Shoreditch, we’ll miss you
13 things we’ll miss about Shoreditch as Ketchum moves its London office to Bankside.
Ketchum left Shoreditch, London E1, on Friday. It’s been our home for a decade and a half.
I headed out with camera on Thursday lunchtime and photographed some of my favourite places in the area.
#1 Beigel shops, Brick Lane
Seemingly every square inch of Shoreditch that hasn’t been developed is a building site but you don’t have to look that hard to find parts of the original East End. The north end of Brick Lane is home to two 24 hour beigel shops. My last Shoreditch lunch was a £3.90 salt beef beigel.
#2 Blixen, Brushfield Street
The former bank-turned-brasserie opened last year and quickly became a firm favourite with the Ketchum crew. The restaurant has a bright and airy atmosphere, great service, and is highly recommended for breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner.
#3 Boxpark, Bethnal Green Road
The not so temporary pop-up mall is built from shipping containers. International brands sit alongside independents. The quick turnover of fashion, lifestyle stores and cafes means that you’ll always find something fresh.
#4 City fringes
Ketchum has been in Shoreditch for 15-years. During that time the area has seen progressive development as the City of London sprawls north and east from Liverpool Street. This shot is taken from the balcony on the top floor of our office.
#5 Curry houses, Brick Lane
The south end of Brick Lane is home to Bangladeshi and Indian migrants that made it their home in the 1970s. They brought their cuisine and entrepreneurial spirt and opened restaurants in the area. A Brick Lane curry is a must for any visitor to the area, and it’s one of the reasons that I’ll return regularly.
#6 Cycling culture
Attitudes to cycling have changed in London in the last ten years thanks to supportive policies from the Mayor and Transport for London. There’s a large cycling community in Shoreditch and the area is home to at least three cycling shops for spares and repairs.
#7 Flat white
The area north of Shoreditch up to the Old Street roundabout has more coffee shops per square mile than any other area of the UK. It’s a cornerstone of the creative and tech culture described in Douglas McWilliam’s book Flat White Economy.
#8 Old Truman Brewery
Once London’s largest brewery, the Old Truman Brewery sprawls from Commercial Street to Brick Lane. It has been regenerated as exhibition spaces, restaurants, retail spaces and offices for the area’s creatives.
#9 Peak hipster
The arrival of the Cereal Killer Café on Brick Lane last year was said to be the high water mark of gentrification in East London. The café serves a variety of breakfast cereal and drinks. That’s it. I can’t see what the fuss is about.
#10 Poppie’s Fish & Chips, Hanbury Street
It’s hard to find a traditional fish and chip shop in London. There’s one on the corner of Commercial Street and Hanbury Street. Whilst the narrative of Shoreditch in the last decade is one of urban regeneration, independent outlets such as the Brick Lane beigel shops, curry houses and Poppie’s thrive, and are firmly part of the local culture.
#11 Shoreditch House, Ebor Street
The east London outpost of Nick Jones’ private members empire is the place for media types to be seen. The hidden entrance is a gateway to hotel rooms, restaurants and a swimming pool on the top floor.
#12 Spitalfields Market
The market is home to a mix of regular traders selling everything from art to hats, and chic gifts to vintage wear. There are a variety of retail shops and restaurants, Blixen included, and a regular flea market. The area falls silent in the evening once office workers and traders head home.
#13 Media of the street
You don’t have to look far to find incredible street art in Shoreditch. Explore the streets from Brick Lane to Bethnal Green, and back via Shoreditch High Street. A walking tour is good way to learn about the work and graffiti culture.
Ketchum opens for business on Bankside, London SE1, on Monday morning.
Shoreditch, we’ll miss you.