Sharing is caring dear traveller; each week, a member of our knowledgeable team of locals shares their insider knowledge on what’s hot and happening in and around our nests.
A hop, skip and jump away from the city, our serviced apartments are located a mere three minute walk from Aldgate East station – smack bang on the Hammersmith & City and District lines. A fifteen minute walk will lead you to Liverpool Street station, with access to National Rail services, London Overground and the Central line where you can access a wealth of the city’s most celebrated galleries, museums and tourist attractions. Far be it from us to discourage you from discovering the city by foot, however, East London is brimming with exciting spots for the avid explorer – just take a look at our C-Z Guide.
2. Brick Lane Bagels
You haven’t experienced East London ‘till you’ve sampled a hot salt beef bagel on Brick Lane (or a jellied eel for that matter…) Our shout goes out to Beigel Bake @ 159 Brick Lane – open 24/7 for deliciously moist, melt-in-the-mouth salt beef, carved while you wait and generously crammed into a homemade bagel, freshly baked on site.
3. Street art
Forget the galleries – the streets of East London are awash with colour and creativity. No longer considered a practice of thugs and ne’er do wells, the surrounding streets of Aldgate feature murals by some of London’s most accomplished artists and illustrators. Enjoy them while you can, though - prime spots are hot and graffiti in this part of town is quickly replaced.
For knick-knacks, paddy whacks and sculptures made of stone, check out some of East London’s vibrant and bustling markets. We’re partial to a spot of thrifting ourselves, and if you’re here with us in Aldgate, we recommend you try…
Spitalfields Market @ 16 Horner Square
Open 7 days a week, crammed full of independent markets including fashion, art, jewellery and odd-bods. A variety of fresh street food is served indoors and a whole bunch of great high street shopping destinations are scattered outside the market itself.
Cuckooz Commends: Going on a Thursday, when the weekly antiques market takes place. Expect to pick up retro furniture, records, unique home accessories and various bits of curios.
Brick Lane Market @ 91 Brick Lane
Open air market every Thursday for magpies and bargain hunters. Keep an eye out for second hand and vintage clothing and accessories, as well as independent maker stalls near the Truman Brewery.
Columbia Road Flower Market @ Columbia Road
Green fingered gentry assemble! Each Sunday, Columbia Road transforms into an oasis of freshly cut flowers, succulents and houseplants. The street is quickly jam-packed, so get there early if you plan on buying in bulk.
If there’s one thing Londoner’s do well, it’s drinking. If there isn’t a cappuccino in our hand there’s a cosmopolitan, and, luckily for us, the city is overflowing with delightful dwellings to wet our whistles. Far be it from us to deter you, the savvy traveller, from the abundance of great local pubs and breweries (check out of C-Z guide for some of our top recommendations) it would be foolish for us to write this guide without giving a well deserved shout out to some of the fantastic and quirky bars around this neck of the woods.
Discount Suit Company @ 29A Wentworth St
A charming hidden gem tucked away between Liverpool St and Spitalfields Market, serving reincarnated old timers and staple classics.
Happiness Forgets @ 8-9 Hoxton Square
Low lit and sensual basement bar perfect for a spot of schmoozing (and boozing…) Friendly staff, great drinks menu and a laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere.
One of my favourite elements of East London is the incredible array of individuality. We’re not slaves to seasons here and thank God – the charm of London style comes from the unique, wild and wonderful hand picked items, which proudly hang in our wardrobes and, like good wine, the best stuff is vintage. Personally I’m a sucker for a thrift store. Traid, Dalston has, for a long time, been my weekend go-to for picking out amazing theatrical and often designer pieces at bargain prices. That said, if you’re the outdoorsy type you’re not in short supply – the Sunday UpMarket at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane and Thursday’s antique market at Spitalfields Market will help you to sate your retro needs without breaking the bank. Beyond Retro and Rokit vintage warehouses on Brick Lane are also great options for those who enjoy a little more streamlined shopping experience and who have ample time on their hands!
7. Whitechapel Gallery
Internationally renowned, over 100 years old and in eyeshot of our Cuckooz apartments in Aldgate East, Whitechapel Gallery features pioneering displays of artwork from some of the worlds greatest artists. With a multitude of artist talks, film screenings and workshops simultaneously taking place, you’d be mad to miss out on this gem whilst you’re in town.
8. Good Old Fashioned Fun
If you’re the active type and are all over the current retro revival, head to East London to check out some of our tried and tested pastime picks.
All Star Lanes @ 95 Brick Ln
American diner-style bowling alley perfect for getting together with mates.
Bounce @ 241 Old St
Indoor bar-cum-ping pong court on the corner of silicone roundabout. Ok so it’s not quite Aldgate East, but instead mere moments away and their 25 foot pizza bar means they definitely get our recommendation…
Junkyard Golf @ 91 Brick Ln
Shimmy on up Brick Lane and plant yourself into the Truman Brewery where you will find Junkyard Golf – a colourful and quirky spectacle for lovers of mini golf with a twist…
History and culture are integral to the fabric of what this city is made of - evident on every street corner, and Aldgate East is no exception. Multiple walks and tours take place around the area (just check our handy tablets to book). Our personal favourites are:
Jack the Ripper Tour @ Exit 4, Aldgate East station, 7pm
East End Tours @ Exit 3, Aldgate East station, 5pm Thurs-Sat
10. Rough Trade East
Last, but by no means least on our list is my own personal version of heaven, Rough Trade records at 91 Brick Lane. An incredible selection of new and old releases including a most excellent dance section. Swing by with a loaded wallet and check out what’s in-store, or keep an eye out for some of their many live music events that take place.