Seeped in cultural history, Shoreditch boasts William Shakespeare as a former resident, whose iconic plays were performed at the nearby Curtain Theatre. During the 17th and 18th century the area established a thriving textile and furniture industry, only to decline by the end of the 19th century, contributing to a rise in crime, poverty and prostitution. This reputation was further tainted by the Blitz of World War II, which destroyed extensive areas of housing and architecture.
In recent decades however, Shoreditch has undergone considerable rejuvenation and development, with the 1990s witnessing an influx of artists and musicians flocking to its then cheap lofts and warehouses, having been inspired by the move of prominent artist, Damien Hirst and Hoxton Square’s famous White Cube Gallery. New media and dotcom companies have also since realised the creative potential of moving to this ever-changing neighbourhood.
A haven for artists, fashionistas, students and more recently lawyers and financiers, the area’s vast array of quirky boutiques, world renowned galleries, eateries and hip nightlife provides a vibrant alternative to the humdrum of the city’s nearby financial district.
The endless bars, cafes and restaurants, which, to name but a few include the popular Breakfast Club, Shoreditch House, Elbow Rooms, The Rivington Bar and Grill and Great Eastern Dining Rooms, offer acclaimed gastronomy as well as excellent people-watching opportunities. Shopping enthusiasts will neither be disappointed; the area is inundated with diverse boutiques and markets, including the famed Spitalfields venue and Columbia Road’s ever-popular flower market.
Boasting a diverse portfolio of properties, ranging from period Georgian terraces and converted warehouses to contemporary new build flats, Shoreditch has a style to cater for all tastes, making it easy to see why such an eclectic mix of visitors and residents flock to its streets daily.
Forming part of the London Borough of Hackney, Shoreditch’s nearest underground station is located on Old Street and the area is also popular and accessible for cyclists.