Now that we’re leaving the area, naturally I’m dwelling on all the things I like about it: the narrow, Dickensian streets, the Barbican, the coffee stand in Fortune St park run by the nice Aussie bloke and the girl I thought was a Kiwi but who turned out to be a Geordie (such is my ear for accents).
And, as always with East London, there are new places popping up all the time. On Saturday I checked out Story Deli in Redchurch Street, which has relocated from its old premises off Brick Lane. Run by a former Vogue stylist and her husband, it serves what are hands-down London’s best pizzas (way better than Pizza East, or that place in Brixton everyone bangs on about). At £15 apiece, they’re also its most expensive, mind you. I was quite huffy about the price until I tried one:
The shit iPhone picture isn’t really doing it justice. They’re also massive – we found that one between us was plenty.
Despite the ELLE Deco décor, it’s the most child-friendly eaterie I’ve been to in a long time (ever?) thanks to one ingenious touch… A box of Brio. The owners have left one in a corner, meaning that my two-year-old – the kid who would have been shouting/running around/generally pissing you off – was silently engrossed in trains for the duration of our meal. Heaven. If only all café owners would do the same.
I’m going to miss the people here, too. When we were set to move to Battersea, I was slating South West Londoners (for being thickie minor-public-schoolkids with an inflated sense of importance, penchant for spotty Emma Bridgewater crockery, etc), when my friend gently pointed out that there were some people who thought that Shoreditch, too, was chock-full of idiots. Oops, point taken. If you haven’t seen this already, it sums them up far better than I ever could:
APC has opened in Shoreditch’s fashionable Redchurch Street, which is great news if you love its pared-down schoolgirl aesthetic and don’t mind paying 80 quid for a stripey T-shirt. It’s a bit man repeller, but I like APC because it makes me feel chic and Gallic, and does a nice line in playsuits for the over-30s.
Check that forgiving longer length!
But the Redchurch Street shop is disappointing, stocking a small, slightly half-arsed collection. Unless this is a soft opening and they’re planning on shipping in a ton more stock, it’s not worth travelling out of your way for – the Mayfair branch is way better.
I don’t know what it is about well-known brands that move into Shoreditch, but they don’t seem to make much effort. Take the Nike store that opened to zero fanfare in Bateman’s Row, a tiny side street that attracts precisely no passing trade. Surprise, surprise, nobody came, and now it’s closed down. They clearly wanted to attract a crowd that would rather eat tramp sick than visit the Oxford Circus branch but still, you can be too underground.
I’m guessing these brands want to dip their toes in and have a presence in that trendy Shoreditch, without actually parting with any cash. Hence the new Boxpark concept, due to open
as soon as they can flog the retail space this summer in a wasteland next to Shoreditch High Street overground. It’s billed as ‘the world’s first pop-up shopping mall’ and the Standard has already written an unnecessarily sneery piece slating the idea. I disagree – it’s replacing a depressing piece of wasteland, not Xanadu. My objection is only that I can foresee it being a bit crap, housing all those brands that think they’re trendy but aren’t – the G-Stars, Diesels and Superdrys of this world. The Carnaby Street brigade, in other words.
Redchurch Street is so fucking trendy these days. Here it is starring alongside Aaron Johnson in REM’s new video, directed by Johnson’s fiancée Sam Taylor-Wood.
I can’t work out if they’ve filmed him backwards or he’s just dancing like that.
UPDATE: And now I hear APC is opening a new store there this week.
Filed under Fashion, Music