As a word, hipster had something of a negative connotation about it; however, hipsters are actually the holders of excellent taste and values, albeit interspersed with overinflated opinions and standards about things.
London is one of the homes of hipsters, particularly when regarding the likes of Shoreditch or Dalston, but we’re not telling you this so that you can avoid them. In fact, we’re recommending that you do quite the opposite and actively seek these places out to enjoy them to their fullest.
Sometimes the downfall of hipsters is that they can have a tendency to be snobby about the things they like but, if you strip this away, most of the things they like are great. Don’t let the word put you off; instead, use it as an opportunity to discover some great vintage shops, meals like brunch and drinks like pale ale and flat whites.
Soon enough you’ll see that the word hipster doesn’t have that much of an effect on things, as a good independent business or artisan cuisine doesn’t depend on what’s hip – it relies on being of a high enough quality to stand the test of time.
We’ve pulled together some of the best vintage places, markets and bars in London – and if hipsters happen to be there, then that’s purely by the by.
Canteen in Spitalfields
As we mentioned, brunch is something that hipsters love; it’s not quite breakfast, it’s not quite lunch, but it sure is delicious. Everyone has begun to adopt brunch and you’ll notice everyone from stag parties to young parents coming to enjoy some poached eggs on bloomer toast.
One of the best places to get it in London if you are ‘hip’ is Canteen in Spitalfields, which is near the famous market.
A trendy area, it prides itself on classics like eggs Benedict, with healthy options like strawberry compote with yoghurt and granola. Naturally, all the coffee is made with locally-roasted beans and it’s pretty tasty too.
The nearest Tube station is Liverpool Street and you’ll find Canteen itself on Crispin Place on Brushfield Street.
While you’re in the area, it’s certainly worth having a look around the local market, which is open seven days a week.
It’s one of the busiest markets in the city and is the home of some of the top vintage stalls and shops in London. Those who consider themselves fashionable types will particularly like this market, as there’s so much vintage fashion on offer.
Spitalfields Market is also an affordable way to go on a shopping spree, so you’re sure to find yourself a bargain – bring a big bag!
The Vintage Emporium
Stroll around to Shoreditch where you’ll find the Vintage Emporium, which is a treasure trove of epic proportions.
It’s a large shop and cafe, the latter of which is on the ground floor and is entirely Victorian-themed. Even the food they serve uses the era as its basis, so you can expect lots of butter and cream in the recipes.
Downstairs is where the boutique lies, housing hundreds of vintage clothes and accessories from the Victorian age and beyond. Even if you’re just browsing, you might find it hard to resist buying!
Around the Shoreditch area is a particularly good home of beer called the Redchurch Brewery. All of the pale ales, beers and stouts that they sell in their Tap Room are made on-site, so you could be having a drink with the very person who brewed your beer!
They make a range of special brews and are always concocting new flavours, but they have a core product range, which includes Shoreditch Blonde and Bethnal Pale Ale – both of which are delicious.
All of this shopping and eating is sure to make you want to head out to show off your “brand new” vintage outfit. The only place for you is surely the Zedel Brasserie, which has been called “the only real brasserie in London”, which you’ll agree is quite a claim!
Things are centered around the 1920s in Zedel and we’re sure you’ll love the art deco features everywhere that make the room feel wonderfully grand.
When it comes to food, you can expect classic French style, including lots of meat and fish, and naturally there are decadent cakes and pastries for dessert. Although you’re surrounded by grandeur, one of the best things about Zedel is its prices, which are refreshingly reasonable for London.
Not only this, but Zedel is also a cabaret venue, which brings together art, performance spectacle to give you a rip-roaring good show over your dinner. You can also hire the brasserie for private parties and special occasions.
You’ll find it in Soho on Sherwood Street just a stone’s throw away from some of the best gin bars in London – so you can start the night as you mean to go on!
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