As much as I love Shoreditch, it has a colossal hang-up about Not Being New York. You can see it everywhere, from the clubs given names like ‘East Village’ to the relentless exposed brickwork to the second-hand shops that call themselves thrift stores. Occasionally some ambitious estate-agent type will try to force a New York-style nickname on the area, like ‘Sosho’ for South Shoreditch. These never catch on and are frankly just embarrassing for everybody.
The Hoxton Grill in the Hoxton Hotel is more upfront about its love of Americana, serving steaks, shrimp cocktails and mac’n’cheese-type fare. My husband thinks it’s a bit naff, but I really like it, not least for its pretty outdoor space, which doesn’t draw the crowds you’d expect for the simple reason that not many people know about it. The restaurant is owned by the Soho House people, which means you get nice Cowshed products in the loos.
The Hotel is supposed to be excellent value, too. It regularly offers promotional £1 rooms, which is such a good deal I’ve tried to book them several times myself, despite living two minutes down the road. It’s impossible, in any case. During the last sale, 100 rooms were booked within ten minutes. I suggest you give it a go though. Let’s face it, it could be the Devil’s own shitheap and you’d still be chuffed if you’d paid a pound.