Home of the Bangladeshi and the ‘alternative’ communities, prepare for the multi-kulti journey Brick Lane will take you through. For those who have had a spell at living in Berlin, welcome back! This area of the city has the same indie, alternative edge the German capital is renowned for. Live-in bars, beer gardens, clubs, live concerts, open-air art exhibitions, sheesha lounges, second hand stores, there’s no other place in London to chill out on a lazy or rainy week-end.
Hungry? Stop off for a bagel to whet your appetite at the top end of the street. The two neck-to-necks bagel shops offer the best New York buns in town as the steady queues indicate. Mint tea in one of the hazy Middle-Eastern sheesha lounges will wash down the snack and allow you unwind in their cushy chairs and eavesdrop the foreign conversations around you. Alternatively, hop into Benglatown in the southern part of the street for a budget and tasty meal from the sub-continent. Be sure to haggle the offers waiters waiting outside their restaurants will throw at you. Generally no alcohol on the menu so bring your own bottle from one of the near-by corner shops if you want to splash out.
One of the Indie crowd? Then dress the part! Leggings, bright neon tights, golden shoes, Robert Smith-like hairstyles, keffiehs, Converses full of holes. You’re going to have to in order to mingle with the art students, graphic designers, entrepreneurs of all sorts oozing coolness and detachment as they stroll in the Lane coffee in one hand and shades on their noses. Browse through the independent designer or second-hand clothes shops or through the adjacent indoor markets for that unique present you’ve been eying for your best bud. Vinyls, vintage dresses, past issues of Vogue, quirky household objects all available and exposed to the Fashionista’s heart content.