The last full day of the holiday, it was home tomorrow. Shame. This city family break had been the best yet. I would highly recommend it.
My Sister and family wanted to explore a little further away and headed off. The rest of us wanted to explore Shoreditch. How would I describe it?
Its definitely London. A bit like Greenwich Village in NYC. Then its covered in graffiti and populated with the trendiest people you have ever seen. More hipsters than you can count. Now we are not a cool family. We try our best, but we lowered the cool factor into every street we turned.
Its a great place to spend the day. Nothing specifically noteworthy though, so makes for a pretty uninteresting blog. There are cute shops, open air and indoor markets, independent retailers. There is even a shopping centre made up of those large metal containers that you see on cargo ships. The ground floor was a mix of clothes, handmade stuff, really trendy house stuff. The upstairs was full of little food stalls, cafes and such.
Everywhere had something going on. Great graffiti, pop up stalls. Just an awesome vibe. The kids were entertained, but if you could visit without kids you could lose yourself in the markets.
Try and visualise. We turned into one street that was like a disused supermarket car park. It has warehouse buildings round the edges. They had been opened, but not done up in side and were being used as pop up shops, markets. In the corner were a few vans all painted and modded, selling fresh cooked food. Just behind them was a shipping container with a burned out car on top of it and a massive cartoon alien model on top of it. Your eyes lift up higher and see another alien model on top of one of the warehouses……and so it goes on.
We wandered around towards Brick Lane (which you have to visit in the evening for a curry, just to experience the banter on the street. We saw a few guys bartering for the price of their meal outside – a starter, main course, rice, naan and and beer for £10 each)
We stopped for coffee at a cafe on the corner of Brick Lane. It specialised in chocolate. Charlotte had a freak shake. Wendy had some sort of hot chocolate. I had a chocolate cocktail. All very sickly.
Then we made our way through the maze of streets back home.
Earlier we had spotted a restaurant for lunch. Reds True BBQ. They did a donut burger. You might have seen this on the news. Its a large beefburger – 2 patties, cheese, bacon, sauce – you know beefburgers right? Now, take the bread buns and chuck them away. Ordinary bread doesn’t do it. Nope. Not even Brioche. Peasants.
Replace those buns with two glazed donuts. Now we are talking. All I can say is that I felt my arteries clog up as I ate it. But it was worth it.
We all then slowly and sadly wandered home. Knowing that no matter how much we strung it out, evening would come and tomorrow we would be getting back to our routines. Wendy named Shoreditch as her new favourite part of London.
For us, London had been proper family time. Time to celebrate Mam and Dads anniversary. Time to catch up with each other. It had the familiarity to it that we wanted, the convenience of travel, shops and food. It had the buzz of perhaps one of the top cities in the world. It had new experiences.
Ticking all the boxes, I’m not sure we could do better next time. Ah, next time – “what are we doing next year Mam?”