From trendy restaurants to great street art, East London is an emerging area that is becoming one of the best places to explore in the city. I recommend venturing out from the traditional tourist areas to experience it first hand.
Spitalfields Market/Brick Lane: This is the place to be on a Sunday in London. There are clothing designers, vintage clothing and accessories shops and dealers, pop-up food courts and stalls with many ethnic vendors. The streets are crowded. The Old Spitalfields market is London’s oldest dating back to 1666. On Brick Lane you will find street performers and vendors selling food and second-hand items.
Across from the Spitalfields Market, at 94-96 Commercial St., is St. John Bread and Wine which you might try for breakfast or lunch. This is an offshoot of Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gullivar’s St. Johns Bar and Grill.
The English Restaurant: Located at 50-52 Brushfield Street. This is the perfect place for brunch on Sunday during your time at the Spitalfields/Brick Lane markets.
Dennis Sever’s House: Located at 18 Folgate Street a short walk from Spitalfields Market is a very different museum that was recommended to me by two different people. Created by Dennis Severs, who died in 1999, this is a very unique place that totally stimulates your senses. You walk in silence through ten rooms of a house that is totally decorated as a home would have been in the early 18th century. It is like you enter a still life painting with the family still living there. You will see and smell fresh fruit, a half-eaten breakfast or a piece of fruit on the table, a cup of tea and sweets. You do this by candlelight or by the glowing embers of coal in the fireplace. You hear sounds, the clocks chiming, whispers, the creaking of old wooden floors. You are lost in another time!!!
You might also try Lyle’s restaurant in the Tea Building at 56 Shoreditch High Street. It is highly recommended by Wallpaper* Magazine.