Mar 6, 2017

London Diaries: Day Four

London is an endless adventure. Today we decided it was time to get out of South Kensington and into a different part of the city so we rode the tube to Shoreditch, a neighborhood about 40-minutes outside of the city. The vibe is very "up and coming" and perhaps a bit gritty. depending on who you ask. The first time I came to Shoreditch a few years ago I hated it and thought it was dirty, but even I've come around. Little boutiques and coffee shops have started popping up, cafes have opened their doors, and the Ace Hotel has arrived.

To get outside the city into Shoreditch we opted for the tube because it's faster and cheaper than a Black cab. We learned our lesson the hard way on previous trips hopping into cabs and shelling out major cash for long journies, so we mapped it out and decided to take the underground from Gloucester to Liverpool street. It was a pretty quick ride and we were blissfully unaffected by the tube strike on the central line. We were greeted in Shoreditch with wind and rain so we decided to head straight to the hotel for check-in.

The Ace Hotel is a departure from the usual hotels we normally stay at in London. It has a unique charm all its own complete with hipsters in the lobby drinking coffee and co-working the day away, plus an in-room record player, 24-hour room service, and bathroom amenities like shampoo and conditioner from Rudy's Barber Shop. Our room was clean, spacious, and safely located on the fifth floor, out of sound reach from the DJ in the lobby.

We had dinner at Hoi Polloi, the hotel restaurant founded by Ace in partnership with chefs Pablo Flack and David Waddington. The concept is "English modernist" with a focus on seasonal produce and forward-thinking. The breads on the menu were vegan, the wine organic, you get the vibe. We had some great cocktails and conversations while enjoying the delicious food.

After dinner, we headed over to Boxpark, a pop-up mall featuring a mix of global boutiques and eateries. The Boxpark is very conceptual and definitely a must-visit destination when you're in London. You'll find collabs like Idris Elba for Superdry, vintage fashion at Nordic Poetry, and souvenirs at The Gift Box. If you work up an appetite head upstairs for a full food court of restaurants or for a sweet treat head down to street level for an epic milkshake at Soft Serve Society. Boxpark could literally be your agenda for a full night out. The energy is contagious and the stores are fun to shop and explore.

The next morning we headed across the street to Forage &Co. for brunch. Fried eggs with avocado and chimichurri for the win. On our trip we found that breakfast was the perfect time to plan our day and strategize our next adventure. Forage & Co. also doubles as a co-working space so if the lobby of the Ace kills your vibe you can always head across the street to check emails and get some work done. After our leisurely brunch, we walked through the shops in the neighborhood including several cool menswear boutiques and then checked out of the hotel before heading back to South Kensington via the tube. Overall, our Shoreditch sleepover was a success. Will we be back? Definitely.

// The It List // 

- Shop - 
The Boxpark

- Eat - 
Hoi Polloi - Inside the Ace Hotel London/Shoreditch
The BoxPark 
Soft Serve Society
Forage & Co.

- Stay - 
The Ace Hotel (Shoreditch) 


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