ABOUT TOWN

What’s new in the East Lon­don neigh­bor­hood of Shored­itch.

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS - BY WILL HIDE

If ever a city neigh­bor­hood de­served the de­scrip­tion “shabby chic,” it’s Shored­itch in East Lon­don. A once low-rent, pre­dom­i­nantly work­ing-class area that emerged as a hip­ster hub more than a decade ago, Shored­itch still doesn’t look like much when you emerge from the Old Street tube sta­tion. But make your way past the glow-in-the-dark ke­bab shop, the Bangladeshi dry cleaner, and the three-story graf­fito of a Ja­panese geisha, and it soon be­comes clear what all the fuss is about.

For proof of Shored­itch’s on­go­ing trans­for­ma­tion, look no fur­ther than the lat­est batch of cool ho­tels. On Wil­low Street, there’s the 150room Nobu Ho­tel Shored­itch ( nobuho­telshore ditch.com; dou­bles from US$342), whose se­duc­tive Ja­pan-meets-in­dus­trial-Lon­don aes­thet­ics and zen-like calm of­fer a refuge from the fre­netic pulse of life out­side; it’s also home to the Bri­tish cap­i­tal’s third Nobu res­tau­rant. A short stroll away are two other new­com­ers: the af­ford­ably stylish Ci­ti­zenM ( cit­i­zen.com; dou­bles

from US$155) on Holy­well Lane and The Cur­tain ( the­cur­tain.com; dou­bles from US$340) on Cur­tain Road. The lat­ter has its own live mu­sic venue, rooftop pool and café, and an out­let of New York chef Mar­cus Sa­muels­son’s ac­claimed Red Rooster. The res­tau­rant’s Sun­day morn­ing soul brunch, com­plete with gospel singers, is al­ready a hit with lo­cals. A 10-minute walk down Com­mer­cial Street brings you to Old

Spi­tal­fields Mar­ket ( old­spi­tal­field­s­mar­ket.com), right op­po­site the his­toric Ten Bells pub where at least two of Jack the Rip­per’s vic­tims had their last drink. Not only does the mar­ket’s eclec­tic range of stalls sell well-crafted goods that you’ll ac­tu­ally want to buy, but Oc­to­ber saw the open­ing of 10 new food out­lets—col­lec­tively known as The Kitchens—un­der its roof. There’s ev­ery­thing from Mex­i­can, North African, and Nordic to Ja­panese and fresh East Anglian oysters brought in from the coast.

For break­fast, try Dishoom ( dishoom.com) on Bound­ary Street; the ba­con naan roll and spiced tea are just the thing to warm up a gray winter morn­ing. A few blocks west is Popolo ( popoloshored­itch

.com), which has gar­nered de­servedly rave re­views for its Ital­ianS­pan­ish–Mid­dle Eastern fu­sion. That’s a combo that sounds likes it shouldn’t work, but it does—try the grilled oc­to­pus with za’atar and egg­plant puree.

Shop­ping-wise, look for Browns East ( browns­fash­ion.com), the new out­let of famed West End fash­ion bou­tique Browns. Oc­cu­py­ing a for­mer print fac­tory on Club Row—a street once known for its livean­i­mal mar­ket—it is as em­blem­atic of the area’s lat­est evo­lu­tion as any spot. Apart from dozens of cov­etable la­bels, the store fea­tures a stair­case that dou­bles as an art gallery and an “Im­mer­sive Ex­pe­ri­ence Room” for med­i­ta­tion ses­sions. And back near Popolo is Sans Pere ( sanspere.com), which bills it­self as a “life­style house”: it’s part real es­tate agency, part ar­chi­tect’s stu­dio, and part home­ware store, with a café, patis­serie, and tea and cof­fee bar to boot. All in all, very Shored­itch, mate.

Clock­wise from top: Lo­cated at the north end of Great Eastern Street, Sans Pere is a oneof-a-kind space in­cor­po­rat­ing a café, patis­serie, cof­fee and tea bar, home­ware shop, ar­chi­tec­tural stu­dio, and real es­tate agency; an open-face sand­wich at the...

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