Staycation in London: citizenM Shoreditch
It’s time for another staycation! This time we’re heading to East London, to Shoreditch to be more exact. This vibrant neighbourhood is brilliant for great nights out, world cuisine and is a creative hotspot like no other.
Arriving at CitizenM Shoreditch
We were kindly invited by citizenM Shoreditch to try their hotel for the night. So on St Patrick’s Day my friend and I headed east to check into this quirky accommodation.
The check-in process went fluently, as we could digitally activate our keycards. It was then that we already got a first taste of the vibe that the hotel has. Check-in took place in a foyer which felt more like a modern living room than anything else. Black and red accents were used throughout the design, and came back in the furniture that was situated here. Pillows with a wide range of pop-inspired design graced the sofa, and the coffee tables were covered in art and design magazines. Modern art was hanging on the walls.
People were simply relaxing here, getting mentally ready for a heavy night out or re-charging their batteries from a long day of sightseeing or shopping.
Behind the foyer was the bar, which was bustling with people already when we arrived at around 6:30pm. Food and drinks are available here all day and night long. Tempting I must say…!
We kept strong and didn’t give in to our urge to try all the food and drinks on offer in the bar. Instead, we made our way to the lifts, which brought us to the fourth floor. This is where we found our room, which looked small, but definitely had everything in there that we needed.
The artsy vibe that is so well-fitting for the area where the hotel is situated, came through in the room as well. Little details, such as pictures on the wall and Penguin Books on the book shelve made us feel right at home.
The personal touches didn’t stop there, as notes on the pillows invited us for pillow fights, the TV called me ‘Citizen Maaike’ and even a note on a red bag told us that the hairdryer was hiding in there.
Arts and design seem to be main aspects of the citizenM concept. That, as well as technology. We found large Apple computers in the bar downstairs, high-speed wi-fi connections all around the hotel, and a tablet in the room that we could use for everything. From switching off the lights, to closing the curtains and setting the alarm – we did it all from the Ipad. We also discovered special ‘mood’ features, in which we could choose from different mood themes, and background music, a video on TV and the lights were set accordingly. Not to forget the amazing movie collection on the TV, which even included the new Bridget Jones movie – this made me very excited! However, we weren’t planning on staying in the hotel for long, as we had dinner reservations made.
After a night out of celebrating St Patrick’s Day, it was fantastic to ‘come home’ to such a comfortable room, and an even more comfortable bed. The next morning we tried the massive rain shower, and made our way down for breakfast.
A breakfast buffet was set for the hotel’s guests in the bar area, and included a wide offer of hot and cold breakfast options. I opted for a bagel, some avocado, salmon and a raisin roll. I finished with a delicious bowl of yogurt, muesli and chia seeds. All was paired with a wonderful cup of latte – including some stunning latte art.
Exploring the area
After breakfast we picked up our luggage and checked out. I was able to store my backpack at the hotel. This really helped me, as we were about to go out to take some pictures of the neighbourhood, and my backpack would’ve killed my back.
Shoreditch – Box Park and street art
If you’ve been following my blog a little bit of the last months, it won’t be a surprise that I really love the Shoreditch area. Some of the best bits are just minutes away from citizenM, and can be easily explored on foot.
For boutique shopping, eating and drinking head over to the containers of Box Park. These industrial constructions are home to great pop-up shops and bars.
Almost adjacent to Box Park you can also find Redchurch Street with its boutique shops and high-end bars and restaurants. Don’t forget to peek down Ebor Street and Chance Street for some fine examples of street art.
Brick Lane is famous for its fantastic food halls, street art, and vintage shops. Fan of curry? As Brick Lane is home to a large Bangladeshi community, there are plenty of authentic curry restaurants around.
Columbia Road (Flower Market)
If you’re in the area on a Sunday, there’s a good chance that the smells of flowers lead you to one of the most colourful markets of London. The Flower Market on Columbia Road is the largest flower market in town. This is the place to get in some bargains to brighten up your house. Columbia Road is lovely to visit on any other day as well, as the vintage and home accessories shops are lined up on the whole street. You might even meet this cute cat, who really ‘owns’ the place!
Cross the Regent’s Canal and you find yourself in a wonderful East End shopping street. The weekly street market on Broadway Market takes place on Saturdays, but there are enough of independent shops, restaurants and bars to have a great time any day of the week. I’ve also found that it’s a fantastic brunch place.
In a big city like London you wouldn’t necessarily expect farm animals roaming around. But think again, because there are two city farms situated in London’s East End. Both easily to reach from citizenM Shoreditch. One is just off Brick Lane and is called Spitalfields City Farm, while the other one is closer to Broadway Market and is called Hackney City Farm.
We were kindly invited by citizenM Shoreditch to stay at their venue, but all opinions are my own.