London is a melting pot of cultures, styles and nationalities. For this reason, each area has its own distinctive vibe. In fact, the type of dining or clubbing experience can be impacted on by a local university. Here is a list of a few “trendy” areas and what you might expect from them.
Shoreditch / Hoxton
Hoxton’s changed a little since a “creative crowd” flocked to the area to take advantage of cheap housing in the late 1990s, rejuvenating this historical alternative arts centre. Shoreditch / Hoxton has hundreds of years of history for theatre and other types of live performance (note the still standing cluster of lap dancing joints) but 20th century saw this replaced with an industrial mind-set and array of clothing factories.
Today, a new type of creative industry rules is shaping the area – new technologies and media. With the White Cube now closed, the area has lost some of its edge but it is still a cool place to drink, but beware, prices are pushing towards the higher end.
Curtain Street, Shoreditch High Road, Hoxton Sq, and other roads that lead off of are worth checking out.
Dulwich / Peckham
Art movements and artists like to sit on the edge of society, looking in… musing. So the label “coming of age” doesn’t sit as easily as it does with other movements more concerned with mass appeal. Whether or not south London is now an established part of the art scene is debatable, but it is certainly gaining recognition as a place to go for fresh and innovative art; and of course socialising!
Peckham, New Cross, and surrounding areas have no doubt been impacted on students enrolled on by Goldsmiths, University of London (where Tracey Emin amongst others graduated from), and is fast becoming the cultural hub that East London was before it.
Angel was gentrified a long time ago, but still keeps a down-to-earth feel about it. It is also very reasonable considering its central London location. You might want to visit this area if you’re more into your dining than drinking. If you are then you have an array of dining options, from Thai to French, or Turkish, then there are few places in London which can compete.
Furthermore, Upper Street and the adjoining Essex Road have a number of cute bars which play anything from Northern Soul to Electro. You might, however, need to do a bit of networking before you find the better nights out. That failing, you could always do some Karaoke at Luckvoice – now a cultural institution with revellers who are at a loose end and have some vocal energy to kill.
Those that have been priced out of Shoreditch are slowly making their way to Dalston. If you are looking for a place with soul (or Jazz, note Vortex Jazz club is located here) then you could do far worse. Stoke Newington down to Dalston Kingsland is now awash with musicians, artists and other types who have great taste in music, understand what a good drink is about and are definitely in touch with their taste buds.
Barring any of the other areas, you could still visit the ever popular areas such as Soho & Camden. They’ve still got fun a plenty and bags full of surprise.