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The galleries, shops and cool restaurants of Hoxton and beyond

The galleries, shops and cool restaurants of Hoxton and beyond

East London has come a long way in recent years, thanks to urban regeneration and the arrival of the hipsters. Gone are the days of jellied eels and the notorious Kray Twins, now it’s all about hip cafes and boutiques, the Olympic Park and much more. Stay close to the action in one of our London hotels, such as the Hotel Ibis Budget Whitechapel, perfectly located just outside the financial centre of The City, and with quick transport links to central London.

Arty, quirky or classic?
"The East End is popular with famous ‘locals’ Tracey Emin, Dinos Chapman, and Gilbert and George, who have their studios here. And, of course, it’s home to the Whitechapel Gallery, as well as recent additions like Red Gallery on trendy Rivington Street, local favourite Rich Mix (complete with cinema space and cafes), and A Brooks Art. Alternatively, get outside with the street art graffiti tour or go for something more macabre, following in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper. For classic sightseeing, stick to the two Towers: Tower Bridge and the Tower of London."
Funky food
Head to Brick Lane, the legendary street packed with Bangladeshi restaurants, which has given the neighbourhood a real foodie vibe. In fact, this part of town has become such a gourmet destination, big chains like Carluccio’s and family-friendly Giraffe have moved in next door at the Spitalfields Market too. Not to mention more upmarket eateries such as La Chapelle in St Botolph’s Hall and Hawksmoor Spitalfields for steak and wines of legend.
Sporty & special
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, wedged between Hackney and Stratford, is now also open to the public with its cute Timber café, BMX-friendly VeloPark and Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre. What’s more, you can also stand on top of (or abseil down) the UK’s tallest sculpture, the 80m-high ArcelorMittal Orbit, for great views of the capital.
A different night out
"The LHT Urban Bar on Whitechapel Road offers a real peek at local talent and comedy newbies. For a taste of local beverages, try Apple & Pears on Osborn Street, where you can sample a Bloody Marley, a Bethnal Pale Ale or even a Brick Lane Lager in the heated garden. For a view, the Culpeper in Commercial Street is another gem, with its rustic tables, wood-fired grill and cocktails made with home-grown herbs. Need a midnight snack? Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake is open 24 hours, serving freshly baked filled bagels and New York-style cheesecake."
Markets & more
"Once you’ve explored Spitalfields, wander the grittier Whitechapel Market (Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm) for everything from fruit to phonecards, pans and fresh fish. For something prettier, with pubs and antique shops lining the way, the Sunday morning Columbia Road Flower Market is worth a detour. For bric a brac and bargains, try the Princess May Car Boot sale in Stoke Newington, where you never know what you’ll find."
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