London is such beautiful city, once you whizz past city grit, hustle & bustle and dodge all the traffic there are some amazing pockets of creative bliss. Some of you may know (if I haven’t been boring you too much with the details) that my masters project is all about the luxe of luxury hotel design. I chose this topic because as an up-and-coming interior designer I love to design and I love to travel and adore the escapism it brings. From location to location the only constant is the hotel, the place we call home for that short period of time as we explore which ever beautiful city, town or country we may be in. Luxury has become such a throw away term. Everything is luxurious or has that luxe effect, but what is luxury? And what does it mean to you? To me it’s all about style, great design, comfort & ease – it’s an experience, a feeling. As a mini experiment I’ve embarked on a hotel tour of two hotels in London, both expressing the term luxury in different ways. With design savvy Brits and tourists flocking to the East End I seised the opportunity to investigate the Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch and the Citizen M in Bankside (more on the blog about that little gem later). Here are my top discoveries in the hood…
Columbia Road Flower Market:
Having heard so much about this lively marketplace I strolled down the winding roads of Shoreditch in search of the market. I did get a little lost but upon seeing tonnes of smiling, happy people cradling such beautifully fragrant boutiques of flowers I knew I was on the right track! Some say that the marketplace is dead, it’s all about the lifeless supermarket, some may even jest. Well, the market is alive, kicking and screaming with passion. I’m an Eastender, born in Hammersmith, West London but bread in the East and this market certainly reminded me when I was growing up. East End market sellers shouting bargains not to be sniffed at, pops of colour in the form of flowers of every variety imaginable. There were people, young & old, buying for friends or even for their own home, people sharing stories with each other, there was certainly life in this market. What I adored most was the old traditional pub and the end of the street in that traditional bottle green brick tile, which is always associated with the East End.
Oh I wish I could live here. Redchurch street was recommended to me by my blogging bud
and I’m so thankful to her for adding it to my list. Reminding me of the streets of Soho, New York this is a where the real locals come out to play. I found this to be a very honest, non-superficial place and most of all, full of gems! Labour & Wait, a utility store which is so iconic of the true, british highstreet supply store. I loved this place, the design, the layout and the products. Adorned with little cafe’s here is where that customary, established sense of the East End truly lies. Creativity is everywhere with graphics and typography being used in a refreshing way. My must visit places are Aesop, Albion Cafe and Labour & Wait.
Seen it all before?
Maybe, but truth be told this particular high-street is not dead. With my first trip to the House of Hackney (I know, a firm slap on the wrist for me) I was very pleasantly surprised. This street also houses the Ace Hotel. An innovative and well thought out design (and also forming one of my case studies) this place is gorgeous and the devil is certainly in the detail here, however I was slightly taken aback by the atmosphere which was quite quite faux-fashionable. It had a slight hint of that snobbish element you get with “luxury” in a location not befitting of these negative elements – maybe the staff were having an off day. I did discover some amazing places along this street, some of which I’m already planning to visit including Aida.
What are your favourite places to visit in Shoreditch?