Bored of the same old high street shops and need somewhere new to explore? Well, Spitalfields is just the place, boasting a vibrant multicultural community with many things to see, learn and eat. Located in the East of London, a few minutes walk away from Liverpool Street station, it makes for a great day trip out.
Brick Lane is one of the new hip areas of London. Buzzing with markets, cafés, and vintage stores, there is plenty to do.
One of my favourite places on Brick Lane is Uptown Market. Brimming with little boutique stalls you will be able to find everything from jewellery to funky socks.
There are also food salls serving food from all over the world. Whilst these food stalls are pretty cheap for London (around £8 a meal), if you want to get a bargain, make sure you go just before 5pm, which is just before it closes, when much of the food is discounted.
However, if you want even more of a bargain, head anytime of day or night to the north end of Brick Lane to find the famous Beigel Bake. Whilst my favourite is the simple cream cheese bagel with sesame seeds, you can also get other fillings including smoked salmon and salted beef.
If you come on a Sunday, you will be able to find even more food stalls running along the lane. This includes the Brazilian churro stall which serves some of the best churros I have ever tasted, served with indulgent chocolate dip.
If you fancy something a bit more festive and wintery, Dark Sugar’s gourmet hot chocolate is a must, which is topped to the brim with chocolate shavings.
Once your stomach is satisfied make sure to check out the vintage stores lined up along Brick Lane for some thrift shopping. If you are hunting for a real bargain head to Atika, on the southern end of Brick Lane which famously boasts the largest vintage shop in London.
If you have any more space for food at the end of the day, the Brick Lane curry houses are the perfect place to go. These serve an extensive range of Bengalese curries, so it’s guaranteed there will be something for everyone.
Spitalfields Market is a great place to visit on a weekday, as an alternative to the weekend markets on Brick Lane. Here you will be able to find many food stalls and boutique stalls, featuring many independent art stands.
If you are looking to get to know Spitalfields more intimately, there are many local guided street art tours. These tours provide a fascinating insight into the culture and history behind the street art in Shoreditch, which has ultimately turned the area into the vibrant chic area that it is today. Having been on one of these tours, I have personally gained a whole new appreciation and understanding of the murals located around the area.
Alternatively, if you fancy a more spooky historical tour of the area, there are also Jack the Ripper tours which reveal the dark history of the murderer who once terrorised the area.
When the British weather has reared its ugly head and you are looking for somewhere indoors to visit, the Van Gough Immersive Experience is definitely worth a visit. This exhibition provides a 360 degree immersive experience of Van Gough’s paintings. Using projectors, you will be able to become a part of the paintings and explore his artwork through a whole new means.
For those who are looking for a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of London and something free to do, the Spitalfields City Farm is worth a visit. Whilst only small, the farm does have a surprising number of animals including sheep, donkeys, and rabbits. The farm also grows its own produce, which all members of the public are welcome to help volunteer with. This produce is available to purchase all year round.