Although I have lived on the outskirts of London and in London all my life I haven’t ventured into east London that much!
Before you even ask, no I am not a snob but neither am I a hipster! I have made my way to Shoreditch for the odd warehouse party and my American friends had a flat in Old Street (which was oh so cool!)
At the moment my bf is keen to visit different parts of London that we haven’t explored before! So thats what we did!
First off I have to say that it is a mission to get to Shoreditch from central London! I honestly don’t know why there isn’t a tube station! We had to get the overground. My bf found this very amusing and kept commenting how it was very like the metro in Paris as the carriages werent divided (I think it was more to do with the french people next to us to be honest) I have spent a large amount of time on the overground as this is how I used to travel to work, but I can see how confusing it would be to tourists.
Our plan was to head to the Aubin Cinema which my bf had read about online, but as we were early we decided to go into the Boxpark. This is Shoreditch’s pop up mall! It’s basically a load of storage containers which have been put on land waiting to be developed (probably into super trendy flats that’s no one but rich kids can afford to live in! Cynical me?)
The actual layout of the mall is pretty cool. Theres a bar at either end with restaurants in the middle on the top floor and shops along the main road below it. I was happy to see a lot of independent shops mingled in with the big named brands. (If you are an apprentice uk fan many of you will recognise it from the episode where they had a hat and homewear shop)
The bars quite predictably were full of hipsters and people on their way out for the evening! I can say this for it, the beer is reasonably priced about £3 a pint which is cheap compared to the £5 pint I just bought in Mayfair! The main seating area is outdoors which, was great on a sunny day but would be miserable if it was raining. There was some covered seating in the middle, which I can imagine gets quite busy. The only issue was that the seating was long benches (think wagamamas) which would have been ok but we had large groups around us intent on getting pisssed! (student life! Sigh)
Underneath are the pop up shops which ranged from fashion to art to sport. Mainly independent but I did spy a Nike and a couple of other familiar brands. They’re pretty cool and unique little shops but they know it so some of the prices will be a bit of a shock. Nether the less there are still bargains to be had.
After perusing the shops we headed over to the Aubin cinema, which is down some random little road. My bf had read some good reviews about it, and even though the film we we’re going to see was on neither of our agendas (Frances Ha! I’ll be writing a review about this soon as it was surprisingly good) I was excited to go. So the cinema is underground and is run by Aubin & Wills. The main difference if this cinema is that it has sofas and comfy armchairs instead of your normal cinema seats. You get blankets and you can get wine from the bar with your popcorn.
I have two main criticisms of this cinema, ok actually 3. Firstly its small, which is ok, but I wouldn’t suggest getting a seat in the front row as your neck will not thank you. Secondly it attracts a strange crowd, who when plied with alcohol can be disruptive (we had a man literally fall into the screen halfway through, which was funny but he continue to laugh for way too long afterwards). Lastly there was only salt popcorn! Which is weird after 4 mouthfuls but you can stop eating it because it’s popcorn!!!
I did like the fact that you had blankets and foot rests, although they could have done with more of these. I also like that you had a cushion, even if my bf didn’t like his. You also had your own little table with a wine bottle holder which was handy. The film didn’t run on time but was about 5 mins late, which I didn’t mind too much and we did have to sit through lots of adverts, which is standard at most cinemas now. (on that we had to watch a full cinema advert for Jack Wills which made me want to hurl)
Overall it was a comfy viewing and more importantly you we’re surrounded by adults! (I cannot stand children anywhere let alone at a cinema!) Its fun but ultimately not that different from a small screen at a large cinema chain. Someone really needs to create one in central London for me to go back again….