Shoreditch has established a reputation as one of London’s most fashionable neighbourhoods in recent years, as various locations within the area have been overhauled and made uber modern.
Previously the area had been quite run down, but it has undergone quite the transformation in recent years, with the end result being that trendy restaurants, bars, galleries and shops have all popped up.
The area is also seen as a creative hub, as many of the old industrial buildings have been transformed and are now used by design groups, fashion houses and web technology companies. There are also a number of nearby entertainment venues, which is perfect for people looking to enjoy themselves on a night out.
As Leonard Street – and Shoreditch as a whole – has become more gentrified, it has become a place for people from all different backgrounds to enjoy, so expect to see artists, writers and poets all using the same space as people working in professional services.
All of this means that visitors now see a trip to Shoreditch as an essential part of their break, with Leonard Street proving to be one of the most popular stops along the way. Bearing all of this in mind, what does Leonard Street and the surrounding area have to offer?
81 Leonard Street
This stylishly-renovated warehouse plays host to range of cultural events, including product launches, fashion shows and pop-up art shows. It really is a cultural smorgasbord and people going along to one of the events are sure to have a great time.
Another arts space worth checking out, this gallery always has a packed schedule of events, parties, talks and creative exhibitions. It offers up-and-coming artists a platform to showcase their work, while at the same time giving visitors to the location the opportunity to come into contact with work that would usually pass them by.
Beach in the East
Located less than two minutes away from Leonard Street, this clothing store is the brainchild of Yasmin Sewell and features everything you need to perfect the laid-back summer style. Items by House of Holland, Acne and Prism can all be bought at the store, which is in a disused swimming pool. There are also a number of special edition products for people wanting to stand out from the crowd.
Set up to promote, exhibit and celebrate the UK’s graphic design community, this gallery has been showcasing the area’s best-in-class artwork for the past ten years and continues to be a vital hub for creative individuals living in east London. Visitors can check out some of the best graphic designs and buy prints, books and original artwork in the shop.
Book art book shop
This not-for-profit shop sells books and small-press publications, while also hosts a range of talks and events. Located just three minutes away from Leonard Street, it is the first specialist walk-in bookshop in the heart of London’s East End art world. While it stocks some of Britain’s best-known artists’ presses and publishers, it also has books from abroad and is a perfect location for both the aesthetically and bibliographically curious.
Famous for its quirky vintage furniture, Squint is one of East London’s finest boutiques. Collections can be made to order, which means you can get chairs that suit the colour scheme already in your house. Its range of “quality, bespoke [and] hand-crafted” furniture and accessories is underpinned by the shop’s owner Lisa Whatmough and her very British design sensibility. Best of all, the vast majority of the shop’s partners are independent family-owned businesses, so you know you are helping the local area when placing an order.
This vibrant and stylish cafe focuses on delivering an interesting and simple menu, which it couples with a comprehensive coffee selection. According to the Hardens Guide, it offers the “best Aussie-style breakfasts” in London and visitors can look forward to a relaxed vibe that is perfect for a break during shopping or exploring.
If light bites are your thing, Pinchito Tapas is ideal. This diner offers a range of tapas dishes showcasing the best that Spain has to offer, while it also boasts an effortlessly eclectic decor. There is also an extensive cocktail menu, so it is the perfect spot to visit after a hard day walking around the local area.
Getting to Leonard Street-
Old Street and Moorgate station are the closest tube stations, as they are a two-minute and a nine-minute walk away respectively. Shoreditch High Street Overground Station is only six minutes away, while Hoxton Overground Station can be reached in 13 minutes.