers you to enjoy mainly contemporary art.

Pure Evil Gallery – Pure Evil is actually the name of of the artist who established the gallery. Now it shows mainly street art and hosts workshops. You can also enjoy film nights and live music sessions.

Red Gallery hosts not only exhibitions but film screenings, live music and club events.

Signal Gallery focuses mainly on contemporary painting but that's not that you can find there.

Night Life, Entertainment & Shopping

As the number of artists in the district grew the number of restaurants and clubs increased as well. There were times in 2005 when in a single week you could attend several opening parties of new venues.

You can find great food diversity in Shoreditch because there are people gathered here from all around the world. There are many places where you can order your favourite meal (even if you're not sure what that might be). Here are a few options for you:



Restaurants

Pizza East – There's nothing better than an old classic. Fast, tasty and easy you can have your favourite pizza or why not a modern take on it.


Hoxton Grill - Just moved from The States? Hoxton brings you something from all across the Atlantic. Pay a visit and feel like home with good old American grill in a great relaxing atmosphere.

Beach Blanket Babylon – If you are on the hunt for something fancier, BBB with its modern British and European cuisine and luxury interior might be just the right choice for you.

Sheba – You can't be in the area and miss to visit at least one curry place. So why don't you try a restaurant that's been in business since 1974?

The Drunken Monkey – This Asian restaurant will offer you a wide range of dim sum, won tons, dumplings and spring rolls. With its luxury yet unpretentious style the Drunken Monkey is ideal place for both parties or dates.

Bars

XOYO is one of the most respected clubs in London. The team behind the venue always tries to bring to the audience global names and top quality sound.

The Old Blue Last or as The Guardian called it 'The cradle of British music's future' has welcomed artists like Florence and the Machine, Diplo, Arctic Monkeys, Lilly Allen and event the late Amy Winehouse.

Cargo will offer you proper entertainment for the day and night. You can enjoy its atmosphere with a quiet drink, something to eat or just stay a bit longer for the midnight extravaganza.

Shopping

Bars, restaurants and galleries aren't the only thing that Shoreditch can offer. There's something intriguing for the shoppaholics, too.

Boxpark is a contemporary shopping mall on High Street made all of (you've guessed) boxes. Technically it's made from shipping containers and each one of them is an independent retail outlet.

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For the vintage lovers among you Brick Lane is a must-visit shopping destination. And on Sundays you can go to Brick Lane Market. From 9am-5pm the street is filled with bargain hunters and street performers.

Another market in the district is Columbia Road flower market. Every Sunday from 8am till about 3pm the place is transformed into a floral heaven.

Columbia Road Flower Market

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