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Kris’s guidebook

Kris

Kris’s guidebook

Neighborhoods
Shoreditch’s rough-and-ready neighbour Bethnal Green has managed to remain an authentically East End ’hood despite the steady spread of gentrification. For every new coffee shop and cocktail bar that crops up in the area, you’ll find a family-run restaurant and a traditional boozer not far away.
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Shoreditch
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Shoreditch’s rough-and-ready neighbour Bethnal Green has managed to remain an authentically East End ’hood despite the steady spread of gentrification. For every new coffee shop and cocktail bar that crops up in the area, you’ll find a family-run restaurant and a traditional boozer not far away.
Food scene
Run by the same family for over a century, this much-loved café on Bethnal Green Road is a must for breakfast or lunch – even if just for the cool Art Deco interior. The place is small and always busy, but known for its incredibly friendly, hospitable atmosphere. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and, if you’re lucky, some free bread-and-butter pudding. Mon: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Tue: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Wed: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Thu: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Fri: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Sat: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
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E Pellicci
332 Bethnal Green Rd
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Run by the same family for over a century, this much-loved café on Bethnal Green Road is a must for breakfast or lunch – even if just for the cool Art Deco interior. The place is small and always busy, but known for its incredibly friendly, hospitable atmosphere. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and, if you’re lucky, some free bread-and-butter pudding. Mon: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Tue: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Wed: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Thu: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Fri: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Sat: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
A working men’s club since 1887, this East End institution remains London’s go-to spot for a night of proper entertainment. With a roster of offbeat events ranging from comedy and cabaret to panto and burlesque, the club proudly supports local performers and creatives, as long as it’s a party worth throwing. Head here for everything kitschy and kinky – just leave your pretensions at the door. Meal service: Dinner Atmosphere: Quirky
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Bethnal Green Working Men's Club
42-44 Pollard Row
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A working men’s club since 1887, this East End institution remains London’s go-to spot for a night of proper entertainment. With a roster of offbeat events ranging from comedy and cabaret to panto and burlesque, the club proudly supports local performers and creatives, as long as it’s a party worth throwing. Head here for everything kitschy and kinky – just leave your pretensions at the door. Meal service: Dinner Atmosphere: Quirky
If you’re looking for bona fide East End grub, look no further than G Kelly. An acclaimed pie shop serving up jellied eels, classic meat pies and mashed potatoes, head here for hearty meals that will fill you up without emptying your purse. Tue: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
G.Kelly
414 Bethnal Green Rd
If you’re looking for bona fide East End grub, look no further than G Kelly. An acclaimed pie shop serving up jellied eels, classic meat pies and mashed potatoes, head here for hearty meals that will fill you up without emptying your purse. Tue: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
A friendly, modern boozer that’s become a hit with E2’s bright young things, The Star of Bethnal Green is a must-visit for its Tuesday quiz night. With a boisterous quizmaster and extra points available for dancing during the music round, the quiz night is a regular on lists of the best things to do in London. The pub’s bottomless brunch and raucous karaoke room also draw in locals.
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The Star of Bethnal Green
359 Bethnal Green Rd
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A friendly, modern boozer that’s become a hit with E2’s bright young things, The Star of Bethnal Green is a must-visit for its Tuesday quiz night. With a boisterous quizmaster and extra points available for dancing during the music round, the quiz night is a regular on lists of the best things to do in London. The pub’s bottomless brunch and raucous karaoke room also draw in locals.
Of all the new cocktail bars opening in the area, Coupette is the slickest of the bunch. It was set up by former head bartender at the Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, Chris Moore. Expect immaculately concocted drinks using regional French liqueurs and a menu of classic French dishes, including confit duck leg and croque-monsieur. Sun: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Mon: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Tue: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Wed: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Thu: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Fri - Sat: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am Sat - Sun: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
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Coupette
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Of all the new cocktail bars opening in the area, Coupette is the slickest of the bunch. It was set up by former head bartender at the Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, Chris Moore. Expect immaculately concocted drinks using regional French liqueurs and a menu of classic French dishes, including confit duck leg and croque-monsieur. Sun: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Mon: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Tue: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Wed: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Thu: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Fri - Sat: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am Sat - Sun: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Boxpark has several locations in London, and the concept is a fascinating one each time, taking old boxcars and turning them into a bevy of interesting shops and restaurants. You’d be surprised at how much can fit in the small spaces of the boxcars from eyeglasses to toys and a half-dozen clothing stores. There’s also a great selection of food to be had here from The Athenian to Voodoo Ray’s pizza, as well as concert venues and clubs.
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Boxpark Shoreditch
2-10 Bethnal Green Rd
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Boxpark has several locations in London, and the concept is a fascinating one each time, taking old boxcars and turning them into a bevy of interesting shops and restaurants. You’d be surprised at how much can fit in the small spaces of the boxcars from eyeglasses to toys and a half-dozen clothing stores. There’s also a great selection of food to be had here from The Athenian to Voodoo Ray’s pizza, as well as concert venues and clubs.
If you’re looking for a wonderful place to relax and have tea, surround yourself with some feline friends at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. As with most tea establishments, booking a time is a must, especially given that Lady Dinah’s is one of the only cat cafes in the entire city. There’s a great food menu as well featuring stuffed croissants, soups, paninis, and cake.
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Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium
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If you’re looking for a wonderful place to relax and have tea, surround yourself with some feline friends at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. As with most tea establishments, booking a time is a must, especially given that Lady Dinah’s is one of the only cat cafes in the entire city. There’s a great food menu as well featuring stuffed croissants, soups, paninis, and cake.
Themed drinking establishments have caught on in popularity, but Alcotraz gives new meaning to describing these places as “bars.” It’s a bit pricey to get in at around £34 per person, but you won’t want to escape since this price includes your prison jumpsuit, four cocktails of your choice, and 1 hour, 45 minutes of the most unique drinking experience you’ll have in London.
Alcotraz Penitentiary
212 Brick Lane
Themed drinking establishments have caught on in popularity, but Alcotraz gives new meaning to describing these places as “bars.” It’s a bit pricey to get in at around £34 per person, but you won’t want to escape since this price includes your prison jumpsuit, four cocktails of your choice, and 1 hour, 45 minutes of the most unique drinking experience you’ll have in London.
Now far more than just a string of stalls selling bric-à-brac and fruit and veg, Brick Lane Market, in the heart of Shoreditch, has grown and mutated over the years to incorporate five different markets known as The Truman Markets. Operating at its fullest on Sundays, Brick Lane and its surrounding streets come alive, teeming with sellers shifting their wares. Outside the bagel bars, curry houses and vintage shops, people without proper stalls set up shop on carpets and tables, selling old electrical equipment, toys, records, broken musical instruments, furniture and everything else under the sun. Down one side street you’ll come across Backyard Market, a covered, warehouse-sized space with stalls focused on arts and crafts. Pop in for clothes, cards and wrapping paper, one-of-a-kind jewellery and tote bags, all from up-and-coming designers and creatives. The Sunday Upmarket is a food hall brimming with street food vendors selling a global smorgasbord of cuisine. There are also more than 200 market stalls here selling vintage clothing, fashion by new and established designers, jewellery and homewares. The Vintage Market does what it says on the tin, with stalls selling clothing, accessories and retro memorabilia from the 1920s to the 1990s. If you’re into chintz,, The Tea Rooms host charming stalls selling things like typewriters, taxidermy and vintage maps. If you need to fuel up, there’s the Boiler House Food Hall, which has around 30 stalls selling culinary delights from all around the world. You can also explore Ely’s Yard Street Food where you’ll find favourites such as Orange Buffalo, Mother Clucker and Caboose.
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Brick Lane Market
91 Brick Ln
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Now far more than just a string of stalls selling bric-à-brac and fruit and veg, Brick Lane Market, in the heart of Shoreditch, has grown and mutated over the years to incorporate five different markets known as The Truman Markets. Operating at its fullest on Sundays, Brick Lane and its surrounding streets come alive, teeming with sellers shifting their wares. Outside the bagel bars, curry houses and vintage shops, people without proper stalls set up shop on carpets and tables, selling old electrical equipment, toys, records, broken musical instruments, furniture and everything else under the sun. Down one side street you’ll come across Backyard Market, a covered, warehouse-sized space with stalls focused on arts and crafts. Pop in for clothes, cards and wrapping paper, one-of-a-kind jewellery and tote bags, all from up-and-coming designers and creatives. The Sunday Upmarket is a food hall brimming with street food vendors selling a global smorgasbord of cuisine. There are also more than 200 market stalls here selling vintage clothing, fashion by new and established designers, jewellery and homewares. The Vintage Market does what it says on the tin, with stalls selling clothing, accessories and retro memorabilia from the 1920s to the 1990s. If you’re into chintz,, The Tea Rooms host charming stalls selling things like typewriters, taxidermy and vintage maps. If you need to fuel up, there’s the Boiler House Food Hall, which has around 30 stalls selling culinary delights from all around the world. You can also explore Ely’s Yard Street Food where you’ll find favourites such as Orange Buffalo, Mother Clucker and Caboose.
Arguably London’s hippest market, this Hackney stalwart is a weekend destination for fresh produce, vintage clothes and delicious street food. Broadway Market continues to thrive following its clever makeover nearly 15 years ago. This compact Hackney street, which neatly connects London Fields to the Regent’s Canal, has had a traditional fruit and veg market since the 1890s. But it went into steep decline in the ‘80s, and trade had all but petered out before the community relaunched it in 2004. Now taking place on Saturday from 9am-5pm, Broadway Market is a bustling hub for the Hackney hipsters and East End creatives who have settled down and started families. It now welcomes around 135 stalls selling a fabulous array of fresh produce, vintage clothes, flowers, coffee, books and groceries. There’s also plenty of delectable street food, including Deeney’s toasted sandwiches, Fin and Founder’s crab-cake burgers, Floris Bakery’s chocolate eclairs and the modern cult classic Yorkshire Burrito.
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Broadway Market
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Arguably London’s hippest market, this Hackney stalwart is a weekend destination for fresh produce, vintage clothes and delicious street food. Broadway Market continues to thrive following its clever makeover nearly 15 years ago. This compact Hackney street, which neatly connects London Fields to the Regent’s Canal, has had a traditional fruit and veg market since the 1890s. But it went into steep decline in the ‘80s, and trade had all but petered out before the community relaunched it in 2004. Now taking place on Saturday from 9am-5pm, Broadway Market is a bustling hub for the Hackney hipsters and East End creatives who have settled down and started families. It now welcomes around 135 stalls selling a fabulous array of fresh produce, vintage clothes, flowers, coffee, books and groceries. There’s also plenty of delectable street food, including Deeney’s toasted sandwiches, Fin and Founder’s crab-cake burgers, Floris Bakery’s chocolate eclairs and the modern cult classic Yorkshire Burrito.
Sunday food market with vendors selling produce, meats, coffee & more, plus unique, ready-made grub. Located in: Victoria Park Address: 56-57 Gore Rd, South Hackney, London E9 7HN Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 10AM Sun
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Victoria Park Market
56-57 Gore Rd
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Sunday food market with vendors selling produce, meats, coffee & more, plus unique, ready-made grub. Located in: Victoria Park Address: 56-57 Gore Rd, South Hackney, London E9 7HN Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 10AM Sun
In Victorian times, pubs on corners were all the rage and cropped up with frosted windows, wide bars and men with extravagant moustaches. The Water Poet has all of these, and customers can be assured of the hippest drink going as they quaff and eat at this popular and extremely cool Bethnal Green bar. Address: 9-11 Folgate Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6BX Phone: 020 7426 0495
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The Water Poet
9-11 Folgate St
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In Victorian times, pubs on corners were all the rage and cropped up with frosted windows, wide bars and men with extravagant moustaches. The Water Poet has all of these, and customers can be assured of the hippest drink going as they quaff and eat at this popular and extremely cool Bethnal Green bar. Address: 9-11 Folgate Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6BX Phone: 020 7426 0495
On the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane is Casa Blue, a loosely Moroccan-themed cocktail bar. The cocktails are broad ranging and well made and the food is in the style of posh snacks, however there are burgers and salads too. Address: 228 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London, E1 2NP Phone: 020 7739 3440
Casa Blue
120 Bethnal Green Rd
On the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane is Casa Blue, a loosely Moroccan-themed cocktail bar. The cocktails are broad ranging and well made and the food is in the style of posh snacks, however there are burgers and salads too. Address: 228 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London, E1 2NP Phone: 020 7739 3440
Sightseeing
"Bourgeois? Nah mate, Bethnal Green’s still got that rough ’n’ ready East End flavour. The locals fall roughly into three groups: old-school embedded East Enders, Bangladeshi families an recently arrived professionals. And the best thing is that everyone gets along famously, whether it’s strolling around at Columbia Road Flower Market, partying at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, or eating and drinking at one of the many quality pubs, bars or restaurants the area has to offer" https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/bethnal-green-area-guide
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Bethnal Green
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"Bourgeois? Nah mate, Bethnal Green’s still got that rough ’n’ ready East End flavour. The locals fall roughly into three groups: old-school embedded East Enders, Bangladeshi families an recently arrived professionals. And the best thing is that everyone gets along famously, whether it’s strolling around at Columbia Road Flower Market, partying at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, or eating and drinking at one of the many quality pubs, bars or restaurants the area has to offer" https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/bethnal-green-area-guide
The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood is London’s most nostalgic museum, showcasing dollhouses, action figures, teddy bears and various other childhood objects dating as far back as the 1700s. Alongside its permanent collections, Bethnal Green’s toy museum hosts film screenings, workshops for kids and inspiring exhibitions. Admission is free. Sun: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Mon: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Tue: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm
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V&A Museum of Childhood
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The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood is London’s most nostalgic museum, showcasing dollhouses, action figures, teddy bears and various other childhood objects dating as far back as the 1700s. Alongside its permanent collections, Bethnal Green’s toy museum hosts film screenings, workshops for kids and inspiring exhibitions. Admission is free. Sun: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Mon: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Tue: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:45 pm
East London’s vibrant Sunday flower market is a local favourite. Here, you can barter with market stall merchants for everything from houseplants and fresh bouquets to succulents and seeds. Columbia Road is well worth a visit from Monday to Saturday, too: the lack of Sunday crowds leaves you free to wander the street’s many independent businesses, including art galleries, antique stores, homeware boutiques and even an old-school sweet shop. Sun: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Columbia Road market
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East London’s vibrant Sunday flower market is a local favourite. Here, you can barter with market stall merchants for everything from houseplants and fresh bouquets to succulents and seeds. Columbia Road is well worth a visit from Monday to Saturday, too: the lack of Sunday crowds leaves you free to wander the street’s many independent businesses, including art galleries, antique stores, homeware boutiques and even an old-school sweet shop. Sun: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Down the road from Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is London Buddhist Centre, the perfect place to cleanse your chakra after all that debauchery. Offering drop-in yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness courses and even creative writing workshops and film nights, the centre is a tranquil respite from city living. Mon: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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London Buddhist Centre
51 Roman Rd
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Down the road from Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is London Buddhist Centre, the perfect place to cleanse your chakra after all that debauchery. Offering drop-in yoga classes, meditation and mindfulness courses and even creative writing workshops and film nights, the centre is a tranquil respite from city living. Mon: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Tue: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Wed: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thu: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
This Bethnal Green comedy club is one of London’s best, biggest and longest-standing comedy venues, and is owned by British stand-up and TV regular Lee Hurst. Big names and bright newcomers take to the stage almost every night of the week, and customers are free to enjoy table football, ping-pong and board games. It’s the perfect place for a cheap and cheerful evening out. Sun: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Tue: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Wed: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Thu: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Fri: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Sat: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
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Backyard Comedy Club
231 Cambridge Heath Road
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This Bethnal Green comedy club is one of London’s best, biggest and longest-standing comedy venues, and is owned by British stand-up and TV regular Lee Hurst. Big names and bright newcomers take to the stage almost every night of the week, and customers are free to enjoy table football, ping-pong and board games. It’s the perfect place for a cheap and cheerful evening out. Sun: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm Tue: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Wed: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Thu: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Fri: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am Sat: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
It’s hard to find country life in the middle of a city, but Spitalfields City Farm has nearly everything you could find from homegrown vegetables to rare breed animals. Of course, besides the crops and critters, there are gardens to behold and a treehouse to explore. If you feel up for it, you can even volunteer to help on the farm for a day.
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Spitalfields City Farm
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It’s hard to find country life in the middle of a city, but Spitalfields City Farm has nearly everything you could find from homegrown vegetables to rare breed animals. Of course, besides the crops and critters, there are gardens to behold and a treehouse to explore. If you feel up for it, you can even volunteer to help on the farm for a day.
Victoria Park boarders Bethnal Green. As it’s the 3rd largest cultivated green space in London, and one of London’s best kept secrets, you should take time to wander round the lakes, Old English Garden and deer enclosure.
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Victoria Park
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Victoria Park boarders Bethnal Green. As it’s the 3rd largest cultivated green space in London, and one of London’s best kept secrets, you should take time to wander round the lakes, Old English Garden and deer enclosure.