London E1. Hackney. London Property Area Guide.
“It’s Saturday night…..Let’s party in Shoreditch”!
1990 = Alien concept.
2012 = Spot On!
Nowhere in Central London has seen such a shift in vibe as the general Shoreditch/Hoxton/Spitalfields districts. My first job working in a Film location Agency in 1997 was based in Shoreditch – an apt location! Around that time it had started to embrace its second incarnation as an epicentre for all that’s hip, alternative and trendy in an almost forbidden way. There was a smattering of designer bars and the odd nightclub – some of the “adult” variety and others that attracted hoards of twenty-something’s that were excited to discover this alternative to the West-End night scene.
These day’s there’s nothing unusual about heading to Shoreditch for a weekend partying, or some after work entertainment – it’s totally the in-thing to do. There’s something for every taste: hot bars, indie clubs, cheesey-music venues, ‘of-the-moment’ restaurants and real pubs.
Who Did This?
So what bought about the change? I would guess it had something to do the atmosphere, architecture, affordability and proximity to The City and West End. The underground world of art and design was first attracted here in the late 80’s and 90s – studios started springing up in the vast warehouse type buildings which were cheap, spacious and I would imagine rather inspirational.
Developers were also quick to snap up these structures for Manhattan loft style apartments and office units. The creative types that moved in with the studios and businesses added a fresh and edgy feel to the streets and in just a couple of decades the whole area was a breeding ground for new talent, galleries and the design community.
In 2007 the private media members club, Soho House opened it’s sister venue, Shoreditch House in a converted tea building in the area – this was an affirmative of the areas artistic and important hold on London. But is this all too much of a good thing? Will it go the same way as New York’s Meatpacking District (& location of Soho House NYC) – creative boundaries blurred into a clone of nearby designer, Soho?
Changing Commerce: .com Heaven
In recent years, there as been a shift in businesses moving to the area. Tech, Web and IT firms sit side-by-side the more established design studios. Most amazingly the area around Old Street roundabout, previously home to a nightclub with a swimming pool (‘Aquarium’) and dodgy kebab shops has become London’s Silicon Valley! In the past few years over 500 Tech start-ups have flocked to the area. ‘Silicon Roundabout’ may not sound as sexy, yet it means business.
Google are now moving into Silicon Roundabout with office space designed to nurture start ups and allow smaller Tech companies to grow. Google are fostering an environment that will surely lead to an explosion of Tech execs, geeks with cash and their buddies buying up property and renting the coolest penthouses in the local area.
These days, weekends and evenings in the area are far more hustle and bustle. Nearby spitalfields, Brick Lane and Columbia Road flower market attract crowds of shoppers, tourists and Londoners seeking a fun time in one of the many sceney eateries or quirky boutiques and markets. Along with a rise in posh Australian eateries, fine dining has taking a New Yorky twist in the back lanes and hip clothes brands and too-kool-for-skool hairdressers have set up boutiques.
Shoreditch, as well as being home to the creatives, has always been a very working class area of London. In addition to established Londoners there is a big Bangladesh community in the Eastern fringes of the area, closer to Brick Lane. Due to the type of properties (mostly apartments, few houses, loft-sytle buildings), Shoreditch isn’t really an area associated with families. Far more commonplace are couples and singles who have moved into one of the many new developments or designer loft spaces.
+ Visually appealing and cool urban vibe electrifies the streets
+ Hot restaurants and bars catering for every cuisine and mood
+ World class art galleries such as The White Cube in Hoxton Square
+ Proximity to The City, trendy East London and the West End
+ Mix of new build developments and converted warehouse apartments make for designer living
+ Excellent transport links
+ Great markets close by such as; Columbia Road, Spitalfields and Brick Lane
+ Close to Liverpool St Station (one of the largest Stations in London) with mainline services to Essex and Stansted Airport.
– Lack of schools in the area
– Not many families live in the area
– As the area is getting more popular, house prices are rising
– Lack of green spaces
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Old Street Tube: Northern Line (zone 1)
Liverpool Street Station: Central, Circle, Metropolitan and Hamersmith and City Lines (Zone 1)
Moorgate: Northern, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines
Shoreditch High Street (Zone 2)
Hoxton (Zone 2)
Moorgate (services to North London and Hertfordshire)
8 Bow – Oxford Circus
26 Hackney Wick – Waterloo
35 to Clapham Junction
47 to Catford
48 London Bridge to Walthamstow Central
55 Leyton – Oxford Circus
67 Aldgate – Wood Green
78 to Nunhead
135 Crossharbour – Old Street
149 Edmonton Green to London Bridge
242 Homerton Hospital – Tottenham Court Road
243 Waterloo – Wood Green
388 Embankment – Hackney Wick
Virginia Primary School, Virginia Road, E2 7NQ
The Lyceum (Independent School), 6 Paul Street, EC2A 4JH
St Monica’s RC Primary School, Hoxton Square, N1 6NT
St Matthias CofE Primary School, Bacon Street, E2 6DY
Christchurch CofE Primary School, 47a Brick Lane, E1 6PU
Central Foundation Boys School, Cowper Street, EC2A 4SH
Bethnal Green Technology College, Gosset Street, E2 6NW
Haggerston School, Weymouth Terrace, London E2 8LS