Weekend in Shoreditch, East London
If you’re looking for some weekend ideas in East London then I’ve got one heck of a day for you! Today I’m profiling Shoreditch and although I’m sure that a lot of you are already more than well versed with what it has to offer (remember my post on my 3 secret food spots) this round trip is the perfect way to see some of my fave spots. Enjoy!
10:30 – Hoi Polloi
You can always trust a recommendation, so when I asked my colleague where in East London to start for breakfast, I took her Hoi Polloi suggestion. The Ace hotel is a pleasure to visit in itself but go on down to Hoi Polloi and you can get yourself a posh brekkie to start the day in style. We went for the cute take on a full English breakfast along with tasty nut smoothies and special tea.
I broke some records that morning trying both black pudding and Irish potato cake for the first time and I am now a happy convert. The meal was a little on the mushy and over salted side but paired with the delicious sourdough bread, I’ll let it off! We ear-wigged on young sophisticated people who work at the UN between bouts of live music that played classical versions of pop songs. So chic. Take the lift to the 7th floor after your meal to oogle the view over the city!
12:15 – Albion
Once you’ve pointed out the gherkin from the top of the Ace Hotel, head left to Redchurch Street and pop into Albion to peruse the prettily packaged preserves and watch the hipsters buy their Sunday loaves. Afterwards, check out Aussie fave T2 tea shop across the road for all the loose leaf tea varieties and all the equipment you could need.
Head up through the quiet streets of tenement buildings and make your way up to Columbia Road. (If in doubt, follow the crowds!)
13:00 – Columbia Road Flower Market
The last time I posted about Columbia Road exactly two years ago, my hair was radically different but I wore the same trusty jacket! Keeping cosy and warm is key when you’re spending ages umming and arring over which hyacinths to buy. I went for orange roses and blue thistles this time plus a cute little succulent to that have made friends with the cacti on my desk.
14:00 – Lily Vanilli
As tradition states, if you’re visiting Columbia Road, you have to queue up in Lily Vanilli‘s bakery. We thawed out with mochas whilst discovering Lily’s latest sweet treats. Check out that loaf! If you love her stuff, see what I made at her workshop!
15:00 – Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm has been on my visit list for ages but I never knew quite how easy it was to pop in! Come out of the top of Columbia Road and cross over to the colourfully painted letters spelling out the name of the farm. Whilst it’s certainly clear that the farm is tailored for children, I had waayy fun watching the donkeys and trying to distinguish which end of the sleeping pigs was which, plus the signs make for good ‘gram.
16:00 – Stories
Once you’ve dosed up on animal cuteness, head up through residential streets towards Broadway Market. If you’re visiting on a Saturday then the street is dominated by it’s famous market stalls and visitors but Sunday holds it’s own charm. I love taking a (colourful) seat in Stories on Broadway – an arty bar owned by the same peeps as The Book Club and Queen of Hoxton. Ah that’s why there’s cool emerging artists’ work on the walls and cool chairs! We sipped a glass of red wine and people watched until we were warm and happy and then off headed again towards London Fields.
17:00 – Lardo
Recommendation no.2 of the weekend was Lardo, not your average Italian joint. Walk straight through London Fields and under the railway arch and there across the road is the full-length window clad restaurant. Sit facing inwards and you might just make out your pizza coming out of the open wood fired oven. We chose butternut squash base pizza with goats cheese and veg of the moment – cavolo nero alongside some totally scoffable blanched almonds and speck. So fine!
19:00 – The Hawkhurst Vault
The last part of our day took us to our favourite tearoom, The Hawkhurst Vault. We had passed on desert at Lardo and instead decided to head right back to where we started for a post-dinner tipple of tea and something brownie shaped. Head towards Brick Lane and turn up to the very top of it until you find Hawkhurst on the corner. It’s perfect for when you’re in East late in the day and you’re craving that hit of infused water (common issue, I know) for their opening times are ‘whenever the last customer wants to leave really. Around 9ish?’ Excellent!
My ultimate fave tea is the Dragon Well green. Pair it with a salted caramel brownie and beetroot chocolate cake.
20:00 – Time for bed!
Phew! Hopefully this little round trip has given you some weekend ideas – have a good one!