You’re one of the best designers for WordPress themes in the world, your work is downloaded and used by millions of people a month, and you usually work at home in your pyjamas. Now you’ve have a free day in London. What do you do? The first thing is get dressed. The second is call me. Inspiring Adventures helped some of the guys that run WordPress.com have a great day out in London. Read on to find out exactly how you can have a fun time in London too, with your clothes on, of course.
More than 73 million people currently use WordPress.com to run their website, and 387 million people view WordPress.com hosted websites every month. This Inspiring Adventures site runs through WordPress.com and, if you are interested, uses a the theme called Superhero. It turns out this theme was designed by one of the guys in my group. And if you’re reading this, Mr Cain, I’m still waiting for a fix on the headings.. why do they all look like H1 size, hey? (Support update – OK, OK they are all different sizes, thanks Kathryn!)
For now, let’s just learn the best way to spend a day in East London.
The Morning - Eat
We started at 10am with a private walking, eating food tour, run by Walk Eat Talk Eat London.
Our friendly guides Gen and Jo started by taking us to Dishoom, the 1940’s inspired Bombay-style cafe for a twist on the great British bacon sandwich. Apparently this sandwich was number 2 in Evening Standard’s list of best bacon buttys in London. We enjoyed it! Top tip – check in on foursquare for a free mango lassi.
Next we headed to the Albion for some top biscuits and baked goodies. But we weren’t allowed to eat them until we’d learned some fascinating history about East London. Do you know why the street outside the Albion is called Boundary Street? Because it’s the old boundary to East London, and the street beyond which even the police in the 19th Century would not go – the slums on the other side were just too dangerous. East London is just a bit safer these days, and a lot trendier too.
We wandered down Brick Lane, and found the sweetest of Bangladeshi sweets. For our last food stop we popped into Old Spitalfields Market for a quick taste of a Square Pie.
The tour was rounded off with a wonderful beery experience in Brew Dog – One of the biggest success stories of the Micro-Brewery industry. We had several tastings, including a brew that had recently won the award as the best Imperial IPA beer in the world. I’m not really a beer man, so it was a bit strong for me, but if you love your ales, this is the place for you.
The Afternoon – Explore
We met Karim at 2pm in Old Street. This was the start of our Street Art London tour. For the next couple of hours, we explored the hidden back streets and well known locations of East London. From huge unknown wall motifs to tiny art painted on chewing gum. And did you know there is a visible Banksy just near Old Street Station?
Karim guided us round with enthusiasm and a clear knowledge and passion for street art. We all learned more about the history, the methods and some of the renowned street artists. As for Karim, is he a street artist? “I dabble” is about as much information as we could get out of him. If it wasn’t illegal, I’m sure he would have been more open with us. But then if it was legal, where would the fun be?
One more time – Eat, Drink and Explore!
After the seeing the arty streets, we settled into a Shoreditch favourite, Pizza East for a snack. Housed in the old Tea Building, with industrial roots, this big old pizza house has bags of charm and gets extremely lively on the weekends.
We popped over the road to the Shoreditch Boxpark for drink before dinner. The Boxpark is made up of stripped out cargo ship containers, refitted to be pop-up shops, bars and restaurants, and is very cool. We went to the rum bar upstairs for a warming tipple.
Our final destination was one of the best Indian restaurants in London. No, it’s not on Brick Lane, although we did walk that way, dodging the curry touts as we went. Do you want to know the best Indian restaurant in London That’s coming up in my next post.
How would you spend a day in East London? Let me know about it in the comments.