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For the past decade, Shoreditch has been synonymous with fleeting pop ups and hipster fads. One street however, has slowly been developing into a more relaxed, considered destination, which has more in common with Paris’ Le Marais than Boxpark. With its eclectic collection of one-off concept stores, designer boutiques and buzzy eateries Redchurch Street is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon browsing the shops or people watching with an artisanal coffee in hand. From 1-7 December, the street will play host to a Christmas festival, with extended shopping hours, cocktails, live music, workshops and plenty of other festivities, as well as some special offers. Christmas shopping has never been so chic, or so much fun.
At the heart of the festivities is SUITCASE favourite Modern Society, hosting foodie events with neighbours Dirty Bones and Andina, a wreath making workshop with Grace and Thorn, live music and much more throughout the week. The ‘general store’, founded and curated by Nazifa Movsoumova, brings together clothing, accessories, art, homeware and beautiful locally sourced food. With a playlist as well-chosen as the products, you could spend hours here discovering new designers (we particularly like Sandy Liang), finding thoughtful and unique gifts or flicking through an independent magazine over the Modbar’s signature coffee tonic and a brownie.
See also: Kit & Ace, APC, J Crew
Albion, the quintessential British café, bakery and shop with an emphasis on locally sourced, sustainable produce started life on Redchurch Street, on the ground floor of the Boundary Hotel. Now two of its four branches can be found on the stretch. The original, including an in-house bakery, cake counter and an outdoor terrace, is open from breakfast until late, serving everything from a full English to lobster, accompanied by raw cold-pressed juice, craft beer or a cocktail. On the Friday night of the festival, they are teaming up with Boundary to put on an opulent festive spread, featuring their unmissable mulled cider. Meanwhile Counter Albion, the ‘lighter alternative’ further up the street, has a self-service, nutritionist designed menu and a small bookshop featuring cookbooks and culinary magazines. With large workbenches and free wifi, it’s a hub for East London freelancers by day, and by night becomes a buzzing wine bar serving a delicious charcuterie and cheeseboard selection.
See also: Allpress
New York perfumery Le Labo is every fragrance lover’s best-kept secret. With their Shoreditch outpost offering the full range of hand-blended, made to order vegan fragrances which linger on the skin for hours, as well as hand poured candles and beautifully packaged bodycare, here you’ll find a gift to please even the most discerning recipient, or perhaps something to put on your own list.
See also: Aesop
Featuring a carefully selected mix of independent European designers, this menswear boutique has become an essential destination for London’s most stylish males, and their other halves. From minimal Dutch clothing brand Delikatessen to Portuguese perfumers Musgo Real, to British heritage brand Wolsey, Western Assembly offers a variety of unique, high quality brands, ensuring that you will find the perfect pieces for the men in your life. There’s no excuse for M&S socks now.
See also: Club Monaco
If you’re in need of some party-season beauty prep, you’ve come to the right place. From the outside Barber & Parlour, with its graffiti covered facade and rusty garage doors, doesn’t look like the sort of place you would go to be pampered. Step inside, however and you will find a luxury grooming and lifestyle destination kitted out to Soho House’s impeccable standards. Containing a Josh Wood hair salon, Neville barber and a Cheeky nail salon, both men and women can enjoy some sprucing. You could make over your house too, with interiors and accessories from the beautifully curated B&P shop. Come with a date and make the most of your new look by enjoying dinner in the Barber & Parlour kitchen, followed by a movie in the Electric Cinema.
You know you’re in Shoreditch when a chocolate shop looks more like an art gallery than a place to buy sweets. For bearded Brooklyners Rick and Micheal Mast, a strong aesthetic has always been an integral part of their brand, with packaging as carefully considered as the artisanal chocolate it contains. All the bars are made by craftsmen in the on-site factory and wrapped in artist-designed paper, making them effortless stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts. Expect to find unusual flavours such as gin, tea and milk and olive oil, as well as some festive surprises.
The Redchurch Street Christmas Festival runs 1-7 December.
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