Set in the heart of the financial district, Liverpool Street Station was once little more than a bustling gateway for city bankers and early risers en route to Stansted airport. But with the rise and rise of nearby Shoreditch as not just a fashionable east London phenomenon – but a global one – it has now become so much more. This Liverpool street taxi driver’s guide offers some hints and tips on where you should be headed locally for food, drinks and more. Lovers of the bizarre and gruesome will be pleased to hear that Liverpool St Station was actually built on the original site of the once infamous Bedlam Hospital for the Mentally ill. Although, it should also be remarked that the hospital had been closed for 200 years before they decided to lay down the first tracks – so no real remnants remain. Originally erected to house a terminal to East London, Essex and outwards to East Anglia. The station was an integral part of the world’s first underground train network, the Metropolitan Railway. Which of course, today we know as the Metropolitan line. The station also serves the Central, Circle, and Hammersmith & City lines. Continuing to render it a vital junction of East London travel. While the heavy deluge of suited and booted types make it a place to avoid at rush hour, the ornate station is definitely something of an architectural wonder (the elaborate ceiling is worth a glance upwards). But with so much to see and do nearby, we don’t recommend dithering for too long. Remember – Addison Lee minicabs are up to 30% cheaper than most Liverpool street taxi services, just book though our website or app and get exploring!
Where to drink
Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
East London loves a speakeasy (and so do we). Which is why this ingeniously named basement bar is more than a usual treat to discover. Just pop into the Breakfast Club – worth a visit for the food alone – and ask to ‘see the mayor’. They’ll know what you mean & promptly usher you downstairs. Pass through a giant fridge into an underground cavern full of equally terrific cocktails and treats.
12-16 Artillery lane, E1 7LS
Worship St Whistling Shop
Yes, it’s another speakeasy (what did we tell you?) but my word, is this one worth the visit. A subterranean palace of drinks so fascinating and unique that you’d need a chemistry degree just to work here. Fortunately for you, all the dirty work is left to the incredibly knowledgeable and sartorially elegant bar staff. So you can enjoy the rampant cacophony of flavours with no confusion and little fuss. Go on, indulge yourself.
63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU
Let’s face it. If you’re going to drink champagne, you may as well do it while looking down on (sorry, we mean ‘over’) the rest of London. At the top of Tower 42, you’ll find the eponymous champagne bar. And believe us, the name is no joke. Incredible views are matched by a near gaudy menu of bubbles, fizzing cocktails and nibbles to wash down the view with. For the indecisive among you, they even offer a flight of three exceptional champagnes to taste.
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad St, EC2N 1HQ
Where to eat
Looking altogether like an industrial Disneyland for grown ups, Dinerama is now (thankfully) open year round. Offering a glowing haven of incredible flavours, its retractable roof allows it to adapt seasonally. The market operates over two floors, with a number of different bars, as a mecca to all things gluttonous. And has, predictably, taken the area by storm. Welcoming in packs of hungry east Londoners every weekend.
19 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3EJ
Continuing the trend of vertiginous grazing spots is Sushisamba. But of course with great height comes great financial accountability, and this one’s anything but cheap. Serving up some of the finest (deep breath) “Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian Sushi” – and views – in London. Sushisamba is always packed out. Book way, way ahead to avoid disappointment. If you’re lucky you might even get a spot on the terrace.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Love steak but don’t like heights? Perhaps this one’s more your speed. Hawksmoor may now be a ‘chain’ but they’ve certainly lost nothing in finesse for their recent proliferation. With each restaurant operating under its own unique identity, this branch is surely worth a visit. Purveyors of red meats extraordinaire, this sublimely comfortable mahogany den is unrivalled when it comes to great food and wines to match. Try their Sunday Roast and be forever converted.
10 Basinghall St, EC2V 5BQ
What to do
At the heart of Shoreditch lies Brick Lane. Once a decaying, grubby street in East London made famous by Jack the Ripper, rundown haberdasheries and curry houses. It is now a stylishly grubby street famous for its trendy bars, clubs, galleries and… curry houses. And while the cool elite will tell you that Brick Lane’s time has passed. Its vividly colourful and ethnically diverse attractions will always see it regarded as the true epicentre of London hipsterism.
Morning Yoga @The Sky Garden
Sick of heights? Tough! We’re taking you way up above ground level yet again. Except this time (with an advance booking) you can expect an altogether more complete spiritual experience, as you Downward Dog at a terrifying 160m. With 360° views from the lush crystalline dome, the yoga classes here really are like nothing else. Be sure to book ahead.
20 Fenchurch St, EC3M 8AF
Old Spitalfields Market
For anyone who’s ever been to Borough Market, the appeal of London’s finest food vendors is all too real. Fortunately, a lot of those vendors also ply their trade at Spitalfields. Not to be outdone though, the market is also home to fashion, antiques and all manner of other desirable knick-knacks. With different themes on different days, it’s worth reading ahead to find the best day for you.