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Train trips: Shoreditch, colorful hipster island in LONDON


Until about ten, fifteen years ago, the Shoreditch district in East London was a no go area. But then the first creative people who couldn't find affordable offices and flats elsewhere in the city arrived, and in their wake Shoreditch experienced an almost incredible transformation. Today it seems like a kind of free state in London, an übercool hipster island that has remained largely undiscovered by the hordes of tourists flooding the rest of the city. The same goes for the chain stores and restaurants: in Shoreditch you won't find Primark or McDonald's, but you'll find super original addresses where you'll go from one surprise to another. We tasted Shoreditch for you and can only advise you to go there for a weekend as soon as possible.
 
Free spirits
 
Although the neighborhood itself is even more expansive, the heart of Shoreditch is the triangle formed by Old Street, Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street. The most convenient metro station is Old Street, just two stops away from King's Cross St. Pancras, where Eurostar trains arrive and depart from Brussels.
 
You'll notice right away that this is not a tourist neighborhood. There are no major attractions - even the Old Town Hall has been converted into a hotel - but it's one big urban playground where graffiti artists, free spirits and cultural entrepreneurs can let themselves go. The atmosphere is hipper than hip, yet friendly and relaxed.
 
Street Art
 
The graffiti in Shoreditch is of such a high level that it is rightly called street art. Every blind wall is considered as a canvas on which a new work of art will appear in no time. By the way, Shoreditch is a district through which the elevated suburban train London Overground runs, and the railroad bridges are also a popular target for spray painters. Don't miss the rat of the Ghent (yes!) graffiti artist Roa on the wall of the Red Gallery (by the way, Roa painted more animals in the neighborhood), or the brightly photographed words 'Let's adore and endure each other' on the building where the unique event space Village Underground is located. On its roof you'll find three former subway trains used as workspace for creative people, including solar energy and a private vegetable garden. If possible even crazier is the Tree Office in the park on Hoxton Square. Here you can rent an office in a tree. Literally. There is electricity and wifi.
 
Beer & coffee with an attitude
 
If all that walking around has made you thirsty, hold onto certain original pubs and coffee houses. Let's start with our top favorite: The Bricklayers Arms is the perfect mix of hipsters and locals who knew the neighborhood before it became hip. An unbearably trendy pub full of classic artworks pimped out by modern artists is Electricity Showrooms. The relaxed pub The Owl and Pussycat has two floors, a bear garden and views of a busy graffiti wall. In The Old Blue Last, a large corner pub from 1876, performances take place almost every night. Prefer coffee? The Bridge Coffee House is right next to a railroad bridge, looks like a dive bar and serves gourmet coffee. Would you rather have your coffee shot 'with an East London attitude'? Then go to Attendant, and don't forget to make a drawing on the white wall at the entrance. For cocktail lovers, fill their glass at Hoxton 7, where you'll get two cocktails every weekday from noon to 6:30 p.m. for £10.
 
From Japanese hot dogs to Vietnamese baguettes
 
Hungry? If the weather is nice and you're in Shoreditch on a Saturday, don't hesitate and head to Urban Food Fest, a colorful collection of food trucks in a parking lot next to a former gas station, from Japanese hot dogs to stuffed Venezuelan corn rolls. Byron promises 'clean hamburgers', Red's True Barbecue wants to teach the British how to grill and Bird bakes fresh hot doughnuts under the railroad bridge. Ever eaten a Vietnamese baguette? That's called a banh mi, and you'll find them at Kêu, who by the way still has a number of Vietnamese neighbors where you can eat as cheap as you like. Do you only like extremely healthy food? Pod serves detox boxes and superfood salads.
 

 

Amazing shopping
 

Shoreditch has very original stores for the shopaholics. There are plenty of fashion boutiques, but the sleek minimalist interior of Religion is in itself reason enough to step inside. You'll find vintage furniture at Elemental's neighbors - who wouldn't want a discarded van from a fairground mill in their interior? Labour and Wait offers great gifts for home and garden, Klaus Haapaniemi & Co designs their own cushions, at Le Labo inc. they brew their own perfumes and in T2 you can choose from the many teas and colorful teacups while a DJ spins groovy tunes. Maiden has 'amazing things for amazing people', from original greeting cards to oversized plastic burgers. Finally a tip for daredevils: Shall Adore is the most atmospheric tattoo parlour of Shoreditch, full of skulls and devil's towers.
 
 
Our favorite addresses in Shoreditch

 

Attendant Great Eastern Street 74
Bird Kingsland Road 42-44
Byron Hoxton Square 46
Electricity Showrooms Hoxton Square 39A
Elemental Shoreditch High Street 130
Hoxton 7 Great Eastern Street 66-68
Kêu! Old Street 332
Klaus Haapaniemi & Co Redchurch Street 81
Labour and Wait Redchurch Street 85
Le Labo inc. Redchurch Street 61
Maiden Shoreditch High Street 188
Pod Great Eastern Street 55
Red Gallery Rivington Street 1-3
Red's True Barbecue Great Eastern Street 54-56
Religion Shoreditch High Street 128-129
Shall Adore Kingsland Road 11A
T2 Redchurch Street 48-50
The Bricklayers Arms Charlotte Road 63
The Bridge Coffee House Kingsland Road 15
The Old Blue Last Great Eastern Street 38
The Owl and Pussycat Redchurch Street 34
Tree Office Hoxton Square (in het park)
Urban Food Fest Shoreditch High Street 162-167
Village Underground Hollywell Lane 54

 At Voyages-sncf, the specialist in high-speed train travel in Europe, you can book train journeys at the most competitive rates. Consult their online calendar for the lowest prices on more than 200 routes.  


(HDP)