If there's one city in England I know I will never tire of falling in love with again and again, it's London. Every day I feel incredibly lucky to live in such an exciting and vibrant place (cheesy, but true) and the fact that I still haven't seen the half of it is pretty amazing- and keeps it exciting when looking for a new place to eat, that's for sure. So, when ASOS got in touch asking me to be their London student representative, and dig out my favourite hidden gems in the capital- ready for new students, and one's still looking to discover the hot spots- I jumped at the chance. If there's one thing I love doing more than most, it's sharing my favourite places with you guys- and getting to discover some more myself.
This edition seems to be my more 'East London' version, with another part coming in the next few weeks- it's incredibly difficult to narrow down everything I like in London to a list of ten, but I'm trying- let me know if you have any recommendations too!
If I'm ever stuck for lunch, or a nice inspiring way of passing an afternoon (especially if I want to get in the mood for baking) I'll head to Borough Market. Whether picking up fresh dinner ingredients, a cheeky afternoon snack (I seriously recommend brownies and little bags of homemade honeycomb) it's the perfect way to while away an afternoon, and switch off a little. Plus, if it's all good enough for Bridget Jones, it's good enough for me.
BOXPARK Shoreditch- 2-4 Bethnal Green Road/Hoxton Square
Both good places for an evening of food and dancing, Boxpark has some really cool places to grab a bite (such as Bukowski's for burger lovers) and Hoxton Square offering places such as The Breakfast Club, Byron and Red Dog. Additionally for evening entertainment, Queen of Hoxton, Hoxton Bar and Kitchen and Underbelly, are all great places to grab a drink or see a live band or two (see my good pal Shannon above)! If you're heading during the day, be sure to check out the cool pop up's at Boxpark- there's been some seriously cool designers round those parts.
Blitz Vintage- 55/59 Hanbury Street
There's a lot of cool vintage hide outs in London, especially East- but when it comes down to serious business I think Blitz comes up tops. Although one of the newer stores, Blitz has an endless selection- all incredibly clean and well organised (a VERY impressive trait with vintage) and oozes everything from this seasons most covetable (read: tartan trousers galore, statement coats etc), an enviable record collection to browse and even gizmos for the home (and a small cafe area to grab a cuppa afterwards). It's a no fuss vintage store, with staff always more than happy to help- and with that you can never go wrong.
Rough Trade East- Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane
The first time I visited Rough Trade, was for Record Store Day 2009 (and coincidentally mine and Joe's first date)- and it was one of the best days ever. Not only had they just launched that now infamous, photobooth- but the fact I could pick up some of my favourite records and catch some seriously amazing acts live seemed pretty cool. Now, before ever purchasing an album, I'll see if Rough Trade are hosting an instore- what could possibly be better than seeing that band as a freebie with your album pick up? Nothing, that's what. They've also started doing cracking cups of tea and coffee, so you can now sit down and catch up after a long winded peruse. And yes, that is Haim up there.
Kahaila Cafe- 135 Brick Lane
Without a doubt, my favourite place to grab lunch in East London is Kahaila. Whether it's a fleeting visit, or I need to sit down and work with my laptop (yup there's biig communal style tables and wifi) it's the perfect place to unwind with the panini of dreams (mozzarella, parma ham and basil FYI), a slice of rich red velvet and a sugary cup of tea. Plus, the staff are some of the nicest ever, and it even made an appearance in my Barbour video- go go go!
Stay tuned for my next selection in the next couple of weeks!