East London Calling…

This afternoon I’m hoping my readers will help me out, but not only me. Often when I write a post about something you guys chip in with brilliant suggestions and recommendations and today I’m relying on that. On this occasion it is purely selfish, as this weekend I’m heading off to London town for a weekend with Pete. We’ve been meaning to go for a while and I’m excited to be in London for once and not on business. Exciting though that often is, I never get to see the things I’ve earmarked, the shops I like or try the cool cafes and restaurants I rush past in a hurry. This weekend there will be serious lingering in coffee shops, mooching in boutiques, rummaging in markets and testing of cocktails. All in the name of research you understand.)

Image Credit: Andre Beato

And this is where you guys come in. I really need your help. I’ve got my hotel sorted (The Hoxton in Shoreditch, more on that coming soon) and now I need some places to go. My only must-do whilst in the big smoke is to visit Graham and Green, one of my favourite interiors destinations online and I’ve been desperate to see the actual shop for some years now. That will take us to either Regents Park or Notting Hill (I’m leaning towards the latter as I have always wanted to go,) but otherwise we’re pretty free to wander and explore.

The other reason I hope you’ll help out with your recommendations is that posts like this become a valuable resource for other readers, either searching for travel tips and stylish hang outs or inspiring trips away. The UK was one of the most popular destinations when you gave me your feedback on travel favourites here at Florence Finds and I’m hoping we can build that section up in the coming months.

So, spill the beans about your must visit areas or streets, foodie destinations, fascinating shops and favourite bars in the Shoreditch area, or around Graham and Green in Notting Hill.

Thanks guys! I’ll love you forever 🙂


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23 thoughts on “East London Calling…

  1. The Albion in Shoreditch is amazing for brunch, lunch or just coffee, they celebrate proper english food. They also have an amazing restaurant downstairs – yum! Great shops down Redchurch Street too, and close to Brick Lane.

  2. Hey Rebecca,

    Firstly good choice of hotel!! I love East London, and whilst I don’t live there anymore here are my recommendations of things I love…

    Albion Cafe – perfect for breakfast/lunch/brunch! Their takeaway bakery goodies are also amazing! http://www.albioncaff.co.uk/

    Spitalfields Market – a must. I can spend hours just wandering here… and usually spending a fair few pennies!

    The Hawksmoor – great if you like a good steak! http://thehawksmoor.com/

    That’s all I can think of right now… I may be back later to add to this list 😉


  3. Ooh Rebecca lovely. So here goes. I like The Albion for tea, cake & brunch it’s the cafe of The Boundary. Mooch along that street for great places. There’s also a pop up BoxPark by Shoreditch High Street. Pizza East is yummy. If you arrive at Kings Cross then Drink Shop Do is so near, just a little bit further than the bar for AOP. Looking forward to your write up!

  4. Went to a brilliant wee place for Sunday brunch a few years ago. Think it was here: http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/leilas-shop-london but it looks a bit more polished now than it did then! And go to L’Artisan Du Chocolat on Westbourne Grove in/near Notting Hill for all things chocolatey – cocktails, hot chocolate and the incredible salted caramel truffles. Yummm

  5. If you’re going to the Graham & Green in Notting Hill, you could make a detour round the corner to Books for Cooks (http://www.booksforcooks.com/index.html). It’s a quirky little cook book shop with a tiny cafe in the back where they cook recipes from the books sold in the shop. Definitely worth a visit if you’re a cookery book addict like me!

  6. I was brought up near Notting Hill, and if I remember rightly G and G is slap bang in the middle of Portobello Market which great on a Saturday although very busy.

    Although being a west end girl, I have fallen hard for the East End lately. Spitalfields market is a must, and the white spires of the Hawksmoor churches in the area are so lovely. You could check out the Spitalfield’s Life website/blog to get a real taste of it. Clerkenwell Green is lovely, nice deli/cafe and the ruins of a Knights Templar castle nearby for something totally different – try googling it, there is a small, brand new museum there if you fancy some culture with your food and fashion! I agree with other commentators, Columbia Rd, of course, and I have seen photos of Pizza East which look amazing. Have a lovely time, and I’d love a report on the hotel. Bx

  7. Everyone stole my suggestions!! However I concur! Definitely Pizza East and behind there is an amazing bar called Lounge Lover or try Shoreditch House (if you can get in – think you have to be a member!)

    Spitalfields is my fave market in London (on sundays!) and to have a walk down Brick Lane is a must… There are some cool bars there like http://www.bigchill.net/bar/?site=bar or All Star Lanes http://www.allstarlanes.co.uk/venues/brick-lane/ techincally bowling but they do a nice cocktail! There are also some nice homeware shops around Spitalfields. (Its right near my wedding venue 😉

    Restaurant wise try http://www.rivingtonshoreditch.co.uk/ or I second The Boundary, The Drunken Monkey is fun too… and The Great Eastern Dining Room or are in the middle of Shoreditch!

    The other side of town, Marylebone HIgh Street is worth a wander with loads of home shops such as The Conran Shop!

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Rachie xo

  8. The Hox rocks! Great choice and nice not to feel ripped off at a London hotel.
    My fave shop is Labour and Wait in Redchurch Street for lovely traditional homewares/gifts. Enjoy your trip.

  9. Hi Rebecca,

    As Lottie suggested, Columbia Rd is great for little independent shops (I love Nelly Duff for artwork) and also the flower market on a Sunday – love love love.

    Another lovely little road is Lamb’s Conduit St which is more central (nr Holborn) which has some nice cafes and homeware stores.

    Have a lovely trip – very jealous!

  10. Aaaaaaaargh!

    I’m so ridiculously excited now – thanks so much for all of these and please do keep adding tot he list – I’m going to have so much fun checking these place out and tell you all about them 🙂
    I need way more than 2 days thought to try all these food places, and a very long night to get round the bars!! 😉

  11. Everyone’s suggestions are amazing. You will love the Hoxton the staff are wonderful. Calloo Callay on Rivington Street is great for cocktails. The Breakfast Club is pretty cool for Breakfasts (obvs!) Check out Aubin and Wills as it has a gallery and cinema. To be honest, just hanging in the Hoxton bar is a pretty lovely way to spend after hours. Cay Tre is nice for relatively inexpensive but yummy Vietnamese food. Have fun! Xx

  12. Even though they’ve already been mentioned I have to add my vote for Pizza East (also one on Portabello Road) and the flower market on Sunday. My friend is visiting me in London from Manchester this weekend and we’re planning on going to both! Have a great weekend!

  13. A lovely smaller Saturday market is Broadway Market down by London Fields (food mainly, like a mini Borough market). My Vietnamese recommendation is Song Que on Kingsland Road (they take bookings which avoids the huge queue that forms). Definitely check out Redchurch street – none of those shops were there even 3 years ago! And Boris Bikes (cycle hire scheme) have just extended throughout East London so you could cycle around if you’re brave!
    The weather forecast is looking good. Enjoy!

  14. Rebecca Just thinking if you’re heading West. I think you like Pedlars well on the street opposite street to G&G there’s a shop. Also whilst there good brunch, or P*** Star Martini’s at The Electric, we used to go there for one after a bad day at work! Venture further north to Golborne for Morrocan London.
    Ps For a while there used to be two G&G shops on the same road – heaven. Also pop along to Westbourne Grove for other shopping, Whistles, Daylesford, Joseph, Diptyque. Happy shopping.

  15. I don’t know east London that well but funnily enough was out in Shoreditch on Saturday night and can definitely recommend the cocktails at Beach Blanket Babylon 😉

  16. Can highly recommend Notting Hill as it’s where I live! 🙂

    With the Graham and Green option – you’ll be spoilt for choice!! Right next door is Grocer on Elgin for a lovely bite to eat. (Although there are soooo many ridiculously wonderful places to eat in Notting Hill)

    These are all the shops on that side of the road on either side of Graham and Green. (The staff in this branch are super helpful.)


    Use this lovely little website to let you explore the streets and shops before you get there! Will help you plan a little route! (Just click on the road you want and then the surrounding roads and it will let you see all the shops and provides links to their websites!)


    Graham and Green in on Elgin…so search the surrounding streets using the link above. x

    A five/ten minute walk from Graham and Green you will find Westbourne Grove. These are the shops you’ll find on the Northside of the road:

    Tom’s Deli is a must! http://www.tomsdelilondon.co.uk/

    Here are the shops on the southside side of the road:
    You must pop in to Emma Hope for shoes! http://www.emmahope.com/

    If you have time – take the tube from Ladbroke Grove (at the end of Portobello Market) and take it one stop to Latimer Road. Take a right when you exit Latimer Road tube station and walk all the way along until you reach a small parade of 4 shops on a road called St. Helen’s Gardens. There is a beautiful place here for lunch. It’s called St. Helen’s Food Store and is a true gem of a find. You will not be disappointed to try this! http://www.google.co.uk/maps?q=&layer=c&z=17&iwloc=A&sll=51.518328,-0.218529&cid=6515408009818561909&cbp=13,231.9,-6.1,0,0&panoid=BP67sdqt0KhkfDPDInyihw&q=st+helen's+food+store&ei=bDdZT5_VBYXr8QPR4YnzDg&sa=X&oi=local_result&ct=streetview-image-link&cd=1&resnum=4&ved=0CBMQnwIoADAD

    The flower shop and the wine shop on either side have now gone…but the little food store/cafe is always buzzing.

    Oooh…have a million more places to tell you – but realise that this is getting a bit long! x x

    Email me if you want any other Notting Hill ideas! x

  17. Head to the breakfast club near spitalfields in the evening and tell the person at the door that you’re there to see the mayor…. You’ll see!

  18. Another thumbs up for the Hoxton Hotel. We used it as base for our East End Weekend last year.

    I’m another fan of Spittalfields Market on Sunday. Also good is the Sunday Upmarket nearby at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.

  19. Hiya,

    I think every one has said all the great places and you should go to Broadway Market on Saturday, lots of lovely beautiful things to oooh over and lots of yummy food, take a walk along the Regent’s Canal to get there.

    The Albion is a great spot aswell as Pizza East. Try Dragon Bar on SHoreditch High St, Owl and Pussy Cat Redchurch St and Lounge Lover for some amazing cocktails just of Redchurch St. If you need your hair done Radio is great on Redchurch with a gallery in there also.

    Last Days of Decadence is no more sadly 🙁 boooo

    Breakfast Club is fab but be prepared to queue, the Diner is nice too on Curtain Road.

    East Bloc on City Road is the new ‘cool’ place, but haven’t tried it out yet!

    You can also go to G&G in Primrose Hill and try out Primrose Bakery they have some of the new G&T cupcakes, they sound great. You can also go via the canal all the way there and see the zoo’s gorilla pen from the tow path and you can catch a canal boat from Camden to Regent’s Park.

    Sunday Lunch, check out THe Albion Pub in Islington but so many Gastro’s to choose from and are all really good. Maybe a little closer is William IV on Sheperdess Walk, its a little gem.

    Columbia Road is a beaut too and the shops are loverly.


  20. hoxton is such a great hotel I stayed there with my girls for my hen party it was a great weekend. I keep meaning to go back very jealous have a great time

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