|HOTEL / APARTMENT||POSTCODE||MILES||STAR||24 May||25 May||26 May||27 May||28 May||29 May||30 May||31 May|
A funny thing happened to east London about a decade ago. The streets of Whitechapel, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green and Mile End, once patrolled by cockney gangsters like the Krays and for years as unfashionable a district as the city could offer, became gradually populated by young artists and musicians.
Driven out of traditional boho hotbeds like north London by increasing r ents and bland yuppification, they bought up derelict warehouse spaces, took over working men’s clubs, sold their work on local market stalls and generally gave the bleak streets east of the city a huge creative shot in the arm.
Within months, converted loft living-working spaces became the de facto way to live in London for young creatives, and Shoreditch became a by-word for the new east London cool.
This artistic tidal wave of regeneration creeps further east every year, and Bethnal Green and Hackney are the current vogue spots, though you wouldn’t know it from their gritty exteriors. But look closely and you’ll see a vibrant underbelly of young film-makers, theatre directors, artists, musicians and actors, doing their bit to give the city the creative energy it’s rightly world-famous for.
The Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club (42-44 Pollard Road, 020 7739 2727) has become a post-ironic performance space for east London’s most eccentric, and The Star of Bethnal Green (359 Bethnal Green Road, 020 7631 1094) and the fabulously stylish Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes (34-36 Kingsland Road, 020 7729 5830) are symptomatic of the area’s new vibe.
There’s organic cafes, ironic greasy spoons and brilliant little galleries peeking out from many shopfronts too.
To pay your respects to a very different era of east London’s life, check out 178 Vallance Road, the site (but not the original house) from which Reggie and Ronnie Kray ran their infamous criminal empire.
The nearest London Underground stations to Bethnal Green are Bethnal Green, Whitechapel and Stepney Green.
|Bethnal Green Station||2||Central||0.31 miles|
|Stepney Green Station||2||District - Hammersmith & City||0.92 miles|
|Whitechapel Station||2||District - East London - Hammersmith & City||1.23 miles|
|Mile End Station||2||District - Hammersmith & City - Central||1.43 miles|
|Bow Road Station||2||District - Hammersmith & City||1.97 miles|
|Cambridge Heath Station||0.77 miles|
|Bethnal Green Station||0.77 miles|
|London Fields Station||1.30 miles|
|Hackney Central Station||1.98 miles|
|Limehouse Station||2.07 miles|