By rights Shoreditch should be over, its flame burnt out. In its late-Nineties-early-Noughties heyday it essentially invented a new sort of London, reimagining an infamous part of the city as a kind of live/work creative playground, a place of grit and glitter with its own studiedly urban glamour. For the generation who flocked to it back then, Shoreditch – and Hoxton, its west end – was a place of warehouse parties, private views, pubs that spilled chaotically on to the street.
It’s a different place these days – smarter, slicker, much more monied – but it’s still got that indefinable magic; it’s still somehow, cool. It’s no longer about drinking warm white wine out of plastic cups at a gallery – now Shoreditch drinking is all about supremely brilliant cocktails at some of London’s best bars – some of the world’s best bars, in fact. The pubs are excellent – authentic East End boozers with world-class drinks menus. And some of London’s best restaurants, too – more inventive and creative than many of their central London counterparts, often in interesting, re-purposed venues.