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Bow Hotels

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Bow  hotels
G. Kelly's Eel, Pie and Mash shop in Roman Road, Bow E3

Legend dictates that to be considered a true cockney, you must be born within the sound of Bow Bells – however, don’t go wandering around this gritty area of east London in search of a pealing church tower, as the bells themselves are located in the Church of St Mary-le-Bow in the City.

Bow itself is between Mile End and Stratford in the heart of the East End – a district largely best left alone until a few years ago it became colonised by creatives and young professionals in search of cheap property and proximity to the excitement of Shoreditch, transformed from virtual slum to nightlife hotspot a decade ago.

So Bow’s a curious mix of up-and-coming and very urban: you can still buy pie and mash from Alf Garnett types and the likes of Bow Wharf and Bow Quarter offer fancy apartments and the requisite gentrification of gastropubs and delis, but the area’s main cultural export of the last few years are rappers like Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and the Roll Deep Crew, whose intensely London take on US gangsta rap known as ‘Grime’ chronicles gang life in the sink estates around the rougher edges of these parts.

The Hammersmith & City and District Underground lines serve Mile End and Bow Road, and it’s a short hop to Liverpool Street, Hoxton and Shoreditch, where the bars are some of the city’s best – artistic, decadent and filled with London fashionistas and world-class DJs until very late.

Brick Lane is an east London must-visit: as well as the fashion markets and superb clubs, this Bangladeshi community is one long strip of outstanding curry houses scrapping for your business, two of the best of which are Prithi and sister restaurant Preem (124 Brick Lane, 020 7377 5252) though the food’s excellent pretty much everywhere.

The #8 bus travels as far as at Bow Church. The nearest Underground stations are Mile End and Bow Road and the closest Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station is Bow Church.

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Bow: Tube (underground)

Bow Church Station2DLR (Stratford Branch)0.12 miles
Bow Road Station2District - Hammersmith & City0.18 miles
Devons Road Station2DLR (Stratford Branch)0.70 miles
Bromley-by-Bow Station2District - Hammersmith & City0.76 miles
Mile End Station2District - Hammersmith & City - Central0.81 miles

Bow: Rail (overground)

Hackney Wick Station1.75 miles
Stratford London Station2.03 miles
Limehouse Station2.05 miles
Canning Town Station2.52 miles
Homerton Station2.57 miles
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