Destination: England: London
Anyone curious to explore chocolate’s local legacy – or at least engage in some sophisticated sampling – should consider a private walking tour with a connoisseur. Contact Indagare for more details and to book a tour.
The equivalent of New York’s Meatpacking District, Shoreditch in the East End near London’s financial district, is full of art galleries, one-off shops (chains haven’t invaded yet) and hip restaurants.
Get your bearings and a machiato at Terence Conran’s Albion Café, part of his Boundary project on Boundary Street. Take a peak at Conran’s reasonably priced suites designed by Terence himself, as well as David Tang and other design luminaries. Meanwhile across the street, Shoreditch House is owned by the ubiquitous Soho House Group. (I personally think that Shoreditch is better for just a day visit than for an overnight).
Streets worth exploring are Redchurch, Boundary, Rivington and Curtain Road. Art galleries include Calvert 22 and several in the Tea Building on Shoreditch High Street. Funky shops worth tracking down include Labour & Wait, the Milk Concept Boutique and Start. Iain Webb, an ex-fashion editor of Elle and The Times, just opened a shop called Orangesnowstore (40 Featherstone St.), the name is from a Stevie Wonder lyric, that is part art gallery and part boutique, full of one-offs, which can bring some cool glam to a pair of faded jeans. Spoiled for choice at lunchtime, the Rivington Grill, owned by Caprice Holding, was packed on my most recent stroll through this neighborhood. And if you’re craving a classic burger, amble over to the Hoxton Grill which has just been spruced up by the owners of Soho House. On the ground floor of the Tea Building is Pizza East, a sophisticated take on the crusty Italian export.
Foodies might want to sample Seating for Eating at Leila’s (17 Calvert Ave), a food store and café. Over a century old, but carefully restored, this Shoreditch shop is a haven for foodies thanks to an assortment of everything from Portuguese bitter orange marmalade to Iranian sweets. Design guru Ilse Crawford, who launched Elle Decor and cool Soho House New York, has designed her first furniture range, which will appear at Leila’s through November 1.
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