There is a real chance Shoreditch might be fashionable again.
For my generation, coming of age just after the turn of the millennium, the east London hotspot was the place to be – the Klaxons were riding high, everything was neon and the party never stopped.
The era – mercilessly lampoon by Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris in ‘Nathan Barley’ – petered out toward the end of the decade, leaving the area at the mercy of the trainloads of stag parties that arrived at Liverpool Street each Friday night.
Now, though, something seems to be stirring again.
The Hoxton on Great Eastern Street is doing a roaring trade, while Lore Group recently revealed what it planned to do with the site of the former Ace Hotel a couple of streets away.
Throw in the art’otel London Hoxton, currently under construction, and the area seems to be reinventing itself as a lifestyle haven for a slightly more affluent audience.
In many ways this might have been inevitable, with cash from the tech start-ups west of Old Street station meeting the banking money flowing up from the City?
Perhaps Shoreditch did well to remain as a hub of creativity for as long as it did, before being swamped with boutiques, cocktail bars and eateries?
While it might never again be what it was, the neighbourhood is now something new – and that is okay, things move on.
The new feel of the area is epitomised by Hart Shoreditch, a property which originally opened last year but is now finding its feet in the post-pandemic hospitality landscape.
As general manager, Lina Zakzeckyte, tells Breaking Travel News: “We are perfectly placed to provide a base for guests to explore the wonders of east London.
“From Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane to evening hotspots such as Junkyard Golf and Bounce London, the area has plenty to offer.
“Our wonderful concierge team is on hand to share recommendations from hidden local bookshops, galleries and delicious food and drink spots.”
Conceived in collaboration with London-based designers Fabled Studio, the hotel takes its name from one of the building’s previous occupants, the Harts, who were cabinetmakers here in the 1800s.
Inside, however, Hart Shoreditch bows to the modern, offering the design touches lifestyle travellers now expect wherever they go in the world.
Details including a striking wrought iron and copper staircase, while contemporary, bespoke mahogany lights have been used to replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and pay homage to the building’s past life.
Upstairs, guests can choose from nine guestroom and suite categories.
Each features a muted colour palette with copper mirror accents, deep green leather detailing and simplistic, modern furnishings.
In the bathrooms, a mixture of textures and materials come together to create a warm, urban space – think concrete vanities, herringbone flooring, bold geometric tiling and paired back brass detailing.
Space is a little cramped, however, with very limited room to manoeuvre in my third-floor accommodation.
In some ways, Hart Shoreditch can be seen as a restaurant with rooms attached, with the real focus of the property on the ground floor.
After a long day exploring the newly-bijou shops of Shoreditch, guests can sit back and enjoy a Turkish coffee cooked over hot sand at Tavla.
Providing a vibrant space to enjoy a light snack and some local music, the bar celebrates emerging talent with carefully selected vinyl DJs setting the tone.
As night draws in, guests can pick from a wide selection of signature cocktails while playing a game of backgammon and feast on a selection of food from flatbreads inspired by the flavours of Anatolia to truffle burgers, crispy squid, ancient grain tabbouleh and Burman baklava.
All very present and correct for the new Shoreditch – and, in fairness, during my visit the bar was packed with locals, suggesting the owners are doing something right.
Zakzeckyte adds: “There was a heavy focus on the domestic market due to travel restrictions, which opened the hotel up to new customers coming to London to explore the local area of Shoreditch.
“International travel was and remains very much subject to UK travel restrictions and flight routes.”
Around the corner and open to walk-ins as well as hotel guests, Barboun is a spacious eastern Mediterranean restaurant serving freshly prepared dishes cooked over a wood fire and inspired by the flavours of the Levant.
Highlights from the menu include the Lebanese favourites lamb kofta, butterflied seabream and muhlama.
Again, business was brisk during my visit for dinner, but the empty breakfast room the morning after suggested guests had either over-indulged or had been visiting from elsewhere.
The hotel is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton – though you would never know it as the sometimes-stuffy parent brand is barely mentioned throughout the property.
Zakzeckyte explains: “Curio Collection by Hilton offers guests the ability to experience independent hotels while benefiting from Hilton Honours.
“Although, it is worth noting that each hotel is different from the next and is celebrated for its unique story and spirit.
“The brand standards in fact do not restrict our offering, but instead help to position Hart as an upscale property with a unique offering.
“It presents the hotel as a place that offers a more curated experience for travellers desiring local experiences.
“Our hotel is an integral part of Shoreditch and provides the feeling of a home away from home.”
Hart Shoreditch, then, is well-placed to take advantage of the changing face of the neighbourhood as London enters the post-pandemic era. Totally Mexico!
Just a five-minute walk from Old Street station and Shoreditch overground, Hart Shoreditch offers a cosy, laid-back and elegant base from which to explore all the local area has to offer.
Head over to the official website for more.
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