Escape to The City – Brick Lane

Escape to The City – Brick Lane

This month, we’re heading to an area of London that has become a melting pot of cultures. Brick Lane flawlessly couples diverse food joints with equally as diverse street art, all underpinned with a rich, cultural history.

Let’s start with some history. When the Great Fire of London in 1666 forced many people to relocate outside of the city walls, the East End found itself redefined as an area that attracted trades and the working class. Later in the 1600s, the area found itself attracting immigrants from over the world, with French, Irish, Bangladeshi, and Jewish refugees now calling this East suburb home. This brought an unparalleled diversity to the area, not only in terms of ethnicity, race and religion, but with it a host of cultures and cuisines.

So, what is there to do in and around Brick Lane? At the top of the list is visiting its infamous eateries. Brick Lane is well-known for Indian curry houses. As the epicentre of Bangladeshi and Bengali communities, this street is often referred to as having the best Indian restaurants in the country. Spilling their aroma onto the street, it is almost impossible not to grab a bite to eat as you pass by. Besides Indian dishes, Brick Lane is famous for its Jewish bagel shops. I recommend trying the salted beef bagel from Beigel Bake; open since the 70’s, this iconic Jewish bakery is a must-visit.

The diversity of the area is not only noticeable in its food options, but if you head South of Brick Lane, you will find the lively Spitalfields market. Located in a Grade II listed market hall, the market boasts an array of clothes, jewellery, crafts and art, with stalls ranging from vintage to contemporary. Hours can be spent wandering around this electric area of London.

Other interesting things to do in the area include spotting street art, visiting the Old Truman Brewery and taking a Jack the Ripper tour.