East London is one of the UK's most exciting areas to visit and experience. The development and expansion of London's eastern quarters shows no signs of slowing down, and they offer the intrepid tourist a remarkable variety of things to see and do. A day spent on the east side of the capital can be equally exhilarating, entertaining and informative. So grab your London map, your oyster card and your sense of adventure for a day out on the East side of town...
East London is home to a plethora of inviting cafés in which to get to get your day off to the best possible start. Try out a selection of exotic delights from all four corners of the globe in Dalston's lively music and entertainments venue Café Oto. The young and hip staff serve up a choice selection of pastries, cakes and brownies, alongside Japanese snacks and Indian teas. Alternatively, the curious visitor can enjoy a traditional English fry-up in the welcoming environment of the Pavilion Café alongside Victoria Park's gorgeously tranquil lake.
Shopping in Style
East London streets contain a wide range of stylish stores specialising in everything from clothing accessories to records, books and bric-a-brac. Everywhere one turns, a new boutique or artisan's centre seems to have materialised. This vibrancy is equally true of East London's markets, exemplified by Old Spitalfields Market. This London stalwart is a fine example of the city's adaptability, taking in a modern shopping centre style selection of top-quality chains alongside the refurbished 1887 covered market. This inspiring area is home to a colourful collection of the antique and the vintage.
A Cultural Afternoon
As well as East London's tremendous amount of cutting edge art galleries, there are an impressive range of museums and cultural institutions just waiting to be discovered, have a look at your London map! Of these, the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood close to Bethnal Green, is a superb way to spend an afternoon. Visitors can be transported back to an age of innocence, wonderfully captured by the antique toys and games, dolls' houses and teddy bears resident there. This transporting quality is shared by Haggerston's Geffrye Museum, a listed building specialising in the history of the English domestic interior. Within the excellently presented rooms from the last 400 years, one can truly imagine the experiences of the past.
An Evening of Eclecticism
Brick Lane between Whitechapel and Bethnal Green offers a huge array of curry houses and restaurants, and is a Mecca for fans of the hot and spicy. Just remember to not over do it! After some great traditional dinner and perhaps a Bangladeshi lager or two, it might be advisable to cool off a bit. Enjoying a film in one of East London's terrific independent cinemas can be a fantastic way to do this. The Art Deco style Dalston Rio single screen cinema regularly shows art house films from all across the world. The Rich Mix cinema in Bethnal Green is also a good bet to take in some cinematic delights firmly away from the multiplex.