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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To East London With Hannah Martin

Jeweller Hannah Martin shares her insider guide to East London, taking readers on an edgy tour of the coolest neighbourhood in the capital.


Essential items to pack?

An umbrella (it’s England after all).

The best time to visit London is…

September is my favourite month of the year in the UK; the end of summer, not quite autumn. The light is beautiful. It’s also the London Design Festival and London Fashion Week so this area tends to be overflowing with creativity at that time.

Our first pitstop should be…

The Hannah Martin showroom, of course.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

The Rookery. It’s tucked away in the back streets of Farringdon and it feels like you’re stepping back in time when you enter. It’s discreet, has its own style, and has a gorgeous hotel cat too.

 

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For an early morning workout head to…

Fierce Grace near Old Street; I’m a hot yoga addict.

Where should we go for breakfast?

Ozone Coffee. It has the best coffee in town, and the food is perfect.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

The Eagle on Farringdon Road. It does the best Sunday roast and is very hard to leave!

And for dinner with friends?

The Marksman on Hackney Road – super cool vibes and excellent food.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

St. John Restaurant.

 

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A must-try spot for date night?

Moro, in Exmouth Market. Sit at the bar, drink sherry, and eat amazing Spanish food. It doesn’t get better.

Where should we head post-dinner?

The Gibson on Old Street for cocktails. It’s tiny so its best to reserve a spot if you can.

The drink to order at the bar…

A Dirty Martini, every time!

The best place to treat yourself is… 

Again, the Hannah Martin showroom, of course! We will treat you to a glass of champagne while you pick out your gold.

 

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The best place for people watching…

Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday.

The culture spot to rave about…

The Barbican! I’m a little biased as I live there, but everything about this place screams culture: from the architecture, to the art, to the performances. It’s a must-visit.

For great shopping head to…

Once you’ve been to us, head to Brick Lane and the surrounding area. Redchurch Street has a great mix of shops, and there are still some excellent vintage shops nearby.

The one place only locals know about… 

It’s a little-known fact that you can order a pint with your breakfast (yes I’ve done it) at the Fox and Anchor pub on Charterhouse Street. It has a special licence for market hours, and is where the butchers go at the end of their night shifts in Smithfield Meat Market. I love it.

For the best views head to…

Allegra in The Stratford Hotel. The views are great and the food is incredible.

 

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Your favourite neighbourhood(s)…

It has to be Clerkenwell. It’s quieter than neighbouring Shoreditch but it’s home to me, and I love the winding streets, the weekend peace, and the hidden gems. It has such a super-rich history and oozes a sort of grown-up cool.

For a change of pace try…

A trip to the Victoria Miro gallery. The exhibitions are continually changing and I always have an immediate sense of calm on entering.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

Anything by Charles Dickens, to get you in the mood.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

I’d suggest wandering through Broadway Market and London Fields. A hop around some of the smaller art galleries in the area, and then a walk along the canal from there.

What’s your East London secret?

Be curious at all times.

In a word, East London is…

Home.

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