How best to spend your time in London’s East End
Start off at the Leadenhall Market, located on Gracechurch Street, which has been on the London scene since the 14th century. The covered market specializes in fresh food, cheese shops, butchers, and florists. It’s particularly pleasing around the holiday season, as visitors can sip mulled wine and listen to some live jazz music.
When you start to get hungry from your wanderings, make a stop at Brick Lane. With an international vibe and wealth of restaurants, you’re sure to find something affordable and authentic to tickle your taste buds. Afterwards, walk around the car-free streets to browse fun shops selling unique wares.
The area surrounding Brick Lane has even more to offer. This edgier area offers galleries, restaurants, markets, and festivals.
Visit Spitafields to see 18th-centurey French-style houses that were built by Protestant Huguenots who fled to England to escape persecution. The area is also home to London’s oldest market, Old Spitafields Market, which features stalls and shops all year long on Commercial Street. Sunday is the best day for a visit, when vintage clothes, crafts, and food stalls offer great bargains.
Finally, grab a snack at the Beigel Shop or the Beigel Bake, which both claim to be the first bagel shop in London. Better yet, why not taste one from each, and decide for yourself whose claim rings true.