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Difference between revisions of "London/Brick Lane"

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(Buy: Oh Baby London baby clothes and other cool boutiques on Brick Lane London E1)
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*'''Oh Baby London''', 162 Brick Lane E1 6RU, 0207 247 4949 - Opposite the Truman Brewery and Laden Showrooms, Oh Baby London designs and manufactures of the grooviest baby clothes and accessories. Simple, cool design and sweet little shop. Destined for big things and already the choice of fashionistas we hear. Oh Baby London baby clothes are also available here [http://www.ohbabylondon.com].
  
 
*'''Brick Lane Market''' open Sundays from 8am till 2pm. Running from Shoreditch tube station to Bethnal Green Road and spreading out into Sclater St and Cheshire St. Selling second hand clothes, bric-a-brac, books, household goods and electronics.
 
*'''Brick Lane Market''' open Sundays from 8am till 2pm. Running from Shoreditch tube station to Bethnal Green Road and spreading out into Sclater St and Cheshire St. Selling second hand clothes, bric-a-brac, books, household goods and electronics.

Revision as of 14:36, 3 September 2007

"Banglatown"

Brick Lane is a small but diverse neighbourhood in the East End of London, named after a long road starting in Whitechapel and running north into Shoreditch. The area has come to be known as "Banglatown" in recent years on account of many of its inhabitants' and proprietors' originating from the Indian subcontinent (especially Bangladesh), you can see evidence of this on the bilingual road signs. The neighbourhood - now complete with its own annual festival is now most famous for its curry restaurants, markets, speciality shops and vibrant but relaxed nightlife.


Contents

Understand

Although now largely a Bengali (and other Indian subcontinent) neighbourhood, within living memory this was a Jewish district (and before that, a Huguenot area). As well as some obvious remnants of this history, such as a few remaining bagel delis, there are some subtler ones too, such as small synagogues in the back streets. Many of the larger synagogues have now been converted into mosques.

Get in

Travellers to London would probably find it easiest to catch a train or tube to one of the stations listed below, then make the short (5- to 10-minute) walk to Brick Lane:

  • Aldgate East Tube station (District line, Hammersmith & City line)
  • Liverpool Street Rail / Tube station (Central line, Circle line, Hammersmith & City line, Metropolitan line)


Eat

Unfortuntately many of Brick Lane's curry restaurants have become a victim of the success of the area. Most restaurants now employ pushy touts, who will hassle you to eat in their client's restaurants. The discounts may sound tempting, but they frequently inflate the prices simply so they can offer you a 'deal'.

The largest concentration is between Woodseer Street and Fournier Street. The old-style, flock wallpaper curry houses have now largely given way to shiny, light wood and aluminium eateries for the tourists and City workers. Whichever style you go for, though, it's always worth checking that they've got a licence to sell alcohol before taking up a table. A lot of the restaurants will allow you to bring you own alcohol along.

Another option for curries is to visit Tooting.

  • Saliques, 32 Hanbury Street E1 6QR, 0871 332 3894. One of the more establishments restaurants in teh area, this place doesn't need touts, despite being down a side street. The fare isn't vastly different from other places in Brick Lane, but it's good value, and if you ask nicely they will allow you to bring your own alcohol (they have a licenced bar).

At the Aldgate East end of Brick Lane, down Fieldgate Street, round the corner from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, is Tayyabs, an authentic Pakistani restaurant. Here meat is the focus and the food is well spiced and unbelievably cheap (it is impossible to break ten pounds a head!) A mix of savvy Londoners and local Muslims, do expect to queue round the block on a Saturday night.

For 24-hour eating there are the two famous bagel shops at the north end of Brick Lane, serving up freshly baked hot bagels at a rapid rate to a varied clientele. The salt beef bagel with mustard and pickle is a great bargain and is fantastic after clubbing! The bagel shop furthest away from Bethnal Green is undoubtedly the best of the two - the queue tends to be a little slower to move but it's worth it when you get the freshest most delicious bagel you've ever had!

Drink

  • Verge Bar, 020 7739 0552. The newly opened Verge Bar is located on the corner of Brick Lane and Bethnal Green Road opposite the funky LCB Surf shop. It is open everyday for food, flat whites, espresso and cocktails. It has outside seating for you to watch the exciting Brick Lane World go by or you can relax on a sofa inside a gaze out of the huge windows that open to the Brick Lane. A grand spot to relax with the papers and their excellent Bloody Mary on Sunday Morning.
  • Vibe Bar, 91 Brick Lane, E1, 020 7426 0491, [1]. Open Mon-Thu 7.30pm-11.30pm, Fri/Sat 7.30pm-1am. The main advantage of this place is the huge courtyard which is usually packed out in the summer, and directly competes with cooler neighbour, 93 Feet East opposite. But inside although dingy, spreads out into some nooks where you can hide away for a chat from the booming speakers. Plenty of varied DJ nights and live bands. Free entry weekdays, Fri/Sat charge after 8pm. No dress code.
  • 93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1 6QL, 020 7247 6095 [2]. Open Mon–Thu: 5pm–11pm, Fri: 5pm–1am, Sat: 12pm–1am, Sun: 12pm–10.30pm. This club/bar is made up of three areas: downstairs a loungey bar with low-lit sofa seating everywhere and chilled out music, the main room with a full on sweaty dancefloor (where the headline DJs/bands perform) and an upstairs bar which is mix of the two, plus a large cobbled area outside for the summer. Mon-Thur is mainly live music, and the weekend has the line up of eclectic DJs playing a variety of hip-hop, house and rock music. Charge on the door for gigs, on Fri/Sat usually free before 9pm, £5 after. No dress code.
  • LCB Surf Store and Coffee Shop. at the corner of Brick Lane and Bethnal Green. Not only is the coffee delicious, it's always prepared with Fairtrade and Organic Beans, roasted in London by the Tea and Coffee Plant. You can sip a hot Organic breakfast tea with a splash of Organic milk, or eat a sandwich prepared fresh and packed by The Organic Sandwich Co. Surf the web for free with provided computers or log on wirelessly with your laptop. Shop and watch movies while you eat because opposite the cafe is a Surf Shop, complete with surfboards, skateboards, snowboards as well as shoes, watches, men and womens clothing and more. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, smoke free and totally comfortable for chilling out, shopping or surfing the net.

Sleep

  • City Hotel 12 Osborn St. +44 020 72473313. At the end of Brick Lane, 100m from Aldgate station. WiFi £5/day. Normal rate is £140 but you can deals around £60.

Do

Buy

  • Oh Baby London, 162 Brick Lane E1 6RU, 0207 247 4949 - Opposite the Truman Brewery and Laden Showrooms, Oh Baby London designs and manufactures of the grooviest baby clothes and accessories. Simple, cool design and sweet little shop. Destined for big things and already the choice of fashionistas we hear. Oh Baby London baby clothes are also available here [3].
  • Brick Lane Market open Sundays from 8am till 2pm. Running from Shoreditch tube station to Bethnal Green Road and spreading out into Sclater St and Cheshire St. Selling second hand clothes, bric-a-brac, books, household goods and electronics.
  • Spitalfields Market [4] - just off Bishopsgate (nearest tube is Liverpool St). Once a large thriving market, it has slowly been shrunk to a third of it's size by development in the area. But, it still features a good variety of clothing, crafts and food stalls/shops. Rather promisingly sellers have set up another market in a new space off Hanbury Street, (between Spitalfields and Brick Lane).
  • For secondhand clothing (male and female) try Beyond Retro (110-112 Cheshire Street [5]) and Rokit (101&107 Brick Lane [6]) but between these you'll find plenty of other interesting clothes shops to distract you.
  • Tatty Devine, 236 Brick Lane, E2 7EB, 020 7739 9009 [7]. Open Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat-Sun 11-7pm. This little shop is hidden up at the quiet end away from the hustle and bustle of the market and curry houses. It specialises in accessories for men and women, such as volume level brooches and newspaper print ties.
  • Unto This Last, 230 Brick Lane, E2 7EB, 020 7613 0882 [8]. Open Mon-Sat 9-7, Sun 10-6pm. This furniture/homeware shop produces pieces computer cut from wood onsite. The highlights are the wall mounted circular CD racks that bulge from the walls and the large donut chairs. They also offer bespoke variations if requested.

Contact

  • Coffee @ Brick Lane, 154 Brick Lane, E1 6RU, 020 7247 6735. On the corner of Buxton Street and Brick Lane, this small cafe serves up a good selection of lunchtime snacks and coffees, as well as the internet access. Nearest tube: Shoreditch.
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