There was a time when only the most desperate headed to Shoreditch for a night out but, since the London Olympics in 2012, the whole area has enjoyed a period of regeneration and the result is a thriving culture of art, bars, parties and clubs. There are now so many cool hang-outs in Shoreditch that we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 to help you out. Book into the one of the luxury hotels in London and enjoy a weekend of music, dance, food and drink with some of the city’s trendsetters.
This unusual venue offers a classic East End experience, with shipping containers playing host to multiple street food vendors and bars, as well as independent stores offering clothing and lifestyle items. Full of local brands establishing their own unique identities, this is a great place to hang out and browse around. The second floor turns into a wide-open party area at the weekends and top local DJs spin their disks until the early hours while cocktails are shaken, stirred and blended to create some taste-bud tantalising surprises.
- Netil 360
From a distance, this venue looks like just another boring building but if you look up, you’ll notice a rustic retreat on the top of the roof. Popular among locals, this lofty space gives you 3600 views over London. Some of the space is covered so you can escape the rain or get some shade if the summer sun is out in force. This is a café, bar, gallery and exceptionally cool hang-outs where you can catch the latest DJs or chill out at a yoga class.
- Old Street Records
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a musician, then head over to Old Street Records for one of their open mic evenings. For those who don’t feel so inclined to take to the stage, sit back and enjoy the cosy atmosphere, surrounded by old records and record players. The cocktails are to die for and the Italian food is delicious and filling. During the week, the venue offers some fantastic specials that make for a very reasonable evening out.
- Queen of Hoxton
The Queen of Hoxton has quite a reputation for being the ultimate bar and, when the summer comes and the Bedouin-style tent is erected on the rooftop, this is one of the best hang-outs in London. The magical chill-out zone on the roof is complemented by a busy club downstairs where funky disco has the dancefloor packed with enthusiastic revellers. If you plan on sampling all the bars near The Queen of Hoxton, then book into the Montcalm Hotel London City for a weekend. Within walking distance of some of the city’s top venues, including the Queen, Boundary Rooftop and the Book Club, the Montcalm offers perfectly situated, luxury accommodation where you can catch up on some RnR in between the cocktails and music.
- Boundary Rooftop
This stunning venue incorporates both a rooftop bar, café and a restaurant and is an unsurprisingly popular hang-out. The panoramic views are best at night, when the city skyline is lit up like a Christmas tree. Although al fresco, this venue can be enjoyed at any time of year, due to its weather-proof pagoda. Pull up a wicker chair and choose from craft beers, cocktails and a wide range of wines while soaking up the atmosphere.
- The book club
While the name might bring to mind fussy housewives discussed the latest Danielle Steele epic, this Book Club offers something entirely difference. This is a creative place to meet people and enjoy an arty year relaxed atmosphere. During the day, it’s quiet and cosy but at night, it turns into a different beast, with interesting fusion events including live talks, workshops and screenings. On the weekends, the Get Down has the whole place throbbing with Afrocentric rhythms and funky beats.
- The Magic Roundabout
This out-of-the-way venue is a something of hidden gem of the city with a unique part space only accessible via a secret staircase from the Old Street Underground Station. With serious ‘eats, beats, booze’, this trendy spot boasts the best Pimm’s in town, mouth-watering vegan snacks, and some groovy tunes. Relax on a snug sofa and watch the sun go down or hit the dancefloor and work up a sweat with some trendy new friends.
- Pillow Cinema
After all that partying, it might be time to relax and snuggle up in front of a good movie, and there is definitely no better place to do that than at the famous pillow cinema. The location varies but wherever it is, you’re guaranteed big comfortable bean bags and rooftop. The screen some of the best romantic classics, as well as Oscar-winning favourites so book your beanbag and enjoy a snack and a beer while losing yourself in film.
- Below the smoke
Hidden away beneath the Nordic restaurant, Rok Smokehouse, is one of Shoreditch’s other hidden treasures. This vibey cocktail bar has the lingered smell of burning wood which adds to the atmosphere created by the science-lab style bar. Cocktails are created like complex experiments and the results are uniquely delicious. Try out the Earth and Trees Martini with its beetroot vodka, birch sap and vermouth. One of the few cocktails that makes you feel healthy and gives you that warming glow.
- Black Rock
This underground whiskey bar is secreted away behind Liverpool Street Station in a labyrinth of streets but, once found, is equally hard to leave. The bar is dominated by a huge oak tree trunk which has been cut in half to create a table for whiskey lovers. Two rivers run through the wood, both full of whiskey that is both affordable and impressively drinkable. There are over 250 whiskeys to sample but after a couple your wallet will already be complaining so pace yourself and enjoy the atmosphere.