How To Be A “Hipster” In London
Anywhere cool enough in a major city eventually attracts a collection of young, hip, rich kids to fill its bars, streets and shops. While actually being a hipster can seem like a great deal of effort from the outside, there’s no harm in slipping into a terrible cardigan (ironically of course) and sampling some of London’s hipster culture.
This is the easy part – Hoxton, Shoreditch and Brick Lane are the natural habitat of the hipster in London, with the collection of trendy bars, clubs and vintage shops you’ll find somewhere to kick back and people-watch. Try some of the coffee shops on Old Street or The Breakfast Club off Hoxton Square (which, does some of the best breakfasts in the city oddly enough).
Clothes and Fixies
Aida is a kind of Mecca for chic clothing – and with an in-house coffee shop you can take your time over more than the price tag. Sandwiched between Old Nichols Street and Bethnal green road is a strip of cool clothing retailers where you can hit up the relatively mainstream APC or enjoy the high-end oddities featured in Hostem.
There’s something else you might notice about the area, and that’s the number of extremely fine looking bikes. This is no accident – nearby you’ll find one the UK’s coolest bike shops Brick Lane Bikes, specialising in custom fixed gear builds. Pop by to see beautiful engineering and the alley-cast who love it.
Dinner and Drinks
While you hardly need help finding bars round Hoxton and Shoreditch way there’s a few which are particularly worth a visit. Firstly BrewDog on Bethnal Green Road – full of craft beers, Belgium bottles and a few interesting spirits tucked away behind. A perfect afternoon warm-up spot for an evening of nonsense.
Drunken Monkey does what certain parts of Chinatown should have a while ago – give you Dim-Sum in the evening. While slightly twisted into “tapas style”, your favourite Chinese morsels are present. Get in early and rock through a few of their cocktails.
For something a bit more clever all round there’s The Book Club which offers art exhibitions, surprisingly thrilling Ping-Pong tournaments, a nostalgic Gamer Disco – and, more importantly, cocktails and wine.
Head to the Macbeth on Hoxton Street to pick up small bands making art-noise and irony-pop. Most of the gigs are free although occasionally there will be a price on the door – never more than a tenner though. Old Blue Last’s sweaty upstairs has been early host to the likes of the Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys over the past few years – as they’re always doing their bit when it comes to taste-making you’re likely to see up-and-comers here.
If you’re looking for a club however there’s more than a few places to stumble to – such as Cargo with its massive garden out back and what feels like a labyrinth inside. For something more polished, and usually with bigger names on the decks there’s XOYO on Cowper Street – two floors of, usually, cutting edge electronica and dance.