London – home of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. But what do you do once you’ve seen all the iconic sights? How about discovering the best food and craft beer that the East of the city has to offer... London’s East End used to be fairly industrial - home to factories and warehouses - but as businesses moved away from the area, the artists and hipsters moved in. The result is a regeneration of the area: warehouses have been converted into studios and apartments, railway arches have become boutique coffee shops, and walls have become the canvases of street artists. Come see the real East London, and get a great bite and brew along the way!
Gourmet burgers, great beers: Shoreditch
Whether you’re looking for a hotel to stay in, or a bar to chill out at, ACE Hotel in Shoreditch offers a cool and laid-back setting to branch out from. There are great bars along Curtain Road, including Strongroom which is tucked away in an awesome courtyard. Shoreditch is filled with great dining experiences, like Mark Hix’s Tramshed where you can share gourmet chicken and steak with amazing cocktails, or MEATmission with its famous burgers (they also have veggie options). Both stock some quality craft beers to help with digestion... How to get there: Shoreditch is located near a number of Tube lines, the main one being Liverpool Street Station, and is easily accessible from the touristy spots of the city.
Cocktails, craft beer and quirky railway arches: Bethnal Green
For the beer connoisseurs out there, Mother Kelly’s, a railway-arch bar 5 minutes from Bethnal Green station, can introduce you to the craft beer scene of London. Described as a “New York inspired tap room”, Mother Kelly’s has 23 keg lines with a selection to make your mouth water. Feeling a little peckish? Right next to Mother Kelly’s is the Resident of Paradise Row, which boasts its own cold smoker for home-smoked additions to the menu. Wanting a more cocktail-y experience? Satan’s Whiskers is 5 minutes down the road, and offers a seasonal cocktails list as well as small, exotic dishes to try between sips. How to get there: A quick trip on the Underground’s Central Line to Bethnal Green station is all it takes to see this neighbourhood.
Slick spots just steps from the station: Hackney Central
Literally right next to the station is Oslo, a bar, kitchen and venue which has been set up in the redeveloped old station with a Nordic aesthetic. The burgers alone are worth a look, let alone the wine selection. Beer lovers will want to have a look at the Cock Tavern just a block away, with its exhaustive palatable beer selection. How to get there: Catching the Overground to Hackney Central station puts you in the very heart of this vibrant area.
Beers and pizza off the beaten path: Hackney Wick
Interested in going a little off the beaten path? Hackney Wick is a newly redeveloped warehouse district which plays home to some exciting locales. Next to the station is CRATE Brewery, one of London’s well-known craft breweries. The bar, showcasing the brewery's products as well as a large selection of craft beers from around the world, is in an old paper-making factory which has been converted into an open-plan pizzeria. The industrial-chic nature of the architecture sees bedsprings become light fixtures, ratchet straps become benches, and railway sleepers become a handmade bar. Follow the canalside and you’ll find Stour Space – a gallery with resident studios and a shop where you can buy the wares of the artists – great for finding gifts for those back home. Also in the building is Counter Café with a rich food selection and killer home-roasted coffee, all directly across from the Olympic Stadium. How to get there: Take the Overground to Hackney Wick.