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Staycation in Shoreditch

Posted in LondonFilms

escaping to East London

When I first moved to London I became very accustomed to staying within zone 1 of the SW region. And for those of you who don’t know what that means, I basically meandered around the bits of London that you see so many of the tourists. It’s the bits of London that you see on postcards, on billboards, in magazines, and etc. I moved to West London after because I loved the Victorian and Georgian architecture, sipping coffee at corner cafes and being walking distance from the V&A, Harrods and the Natural History Museum.

But then I itched for change because with the rent came very cramped spaces. I ended up finding myself in SW London again and now only meander through the streets of Mayfair and Westminster. It’s easy to get stuck in your own bubble, especially when you’re in the epicenter of London. With a surge of travel recently, I started finding London a bit of a lull and was lacking inspiration even though the city has so much to offer. I decided to book a stay at CitizenM in East London, way out of my comfort zone and a completely different energy from my parts of London, to re-energize my inspiration in this beautiful city I call home. So a staycation in Shoreditch it was!

2:00pm

To jumpstart my staycation in Shoreditch, I jumped off the tube at Liverpool Street and I started walking east. I thought I was going to have to walk for a while since I always assumed Shoreditch is a part of London that is so emancipated from the rest. To my surprise, just a few minutes walk and past 3 beautifully graffitied walls later I found myself in a hospitable capsule that was cool, calm and extraordinarily colorful. The walls of the lobby were lined with panoramic windows that invited the urban East London vibes and at that point I checked-into CitizenM’s Shoreditch hotel.

Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch

2:30-4:00pm

After quickly settling in, I wanted to go out shopping. Quite a few of my blogger friends live in East London and always boast about the boutiques and shops in the area. Right across the street from CitizenM was a plethora of shops ranging from beauty, fitness, menswear, interiors… I walked down Redchurch Street where you’ll find lots of unique boutiques including Modern Society, Labour and Wait, A.P.C., and Aesop. I ended up picking up some sweet treats, a hand creme and some bits for myself at Modern Society. Some nice treats to remember my staycation in Shoreditch.

4:30pm

Even though I was on a bit of a holiday, I can’t rid my caffeine addiction. Between Allpress Espresso and a few other places in the area, I ended up at Albion. Albion has a humble organic shop with some fun ingredients that can also double up as great souvenirs and presents. I picked up a small pack of spices and then went into the cafe bit to have a coffee break. A must for your staycation in Shoreditch!

5:00-6:30pm

After the coffee, I ended up going back to CitizenM to get some work done. The lobby area is equipped with many sitting areas including corners that would be perfect for group meetings. There was a set of couches nestled between a set of panoramic windows showing off the sunset, where I set up shop. Great high-speed internet, a mint tea to enjoy from the all-day serving bar and cafe, and I was perfectly comfortable. The perfect halfway point for my staycation in Shoreditch.

Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch

8:00pm

Earlier that week I called up my friend Diogo to see if he wanted to catch-up over dinner during my staycation since he works in the area. He suggested Smokestak since it smelled amazing after merely walking past it one day. To our surprise, we were overly impressed. The moment we walked through the doors there was warmth radiating from the smokers, you could smell the brisket and the wood-burning and the vibes were very Nashville meets Chicago serving up plates that belong in the most haute gastro-communities. Nothing pretentious, just small plates, pretty generous in portions and packed with flavor. From one cocktail to the next and ending with beers, we ate like kings ordering essentially everything off the menu.

SMOKESTAK

I would highly suggest the plum sour or the planation to start off the meal with a cocktail. Then go for the sprouting broccoli tempura, brisket bun, coal roasted aubergine, beef brisket and the monkfish tail. It was impressive to see wildly meat-based technique correlated to make vegetarian dishes. Some of our favorites were the aubergine and the broccolini. The flavors and texture of the vegetables were embraced to bring about a proper barbecue restaurant that caters to just about any type of eater. Finally, we finished off our meal accompanied by beers with a sticky toffee pudding and plum crumble and a burnt peach old fashion as a nightcap. One of the highlights from my staycation in Shoreditch!

10:30pm-9am

After getting home with a full belly and a buzz from the incredible food {or even the drinks} I slept beautifully in my room that overlooked the busier parts of Shoreditch, but offered the quiet of a countryside retreat. book a stay with

Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch

CitizenM

I was woken with the shades going up and being greeted by a very sunny London, I decided to head down for a hot breakfast and another full day in East London. Every single bit for an English breakfast and then there were sections for bread, pastries and a little corner to make a parfait. I was clearly in heaven.

Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch

what I wore

button-down MASSIMO DUTTI top c/o NEXT jeans LEVIS shoes c/o BODEN sunglass Ray-Ban 3447 Round Metal Sunglasses c/o Sunglass Shop

The vibes are much too cool in East London. The graffiti walls, the dark stone buildings, people walking abouts have the urban street style sense down well. I usually throw on a pair of trainers, ripped jeans and try to blend in. I won’t lie, I don’t think I can look so effortlessly cool with the concrete catwalk that takes over Shoreditch High Street. But I thought I would embrace the layering game with the transitional season… buy your latest designer sunnies from

sunglass shop

Keeping up with the latest trends, Ray-Ban has introduced the 3447. Rock and Roll fused with a touch of mainstream creates this easy-to-wear frame that is guaranteed to give you an enviable stylish edge. Effortlessly cool, the 3447 is the must have accessory for the coming season. UV400 lenses. Ray-Ban sunglasses come with a two year manufacturer’s warranty.

Staycation in Shoreditch
Staycation in Shoreditch

10am

You may have noticed I have an undying love for the Columbia Road Flower Market. And since I was in the area on a fine Sunday, I headed out to enjoy the market and the little shops that surround it. It’s best to get there either incredibly early or really late just before they close to get your best pickings, but either way, you’re going to get a great deal for fresh flowers that last for a few weeks.

1pm

It’s easy to lose hours on Columbia Road, and if you’re a blogger, you will love taking photographs there as there is content for days. I usually grab a small bouquet and a few extra little flowers and sit in the park near the market and listen to the live road music, take in the energy and enjoy the sun {if it’s made an appearance}. There are a few little coffee shops there, including the unpretentious Cafe Columbia that has some great strong tea and incredible bagels. PS – you can read about my first visit to the flower market here!

But for lunch, I ended up going to a Vietnamese place just a little down the street back to the Shoreditch High Road that feeds into Kingsland Road called Mien Tay. Go with an empty stomach and elasticated trousers. Its welcoming island vibes, some Jasmine tea and lots of on-table sauce options-it was a good time. We ordered mostly noodle dishes, but definitely go for a whole fish if you can. After finishing the last sip of cold Vietnamese coffee, I made my way back to Liverpool Street, after picking up my suitcase from CitizenM and made my way back to my flat in SW London. That was the end of my staycation in Shoreditch.

If you had one thing you had to do one this staycation in Shoredtich, what would it be?

Staycation in Shoreditch